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Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event
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Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  25 ratings  ·  7 reviews

In thesummer of 2008, nearly fifty thousand people traveled to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to participate in the countercultural arts event Burning Man. Founded on a commitment to expression and community, the annual weeklong festival presents unique challenges to its organizers. Over four years Katherine K. Chen regularly participated in organizing efforts to safely and

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Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 2009)
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Natalie Glazer
Katherine Chen’s book Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event is an inside look into how organizations can strike the balance between under organization and over organization. Chen focuses her study on the organizational changes the Burning Man organization makes as it grows from a small group to an annual event. Chen proceeds to outline how various organizational issues in the Burning Man group are solved by the placement of both bureaucratic and collectivist prac ...more
Jack
This truly lovely bit of organizational sociology is about “the difficulties oft creating an enabling organization: how can members establish sufficient structure and coordination that support but do not constrain their activities?” (Page 153)

Much of this book is about how the Burning Man organization lives between two tensions: first, the tension between under-organization and over-organization; second, the tension between collectivist practices and bureaucratic organizing. (This book relies on
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Bree
The challenges that a festival such as Burning Man face are so interesting. The balancing act that the organizers face is truly unique and I was fascinated by their trials and tribulations.

It is also time to plan a trip to experience this event!
Dirk
great ethnography of Burning Man. Nicely linked to debates in organisational theory. A few more pictures would have been wonderful.
dara
Just not my cup of tea. Organizational sociology feels repetitive after so many classes about leadership and nonprofit organizations.
Heather
Jan 17, 2013 Heather added it
Shelves: amgt-602
Definitely want to re-read this one, when I'm not rushing through it for class!
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