The identity and self-perception of artists-managers

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Manager’s and artist’s professional identities seem to be opposite, but there are many indications that this understanding is not justified in reality. Despite the contradictions, these two identities can intersect. The paper aims to define the characteristics of the artists-managers’ identity. The object of the study was qualitative research (n = 22) conducted in the form of in-depth interviews with key informants from the international environment. The practical objective was to verify common and contradicted features of the artist’s and the manager’s identities among artists-managers to understand the possibilities of reducing the intra-psychic tensions and ways of fruitful paradoxical thinking among managers and negative consequences for personalities and organizations. The study reveals common characteristics between the artist’s and manager’s identities and describes artists-managers’ identity. Although artists-managers experience diversity between both identities, they do not see them as contrary; they use paradoxical thinking, being experts in using personal seemingly contradictory characteristics to achieve outstanding performance. Acting in paradoxical contexts and focusing on the positive aspects of seemingly contradictory personal qualities, they find nonstandard creative solutions. By trying to understand and implement their self-construction, there is the possibility to reduce the intra-psychic tensions and negative consequences of seemingly opposite identities or goals among individuals in organizations. There is a synergy between the manager’s and artist’s identities. Understanding the nature and attributes of artistic creativity, aesthetic theories and the phenomenon of artist-manager’s identity can be a valuable contribution to the practice of management and organizational life.

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    • Table A1. Description of the research sample
    • Conceptualization
      Michał Szostak, Łukasz Sułkowski
    • Data curation
      Michał Szostak
    • Formal Analysis
      Michał Szostak
    • Funding acquisition
      Michał Szostak
    • Investigation
      Michał Szostak
    • Methodology
      Michał Szostak, Łukasz Sułkowski
    • Project administration
      Michał Szostak
    • Resources
      Michał Szostak
    • Software
      Michał Szostak
    • Validation
      Michał Szostak
    • Visualization
      Michał Szostak
    • Writing – original draft
      Michał Szostak
    • Writing – review & editing
      Michał Szostak
    • Supervision
      Łukasz Sułkowski