The SAGE Handbook of Process Organization Studies provides a comprehensive and timely overview of the field. This volume offers a compendium of perspectives on process thinking, process organizational theory, process research methodology and empirical applications. The emphasis is on a combination of pedagogical contributions and in-depth reviews of current thinking and research in each of the selected areas, combined with the development of agendas for future research. The Handbook is divided into five sections: Part One: Process Philosophy Part Two: Process Theory Part Three: Process Methodology Part Four: Process Applications Part Five: Process Perspectives
Chapter 35: Improvisation Processes in Organizations
Improvisation Processes in Organizations
What do disaster workers and units, SWAT officers and film crews, Soviet special troops, firefighters and medical doctors, and IT workers and bank tellers have in common? How do large firms, governments, and start-ups get sidetracked from their original course of action? How do organizational actors get things done in the face of such uncertainty? According to organizational research, they all improvise. This chapter reviews the empirical literature on improvisational processes, including gaps and frontiers for future research, and suggests that improvisational processes offer a vital framework for further probing organizing processes.
We organize our review in three main sections. First, we present a basic working definition of improvisation and explore contemporary ...