UCL School of Management

Research project

Creativity, Improvisation, and Organizations


Although the literatures on both organizational creativity and organizational improvisation have been expanding in recent years, the links between these literatures have not been deeply explored. This chapter explores those links to create a conceptualization of improvisational creativity in organizations. After reviewing existing theory on the creative process in organiza- tions, and existing theory on organizational improvisation, we synthesize the two, fill in some conceptual gaps, and propose a preliminary model. The chapter ends with research questions suggested by our analysis. 



Selected publications

Fisher, C. M., & Amabile, T. M. (2009). Creativity, improvisation, and organizations. Rotman Magazine (Winter), 40-45.
Balachandra, L., Barrett, F., Bellman, H., Fisher, C. M., & Susskind, L. (2005). Improvisation and mediation: Balancing acts. Negotiation Journal, 4, 425-434.
Long Lingo, E., Fisher, C. M., & McGinn, K. (2014). Negotiation processes as sources of (and solutions to) interorganizational conflict. In O. B. Oyoko, N. M. Ashansky, K. A. Jehn (Eds.), Handbook of Conflict Management Research (pp. 455-481). Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Amabile, T. M., & Fisher, C. M. (2009). Stimulate creativity by fueling passion. In E. Locke (Ed.), Handbook of Principles of Organizational Behavior (pp. 481-497). West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
Fisher, C. M., & Amabile, T. M. (n.d.). Creativity, improvisation, and organizations. The Routledge Companion to Creativity (pp. 13-24). New York: Routledge.
Barrett, F. J., Huffaker, J., Fisher, C. M., & Burgaud, D. (2018). Improvisation and transformation: Yes to the mess. In J. Neal (Ed.), Handbook of Personal and Organizational Transformation. New York: Springer International Publishing.
Fisher, C. M., & Barrett, F. J. (2019). The experience of improvising in organizations: A creative process perspective. Academy of Management Perspectives. doi:10.5465/amp.2017.0100 [link]
Fisher, C., Sanchez, J., Berry, J., & Xie, W. (2021). Who (and how many) made this? How crediting authorship affects creativity evaluations. In A. S. McKay, R. Reiter-Palmon, J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), Creative Success in Teams. London, U.K.: Academic Press.
Reiter-Palmon, R., Fisher, C. M., & Mueller, J. S. (2021). Creativity at Work A Festschrift in Honor of Teresa Amabile. Palgrave Macmillan.
Fisher, C., Ananth, P., & Demir-Caliskan, O. (2021). A winding road: Teresa Amabile and creative process research. In R. Reiter-Palmon, C. Fisher, J. Mueller (Eds.), Creativity at Work: A Festschrift in Honor of Teresa Amabile. Palgrave Macmillan.
Last updated Wednesday, 10 February 2021


Research groups

Organisations & Innovation

Research areas

Organization theory; Social psychology of organizations

Research topics

Adaptability; Collaboration; Creativity; Group creativity; Group processes; Temporal perspectives