Students Staff

23 November 2011

Lectures unwrap Christmas for business and show why companies must engage the senses

Two fresh approaches to business thinking will be the focus of inaugural lectures by leading academics at Essex Business School (EBS) at the University of Essex on Wednesday 7 December.

The free public lectures will see Professor Philip Hancock argue organisational and management issues surrounding the festive period need to be taken more seriously as an area of study.

New styles of management which encourage the emotional and sensory engagement of employees are the theme of the lecture by Professor Samantha Warren.

Professor Hancock, who is Professor of Work and Organisation and Head of the Management Group at EBS, will present a lecture titled A Necessary Invention – Christmas, Work and Organisation.

He said:” Christmas tends not to be seen as a subject worthy of close study within the area of organisation and management. This is ridiculous when you consider the amount of economic activity which takes place to make Christmas possible and this is something I feel we should be exploring more.”

He will also discuss whether we should be trying to rekindle the spontaneous and unruly elements of Christmas which have been overshadowed by commercialisation.

Professor Warren is Professor of Management and Deputy Research Director at EBS and her work explores how organisations are increasingly using the employees’ sensory and emotional engagement with their work and workplaces as a management tool.

In her lecture The Bananas Always Go First: Organisation through the lens of aesthetics, she will explain how new forms of working depend on these "aesthetic sensibilities".
She said: “A successful business is one that wins the hearts and minds of its employees - but how do they do this and what implications does it have for those employees who "fall in love" with their companies?

“In my lecture I will be talking about how employers use 'artistic management methods' that seduce employees through their senses and emotions as well as their pay packets. I will also outline the challenges of doing research on these topics and explain how I use photography to access the 'aesthetic dimension' of organisational life.”

The lectures are open to the public and are being held at the Lakeside Theatre and Art Exchange gallery from 4pm.

There will be complementary drinks on arrival and a reception afterwards.

To book a free place at the lectures please e-mail

For further information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874377 or e-mail

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