Improvisation and Bricolage: Similarities and Differences between Two Approaches to Resource Scarcity

Ricardo Coelho da Silva, Leid Zejnilovic, Pedro Oliveira

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


The definitional overlaps between improvisation and bricolage have generated confusion in distinguishing and integrating these two processes, especially given their shared relevance in responses to unpredicted events. With this work, we aim at clarifying each process, drawing on existing literature and on our observations of how improvisation and bricolage are used, in distinguishable contexts and different ways. We draw on metaphors grounded on music, to help compare improvisation and bricolage, using the already established case of jazz and a novel metaphor based on hip-hop. We then discuss how the two processes can be further distinguished, bridged, as well as considered from a dynamic perspective. We aim not only at clarifying the relationship between improvisation and bricolage but also at driving discussion and future research that integrates the two processes, taking into consideration their differences and similarities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Improvisation in Organizations
EditorsMiguel Pina e Cunha, Dusya Vera, António Cunha Meneses Abrantes, Anne Miner
Number of pages21
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)9780367771126, 9780367775193
ISBN (Electronic)9781003171768, 9781000933796
Publication statusPublished - 2023
SeriesRoutledge Companions in Business and Management

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