Organizational improvisation and leadership: a field study in two computer-mediated settings

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Drawing on empirical evidence collected in two case studies, we present a tentative model of leadership in a context of organizational improvisation. This article discusses the role of leadership in the process of improvisation, suggesting that opposite leadership behaviors are simultaneously integrated when an important task has to be performed in a turbulent environment with flexible resources. This type of leadership creates "minimal" social and task structures that, together with a perception of the task at hand as individually important to group members, invites the team to improvise. This model builds the argument for a dialectical perspective on organizations, highlights the role of important events as action generators, and underscores the presence of curvilinear relationships in organizational phenomena where linear ones are conventionally assumed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-57
JournalInternational Studies of Management & Organization
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2003


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