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Wild cards, weak signals and prganizational improvisation

Sandro Mendonça, Miguel Pina e Cunha, Jari Kaivo-oja () and Frank Ruff

FEUNL Working Paper Series from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia

Abstract: This paper addresses the need for reliable action guidelines that can be used by organisations in turbulent environments. Building on current conceptual and empirical research, we suggest an analytical approach for the management of surprising and potentially damaging events. In order to do so we use the wild card management system. Wild cards refer to sudden and unique incidents that can constitute turning points in the evolution of a certain trend or system. As the first of the two components of such a wild card system we advocate a weak signal methodology to take into account those wild cards that can be anticipated by scanning the decision environment. The second component, the nurture of improvisation capabilities, is designed to deal with ongoing crisis. This paper can be seen as part of a broader agenda on how to manage in conditions of continuous but unpredictable change.

Keywords: wild cards; weak signals; improvisation; minimal structures (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2003
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