Surprises in management and organization: concept, sources and a typology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


We discuss why surprises, defined as events that happen unexpectedly or expected events that take unexpected shapes, are important to organizations and should be considered in the organization and management literature as an umbrella concept, encompassing a variety of related phenomena. The concept of organizational surprises is unpacked and a typology is built around the (un)expectedness of the issue and the (un)expectedness of the process. This typology uncovers the several types of surprising events that organizations may face, and contributes to the literature by identifying how different types of surprises require distinct managerial approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-329
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


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