Organizational improvisation typically undergoes substantial change. Many
organizational agents may not be prepared for such a change and face a
setting marked by limited structure and high ambiguity. This context is
characterized by a level of variability that requires several conditions for
processes to function effectively. This is the focus of this chapter, the
process of organizational improvisation. A first key element is to make
sense of a situation that is ambiguous and where uncertainty prevails.
Leaders can play a crucial role when plans are no longer fully applicable.
Given the convergence of action and conception inherent in improvisation, it
is not possible to know in advance what specifically is to be done,
otherwise it would not be improvisation. However, it is possible to
anticipate some important conditions for successful improvisational
behavior. These include encouragement of attention to real-time information,
ongoing communication and reflection during action.
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