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Abstract

I begin by examining three concepts of “artification:” the decoration, transformation, and modification. I argue that the typical business argument for artification claims that since businesses must be constantly innovating and since art and artists are the principal locus of creativity in our society, businesses must be “artified.” I argue that these claims about artists and creativity are based on widely accepted conventional views about art and artists that are false. I illustrate my general argument by examining one of the best statements of the case for business artification, Austin’s and Devin’s book, Artful Making, showing that artful making is closer to the idea of craftsmanship than to the modern, post-romantic image of “the artist,” that seems to enthrall so many people. I conclude that when it comes to finding models and metaphors for innovation, businesses and other organizations could better draw on such fields as science, engineering, design, or craft than on the world of high art.

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