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Using appreciative inquiry in sales team development

Sarah Lewis (Managing Director, Jemstone Consultancy Ltd, London, UK)
Jonathan Passmore (Lecturer, Psychology Department, University of East London, London, UK)
Stefan Cantore (Consultant, Office for Public Management, London, UK)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to explain the appreciative inquiry change methodology and to demonstrate how it can be applied to a specific work challenge.


This paper first explains the appreciative inquiry method and gives an account of how the approach was applied to a sales team development event.


Appreciative inquiry is a change approach that is growing in popularity. This paper demonstrates the flexibility of this approach within the context of change and development. In the case study under examination the incorporation of appreciative inquiry based practice enhanced both the development experience and post event performance.

Practical implications

This paper gives clear guidance on the basic model of appreciative inquiry and how it can be practically employed in a familiar context.


Appreciative inquiry offers an alternative approach to organisational development to either personality based or problem solving based development. By calling on the human facilities of imagination, emotion, conversation, engagement, orientation, and self‐direction it offers a truly psychological approach to human group development



Lewis, S., Passmore, J. and Cantore, S. (2008), "Using appreciative inquiry in sales team development", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 175-180.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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