The aim of this study was to make visible the material dimensions of nursing management.
Management theories have mainly ignored the material dimensions, namely the physical spaces in which management actually takes place as well as the physical bodies of organization members. The perspective of organization aesthetics enhances our understanding of the role of materiality in nursing management.
The data were collected in 2009 using observation and interviews in eight nursing homes. Qualitative content analysis with critical interpretations was used.
Three main issues of organizational aesthetics related to nursing management were identified: (1) the functionality of working spaces and equipment; (2) the relevance of 'organizational' space; and (3) the emotional-aesthetic dimension of daily work.
Materiality is closely related to management topics, such as decision-making, values and identity formation of organizational members. Aesthetic dimensions of care are constructed by management practices which, in their turn, influence the nature of management. Implications for nursing management Nurse managers need to be aware of the unintended and unnoticed consequences of materiality and aesthetics. Space and body issues may have considerable effects, for example, on the identity of care workers and on the attractiveness of the care branch.