The main purpose of this thesis is to propose improvisation as a decision making process that has the potential of adding value to organisations. In today's turbulent environment employees are expected to develop the capability to follow a plan, while at the same time remaining able to respond to dynamic environments, competitive moves from rivals, and changing institutional climates. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to explore the role of drivers and consequences of improvisation in NPD teams in UAE context.
Using structured survey instrument, data was collected from100 project leaders and managers from organisations in Dubai, UAE. The data was analyzed using PLS -SEM. Findings
Results of this study indicate that there are some drivers that can facilitate a team’s ability to improvise, such as top management encouragement to take risk, team past experience and team transactive memory and decision autonomy. However, turbulent markets and technology conditions does not moderate the relationship between team improvisation and team performance in our sample.
Research limitations/implicationsThis thesis advances understanding of the performance implications of improvisation by unpacking what team improvisation is and by examining team and contextual factors that help improvisational processes to lead to team performance . A richer and a more integrated understanding is obtained which will refine our knowledge of improvisation.Cross-sectional design with questionnaires, and self-reporting are the limitations of this thesis. More research of an empirical kind is necessary to better understand the role of improvisation in other contexts.
Practical implicationsThe present study ?nds that organizations aiming to gain competitive advantages should emphasis on establishing an environment where managers and NPD teams’ improvisational decision making can be fostered. It suggests that top management encouragement to take risk, as well as granting autonomy to employees play an important role in improvisational decision making, which in consequence leads to team performance. In addition, the results of this study call upon the managers to pay attention to team dynamics notably, team transactive memory and team experience, as they have a signi?cant and positive impact on team improvisation. Lastly, this thesis provided evidence that improvisation can be learned through training. Thus, managers can incorporate the findings of the present work into their training and development programs to come to a better understanding of improvisation behaviour.
The study addresses the under-researched role of improvisation which is still emergent in the field. This paper tests a full model, and provides a new depth of understanding of drivers and consequences of improvisation in NPD teams.
Keywords: improvisation, decision making, planning, innovation.