Workspace Art: Transformational Leadership Viewed from a Different Angle

By Gus Vouchilas.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Art images that individuals in leadership roles display within a private work environment are an extension of identity and can impact perceptions of the individual’s leadership. As such, messaging through art remains a variable that those in leadership roles can consider to create a cohesive environment that is congruent with a specific leadership style. The purpose of this research was to explore leadership style and leader preference for complexity level in art as compared to non-leader perceptions of transformational leadership through complexity in art. Leaders, self-rated on the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) – Form 5X (Avolio and Bass, 2004) as having transformational leadership characteristics, viewed surveys with eight artwork image pairs where one image was of low complexity and the other, high complexity. The image that would be preferred for display in the subject’s private workspace within each pair was selected. Non-leaders viewed surveys with the identical image pairs along with five transformational leadership statements and selected the image felt to be most supportive of the statements for each pair. Leader preferences revealed a subtle trend toward high complexity images while non-leaders also trended toward perceptions of high complexity images as supportive of transformational leadership. The importance of the displayed image complexity and its ability to elicit emotion relative to workspace environments and leadership are suggested.

Keywords: Leadership, Art Complexity, Image Complexity, Art, Workspace Environment

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.79-90. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 160.096KB).

Dr. Gus Vouchilas

Assistant Professor, Interior Design, San Francisco State Univeristy, San Francisco, California, USA

As an assistant professor in the College of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Consumer & Family Studies/Dietetics, I engage with my students in areas of interior design. My emphases are in the areas of inclusive design, messaging through imagery, sustainability, and the integration of technology into house design. My current research foci are on sustainability in design, perceptions of leadership as they relate to workspace environmental design, and young adult millennial design and consumer practices. I am dedicated to my students and their approach toward solving practical issues and problems involving basic human needs in housing, while encouraging creativity and analytical thought.