This study explored the holistic nature of organizational improvisation within an episodic or punctuated equilibrium planning model. Organizational change is not characterized by the sequential ordering of discrete events but as a series of ongoing adjustments, accommodations, adaptations, and alterations that are enacted over time so that fundamental changes are achieved. The practitioners who dwell in turbulent and changing environments may be compelled to consider organizational improvisation as a central competence. The approach involved a flexible design with theory development accomplished through a grounded theory methodology. As the sample, the research used a single corporation with a history of strategic activity. The use of the principles and interconnected laws that support Newtonian mechanics was introduced to provide the framework for the building of the holistic model of improvisation. The holistic model of improvisation developed contains the themes of (a) strategic inertia, (b) drift and entropy, (c) improvisation and firefighting, (d) improvisation and gravity, and (e) action/reaction force pairs placed into interactive relationship. The study concluded that there is not an "either/or" choice between strategy and improvisation. There are no scales to tip such that strategic planning is diminished or sacrificed for greater organizational improvisation or all improvisation must end to blindly support a strategic plan. The holistic model of improvisation was presented as a system where the wholes in reality are always seen to differ from the sum of their parts and this systems view makes sense of the frequency, type, magnitude, and direction of the multiple forces acting within an episodic planning model. The study also concluded that, considering improvisation within an episodic planning environment, physics and Newtonian mechanics, not jazz, appear to be a better metaphor in explaining improvisation in the holistic sense for this situation. The recommendations include (a) applying the same approach to a different subject company and determine if a similar holistic view would emerge, (b) enhancing the holistic model of improvisation with Einstein's mechanics or quantum mechanics to reveal a perspective unachievable with using Newtonian mechanics, and (c) performing empirical or quantitative testing of the holistic model of improvisation.
|Advisor:||Dew, Katherine E.|
|Commitee:||Orem, Sara L., Rianoshek, Richard|
|Department:||School of Business|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/07, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Episodic planning, Holistic, Improvisation, Organization, Organizational improvisation, Physics, Planning, Strategy|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be