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Constructive Discourse and Human Organization

ISBN: 978-0-76230-892-7, eISBN: 978-1-84950-159-0

Publication date: 6 May 2004


The use of dialogues within and across organizations is on the rise. This increase is a tacit acknowledgement of the relational foundations from which new meaning is created and social innovations emerge. However, coming together for a dialogue doesn’t assure constructive conversation or transformative engagement. Dialogue participants, even when they are asked to “suspend assumptions,” are generally still embedded in the mental models and familiar frameworks that distance them from one another and prevent real generativity and novelty.

This paper proposes Appreciative Inquiry as an approach particularly conducive to creating public dialogues that are generative and transformative. It suggests that a community is best served by inquiry into strengths, assets and past successes. It further proposes that this mode of inquiry tends to produce positive emotional states, which expand the resources and pro-social inclinations of those in the dialogue. It offers five conditions that support generative and transformative public dialogue and explains how Appreciative Inquiry creates these conditions.


Rodgers, J. (2004), "APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY IN TRANSFORMATIVE PUBLIC DIALOGUE", Cooperrider, D.L. and Avital, M. (Ed.) Constructive Discourse and Human Organization (Advances in Appreciative Inquiry, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 337-357.



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