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Improvisation as "real time foresight"

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stewart Clegg


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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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cunha MPE, Clegg SR, Kamoche K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Futures

Year: 2012

Volume: 44

Issue: 3

Pages: 265-272

Print publication date: 02/04/2012

Online publication date: 15/10/2011

ISSN (print): 0016-3287

ISSN (electronic): 1873-6378

Publisher: Pergamon Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.futures.2011.10.009


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