Business and Improvisation

Below is a listing of publications about improvisation and organizational success that was compiled by Shea Elmore and originally appeared on the Playing with Reality website.

Thanks for sharing this, Shea!

There is a relatively new field of “applied improvisation” that takes the tools and techniques used by improvisers into workplaces and communities. This emerging arena has already attracted the attention of scholars and researchers. Below is an extensive, albeit by no means complete, list of articles and publications on the topic.

Research & Publications Regarding Improvisation & Organizational Success

Arshad, Darwina & Hughes, Paul. “Examining Organizational Improvisation: The Role of Strategic Reasoning and Managerial Factors.” International Journey of Social and Human Sciences, Volume 3, 2009: pp. 568-574.

Balachandra, Lakshmi; Crossan, Mary; Devin, Lee; Leary, Kim; Patton, Bruce. “Improvisation and Teaching Negotiation: Developing Three Essential Skills.” Negotiation Journal, Volume 21, Issue 4, October 2005: pp. 435-441.

Baumer, Allan; Fuller, Daniel; Luther, Kurt; Magerko, Brian; Manzoul, Waleed; Pearce, Celia; Riedl, Mark. “An Empirical Study of Cognition and Theatrical Improvisation.” 2009.

Chelariu, Cristian; Johnston, Wesley; Young, Louise. “Learning to improvise, improvising to learn: a process of responding to complex environments.” Journal of Business Research, Volume 55, Issue 2, February 2002: pp. 141-147.

Cohen, Shalom & de Haan, Uzi. “The Role of Improvisation in Off-the-Shelf Software Development of Entrepreneurial Vendors.” International Conference on Systems Engineering and Modeling, March 2007: pp 85-92.

Corbett, Andrew & Hmieleski, Keith. “Proclivity for Improvisation as a Predictor of Entrepreneurial Intentions.” Journal of Small Business Management, Volume 44, Issue 1, 2006: pp. 45-63.

Crossan, Mary & Vera, Dusya. “Theatrical Improvisation: Lessons for Organizations.” Organization Studies, Volume 25, Issue 5, June 2004: pp. 727-749.

Gagnon, Suzanne; Nickerson, Robert; Vough, Heather. “Learning to Lead, Unscripted: Developing Affiliative Leadership Through Improvisational Theatre.” Human Resource Development Review, Volume 11, Issue 3, September 2012: pp. 299-325.

Gibb, Stephen. “Arts-based training in management development: the use of improvisational theatre.” Journal of Management Development, Volume 23, Issue 8, 2004: pp.741-750.

Jackson, Paul. “Improvisation in training: freedom within corporate structures.” Journal of European Industrial Training, Volume 19, Issue 4, 1999: pp.25-28

Jambekar, Anil & Pelc, Karol. “Improvisation model for team performance enhancement in a manufacturing environment.” Team Performance Management, Volume 13, Issue 7/8, 2007: pp. 259-274.

Kaivo-oja, Jari; Mendonça, Sandro; Pina e Cunha, Miguel; Ruff, Frank. “Wild cards, weak signals and organizational improvisation.” Futures, Volume 36, Issue 2, March 2004: pp. 201-218.

Kanter, Rosabeth. “Strategy as Improvisational Theater.” MIT Sloan Management Review, Volume 43, Issue 2, Winter 2002: pp. 76-81.

Koppett, Kat. “Business and the Art of Improvisation.” The British Journal of Administrative Management, Issue 33, Sep/Oct 2002: pp. 26-27.

Leone, Ludovica. “A Critical Review of Improvisation in Organizations: Open Issues and Future Research Directions.” June 2010.

Leybourne, Stephen & Sadler-Smith, Eugene. “The role of intuition and improvisation in project management.” International Journal of Project Management, Volume 24, Issue 6, August 2006: pp. 483-492.

Lobman, Carrie. “Improvisation: An analytic tool for examining teacher-child interactions in the early childhood classroom.” Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Volume 21, Issue 4, 4th Quarter 2006: pp. 455-470.

Lubet, Steven & Hankinson, Thomas “Truth in Humor: How Improvisational Comedy Can Help Lawyers Get Some Chops.” Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 916601, July 11, 2006.

Pratt, Robin & Sabourin, Randy. “Attentional and Interpersonal Characteristics of Improvisation Professionals vs. Business Executives (What Executives can learn from Improvisation Professionals).” 2008.

Sabourin, Randy. “Sales & Status – Business Improvisation at its Best.” April 29, 2009.

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