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A diagnostic tool to determine a strategic improvisation readiness index score (IRIS) to survive, adapt, and thrive in a crisis

Hughes, Paul, Morgan, Robert E., Hodgkinson, Ian R., Kouropalatis, Yiannis and Lindgreen, Adam 2020. A diagnostic tool to determine a strategic improvisation readiness index score (IRIS) to survive, adapt, and thrive in a crisis. Industrial Marketing Management 88 , pp. 485-499. 10.1016/j.indmarman.2020.05.020
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Crises for business-to-business (B2B) firms are characterized by unexpected or unanticipated severe threats that are highly uncertain where strategic response times are low in which executives are victim of overwhelming time pressures to action fast strategic responses to these events—as the threats bring to question the viability and survivability of the firm. Consequently, crises provoke a profound impact on executives’ sensemaking, as they attempt strategically navigate these events. We bridge thinking around crisis management with theories of strategic decision-making and conclude that strategic improvisation is a vital mechanism that enables effective management interventions to be executed as a means of surviving, adapting, or potentially thriving under challenging circumstances. We derive a theoretically grounded framework of five strategic imperatives underlying our 10C Strategic Imperative Framework for improvisation readiness. First, we develop the Improvisation Readiness Index Score (IRIS) as a means for executives to diagnose their organization’s improvisation readiness according to the requisite strategic imperatives. Second, we present a three-step guide for executives to consider for managing through crisis with improvisation and the strategic imperatives at its heart. Third, we illustrate the strategy improvisation challenges. This allows executives to close the strategic improvisation gaps between their ‘actual’ and ‘preferred’ readiness.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0019-8501
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 21 May 2020
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2020 15:58

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