Employees’ improvisational behavior: exploring the role of leader grit and humility

Arménio Rego, Andreia Vitória, Miguel Pina e Cunha, Bradley P. Owens, Ana Ventura, Susana Leal, Camilo José Lopes Valverde, Rui Lourenço-Gil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In spite of a growing interest for improvisation in organizations, the microfoundations of improvisation have not been theorized yet. Exploring these microfoundations, we study how employees’ psychological capital (PsyCap) acts as a critical cluster of resources to face improvisational challenges and how leaders who convey grit (operationalized as perseverance of effort: Grit-PE), counterbalanced with humility, create conditions to develop those resources. By building upon the conservation of resources and the dual-systems model of self-regulation theories, our empirical studies suggest that the interaction between two leader-conveyed resources (Grit-PE and humility) creates a contextual resource that helps employees develop PsyCap, thus making them more likely to improvise. The positive effect of high Grit-PE in leaders on employees’ improvisation materializes mainly when leaders also are humble.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-138
Number of pages26
JournalHuman Performance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2022


  • Improvisational behavior
  • Psychological capital
  • Leader-conveyed perseverance
  • Leader-expressed humility


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