Chapter 2: Introducing organizational improvisation
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This chapter defines organizational improvisation. It begins by addressing the origins of the concept of improvisation, and then focuses on its core elements - a performative action, a measure of novelty, its deliberate nature, and the temporal convergence between design and action. The chapter then discusses the concept more broadly, reflecting on associated metaphors, improvisational theater and jazz, and important nuanced processes often involved in improvisation such as sense-making or bricolage. The chapter also contrasts the concept of improvisation with other overlapping constructs, highlighting what distinguishes them. For example, improvisation is often compared to innovation, since both concepts involve the production of some kind of novelty. However, improvisation involves convergence of planning and action, which is not necessarily the case with innovation. Furthermore, innovation is defined as useful novelty, whereas improvisation can also produce harmful novelty. The chapter also contrasts improvisation with creativity, adaptation, learning, compression, intuition, and bricolage.

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