Purpose - This paper aims to explore the relationship between aspects of aesthetics and the performance of organizations. It outlines a research agenda for studying the impact of aesthetic factors upon organizational design and change. Design/methodology/approach - In the paper, a set of seven propositions is developed to address various aspects of organizational performance that are influenced by beauty in organizations. These propositions are based on a distinction between the concepts process aesthetics, product aesthetics and aesthetic sensibility. Findings - The hypotheses suggest that organizational performance might be enhanced by the beauty of products and services, and indirectly by the aesthetics of organizational work processes, organizational structures, the personal well-being of employees and organizational designers with a high degree of aesthetic sensibility. Research limitations/implications - The hypothesis in this paper should be tested by future researchers. Practical implications - The paper might enhance the awareness of practitioners of the practical value of aesthetics Originality/value - The paper adds to the new field of organizational aesthetics a performance-oriented approach based on a design perspective. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.