Improvisation as "real time foresight"

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31 Citations (Scopus)


The concept of improvisation, while now recognized in organization studies, has been neglected in strategy studies. We suggest that one of the reasons for this is the dominance of a structural view of strategy and competition. Alternative views, such as the Austrian school or those that stress the Red Queen effect, emphasize the process-based nature of competition. In fast-changing environments, speed and reaction are central attributes, which render the traditional separation between planning and execution untenable. In these contexts, improvisation, the convergence of planning and execution, becomes a paradoxical form of "real time foresight": organizations screen trends, spot opportunities, actively wait and/or act with speed to seize the moment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-272
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012


  • Fast changing environments
  • Foresight
  • Improvisation
  • Planning


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