UCL School of Management is delighted to welcome Ileana Stigliani, Imperial College, to host a research seminar discussing: ‘Exploring Idea Evaluators’ Aesthetic Learning In Creative Projects’.
Clients are increasingly involved in creative projects as external idea evaluators. While research has provided evidence on expert evaluators accustomed to expressing aesthetic feedback—i.e., feedback that rests on subjective, sensory reactions—, far less attention has been devoted to understanding how non-expert clients can provide such feedback during creative projects. We draw on an ethnographic study of the collaboration between creative workers and their clients to explore how the latter learn to formulate aesthetic feedback through repeated feedback interactions. We find that idea evaluators engage in aesthetic learning that allows them to acquire the knowledge to express sophisticated judgments and suggestions vis-à-vis material artefacts. Our findings contribute to the research on feedback in creative contexts by illustrating how evaluators acquire knowledge to perform their role. We also contribute to the research on organizational aesthetics by unpacking aesthetic knowledge and highlighting the mechanisms through which it emerges.