Surprises in Management and organization: Concept, Sources and A Typology

M Pina e Cunha*, S.R. Clegg, K Kamoche

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We discuss why surprises, defined as events that happen unexpectedly or expected events that take unexpected shapes, are important to organizations and should be considered in the organization and management literature as an umbrella concept, encompassing a variety of related phenomena. The concept of organizational surprises is unpacked and a typology is built around the (un)expectedness of the issue and the (un)expectedness of the process. This typology uncovers the several types of surprising events that organizations may face, and contributes to the literature by identifying how different types of surprises require distinct managerial approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-329
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

Cite this