Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jeria, Jorge

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Adult education; Career development--Vocational guidance--Research; Occupational training--Vocational guidance--Research; Employees--Vocational guidance--Research; Employees--Training of--Research


The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of trained improviser facilitators who are members of the Midwestern Improvisational Community and who utilize improvisational strategies in corporate training and development programs. The improvisers' experiences examined include their development, implementation, and evaluation of improv incorporated into corporate training and development. The conceptual framework drew from literature on improvisation, adult learning, and workplace learning. Extensive improv practitioner texts exist in performance arts and within corporate training and development; however, limited research exists surrounding improvisers' experiences employing improvisational philosophies and strategies in workplace learning.;This study employed a basic interpretive qualitative approach. Sixteen participants participated in this study: 15 improv facilitators, ranging from 8 to 28 years of experience, and 1 non-improviser with 13 years of business experience with an improv organization. Data collection included interviews, participant responses to a reflective writings prompt, and artifacts. I employed open coding, axial coding, and focused coding to identify emerging themes. Three major themes capture the improv facilitators' experiences in corporate training and development. The major themes included: 1) improvisers' journey in merging improv in corporate training and development is ambiguous but rigorous, 2) improv facilitators provide innovative experiences and learning through entertainment and engaging training workshops, and 3) the improv facilitator is the primary asset in the integration of improv in corporate training and development.;The study provides insight into improvisers' experiences developing as an improv facilitator in corporate training and development. Participants addressed improv facilitators' roles and responsibilities in workplace learning, and identified that an improv facilitator's primarily responsibility is in implementation. The implementation of an improv workshop training is experiential, and improvisers adapt during the workshops to the needs of the employees. This study guides adult and higher education practice in that educators may draw from methods employed by the improv facilitators in educator development and integration of improvisation into curriculum.


Advisors: Jorge Jeria.||Committee members: Laura Johnson; Kristen Myers.


241 pages




Northern Illinois University

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