The rise of art movements: an effectual process model of Picasso's and Braque's give-and-take during the creation of Cubism (1908-1914)


Olive-Tomas, Antoni; Harmeling, Susan S.


Cubism was the most influential movement in modern art, and Pablo Picasso transformed the art world like no other figure before him. Changes in institutional and market conditions have been until now mainstream explanations for the emergence of art movements such as Cubism. However, we argue that there are complementary explanations centered on the agency of the artists themselves and based on entrepreneurial decision-making processes, in particular on the theory of effectuation. We have analyzed the detailed accounts of art history experts to generate a longitudinal process model of the creation of Cubism. Cubism emerged because Picasso and Braque transformed their common set of means into a variety of effects. Cubist innovations originated sequentially, as part of a chain of achievements. One innovation and artistic achievement led to another. Picasso and Braque’s methods of producing series of paintings and drawings and building upon previous achievements enrich our existing understanding of effectuation on a central point—the transformation of means into effects. This research also uncovers relationships among effectuation, bricolage, and subversion. This study illustrates how the theory of effectuation can be a method for the creation of new artifacts in fields beyond entrepreneurship and how effectuation can be a general-purpose decision-making schema for operating under conditions of uncertainty. The results of our study offer lessons of interest to scholars and practitioners in both art and entrepreneurship.








Small Business Economics, March 2020, v.54, n.3, p.819-842

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