Improvisation and emergent strategy

Colin Eden, Fran Ackermann, Vincenzo Vito

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper synthesises the conceptualisation of improvisation within the frameworks of emergent strategizing and sensemaking. In doing so, it explores how the arguments offered in literature present and important role for considering the role of improvisation in strategy making, with particular attention to its significance in understanding emergent strategizing and sensemaking. Through a synthesis of the literature we show that emergent strategizing, sense making and improvisation, working in harmony, provide a powerful combination, particularly when developing strategy in fast moving industries. Although encouraging improvisation through planning is problematic, understanding the role it can play, and is playing, in creating the strategic future of an organization suggests that in certain contexts strategy needs to be malleable to unfolding improvised decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Mar 2021
Event21st International Conference on Group Decision and Negotiation - Online
Duration: 7 Jun 202110 Jun 2021


Conference21st International Conference on Group Decision and Negotiation
Abbreviated titleGDN 2021
Internet address


  • improvisation
  • emergent strategizing
  • sensemaking
  • fast moving industries

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