Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.9.5.593

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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