Date of Paper/Work
Doctor of Education in Organization Development (Ed.D.)
Type of Paper/Work
John Conbere, Alla Heorhiadi, Eleni Roulis
The use of an experiential, arts-based curriculum that is centered around theatrical improvisation (or "improv"), when utilized for corporate employee training and development purposes, has the potential to have a transformational effect on individuals and organizations if planned and implemented in a thoughtful and purposeful manner. This interpretive case study explored the use of an improv-based training program for employee development purposes in order to understand the experiences of the study’s ten participants relative to the perceived impact and effectiveness of this training methodology, at both the individual and group levels. Five major themes arose from the findings, including: (1) learning at the individual level was more pronounced than at the group level, (2) potential gaps were identified in the ability of the participants to apply the training back at work, (3) the opportunity for long-term sustainability of the training method, in this particular case, was tenuous, (4) the world-view of the participants may have contributed to their inability to apply certain of the training principles, and (5) the potential that this training approach has relative to the ability to transformation behaviors and beliefs, at both the individual and the organizational levels. The findings also indicated that organizational leaders play an important role in the adoption and infusion of the improv mindset into the long-term culture of the organization, and that these improv tools must be supported, encouraged, and reinforced in the workplace by management consistently, over a long period of time in order for them to become integrated into the fabric of the organization.
experiential learning, improv, transformational learning, leadership and culture, arts and experiential learning
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Olson, David L., "Integrating the Arts into Organization Development: Using Improvisational Theatre to Enhance Personal and Interpersonal Effectiveness at Work" (2016). Education Doctoral Dissertations in Organization Development. 53.