Technical Papers

Investigating the Practice of Improvisation in Construction


Improvisation is a spontaneous and impulsive, but rational, decision-making process. Although unpopular, given that it indicates deviation from plans, improvisation is unavoidable in construction planning because it helps address emerging nonstandard issues or unexpected problems. While the results of improvisation are understandable, the decision process is spontaneous. Therefore, a construction project will benefit from applying an adaptive planning system that uses improvisation. After conducting a review on practices of improvisation, a decision-making model illustrating how construction employees can properly improvise and reach their desired decisions or actions was proposed. Aiming to investigate the practice of improvisation in construction, this study considered 28 large-sized projects, in which 120 surveys were conducted via semistructured interviews with blue- and white-collar employees. Thereafter, statistical analyses and hypotheses testing were performed to highlight important insights. The study would greatly benefit construction companies and professionals because it offers recommendations that influence improvisational outcomes and enhance the corresponding decision-making process.