• Does improvisation lead to outcome deviation? A conceptual framework of improvisation, its antecedents and outcome deviation
  • Leone, Ludovica <1983>


  • SECS-P/08 Economia e gestione delle imprese


  • Management and organization literature has extensively noticed the crucial role that improvisation assumes in organizations, both as a learning process (Miner, Bassoff & Moorman, 2001), a creative process (Fisher & Amabile, 2008), a capability (Vera & Crossan, 2005), and a personal disposition (Hmielesky & Corbett, 2006; 2008). My dissertation aims to contribute to the existing literature on improvisation, addressing two general research questions: 1) How does improvisation unfold at an individual level? 2) What are the potential antecedents and consequences of individual proclivity to improvise? This dissertation is based on a mixed methodology that allowed me to deal with these two general research questions and enabled a constant interaction between the theoretical framework and the empirical results. The selected empirical field is haute cuisine and the respondents are the executive chefs of the restaurants awarded by Michelin Guide in 2010 in Italy. The qualitative section of the dissertation is based on the analysis of 26 inductive case studies and offers a multifaceted contribution. First, I describe how improvisation works both as a learning and creative process. Second, I introduce a new categorization of individual improvisational scenarios (demanded creative improvisation, problem solving improvisation, and pure creative improvisation). Third, I describe the differences between improvisation and other creative processes detected in the field (experimentation, brainstorming, trial and error through analytical procedure, trial and error, and imagination). The quantitative inquiry is founded on a Structural Equation Model, which allowed me to test simultaneously the relationships between proclivity to improvise and its antecedents and consequences. In particular, using a newly developed scale to measure individual proclivity to improvise, I test the positive influence of industry experience, self-efficacy, and age on proclivity to improvise and the negative impact of proclivity to improvise on outcome deviation. Theoretical contributions and practical implications of the results are discussed.


  • 2011-05-27


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Leone, Ludovica (2011) Does improvisation lead to outcome deviation? A conceptual framework of improvisation, its antecedents and outcome deviation , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Direzione aziendale , 23 Ciclo.