The Generative Potential of Cynical Conversations

Organizational Generativity: The Appreciative Inquiry Summit and a Scholarship of Transformation

ISBN: 9781848554887, eISBN: 978-1-78190-330-8

ISSN: 1475-9152

Publication date: 5 December 2013

Abstract

A common concern raised in opposition to Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is that a focus on life-giving images in organizations tends to suppress negative voices. It is supposed that AI sees little value in skeptical, cynical, or negative perspectives. However, when AI is properly understood, all voices – both positive and negative – are seen as essential to the life of organization. The challenge is to create an atmosphere in which the cynical voice, rather than perpetuating dysfunction, can be tapped to build generativity. This chapter describes how to accomplish this objective through the use of analogic inquiry, thus exploring the focus on generativity that is central to AI.

Citation

Bright, D., Powley, E., Fry, R. and Barrett, F. (2013), "The Generative Potential of Cynical Conversations", Organizational Generativity: The Appreciative Inquiry Summit and a Scholarship of Transformation (Advances in Appreciative Inquiry, Vol. 4), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 135-157. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1475-9152(2013)0000004005

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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