Embodying improvisational education for managers: Learning from theater

Barbosa Fernanda Paquelet Moreira, Eduardo Davel, Miguel Pina e Cunha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Organizational improvisation is a key skill for managers, but we lack knowledge on how to educate them on improvisational skills and what the role of the body is in this process. We assume that embodiment matters because improvisation relies on the visceral and instinctive reactions of the body when faced with urgent situations. This study explores how theatrical improvisation embodies organizational improvisation education. The empirical research results from three years of teaching organizational improvisation based on theatrical improvisation in a management school. The narrative analysis of empirical materials (documents, observational diaries, artistic expressions, interviews) presents organizational improvisation education and its embodiment as involving three types of learning practices: relationality (with oneself, with others, with rules, with the whole and with creativity), emotionality (joy, surprise and anxiety) and spontaneity (relaxation and intuition). We contribute to understanding how teaching and learning organizational improvisation involves theatrical and embodiment training.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCulture And Organization
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • embodiment
  • management education
  • management learning
  • Organizational improvisation
  • theatrical improvisation

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