Collective Virtuosity in Organizations: A Study of Peak Performance in an Orchestra


Johan Roos, Ch des Chenes 3, CH-1135 Denens, Switzerland (


abstract  The purpose of this paper is to build theory on peak performance at the group level. Peak performance transcends ordinary performance and is associated with a subjective experience in which one loses a sense of time and space as well as feels great joy and bliss. We chose to study this phenomenon at the group level through a methodology of participant observation in an orchestra. We found that groups can be transformed by their own performance in a reflexive process in which virtuosity, or individual peak performance, becomes collective. We offer a propositional model of collective virtuosity in organizations, and offer directions for further research.