Improvisation in service recovery

Miguel Pina Cunha, Arménio Rego, Ken Kamoche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss the role of improvisation in service recovery. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is a conceptual discussion that considers the relevance of improvisation in service recovery. It contributes to the clarification of the possible role of improvisation in the transformation of service failures into positive moments of truth. Findings: The paper argues that improvisation may be viewed as a relevant, albeit largely ignored, topic in service recovery, and recommends that its role should be the object of theoretical and empirical research. Practical implications: Managers may consider the possibility of creating conditions for competent improvisation to occur, such as training in improvisational skills and the creation of organizational contexts that facilitate the convergence of planning and execution in order to better deal with the characteristics of the situation. Originality/value: The study addresses the under-researched role of improvisation in the process of service recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-669
Number of pages13
JournalManaging Service Quality
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2009


  • Service failures
  • Skills
  • Training


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