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Journal Article

Improvisation in Action

Mary M. Crossan
Organization Science
Vol. 9, No. 5, Special Issue: Jazz Improvisation and Organizing (Sep. - Oct., 1998), pp. 593-599
Published by: INFORMS
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2640301
Page Count: 7
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Improvisation in Action
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Abstract

It has often been proposed, or assumed, that improvisation is a useful metaphor to provide insight into managing and organizing. However, improvisation is more than a metaphor. It is an orientation and a technique to enhance the strategic renewal of an organization. The bridge between theory and practice is made through exercises used to develop the capacity to improvise, borrowed from theatre improvisation. This paper describes a typical improvisation workshop in developing six key areas that link improvisation exercises to the practice of management: interpreting the environment; crafting strategy; cultivating leadership; fostering teamwork; developing individual skills; and assessing organizational culture.

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