This chapter explores the transformation that occurs during an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) summit through the lens of Rogerian client-centered therapy. The client-centered approach stems from the work of Carl Rogers, who theorized that humans have a tendency toward self-actualization, or that they can be trusted to move constructively toward the fulfillment of their inherent potential. According to Rogers, a client-centered therapeutic approach enables an individual to radically alter the self-concept and achieve transformational change, but only when six specific conditions are met. When these conditions are met, the result is generativity at the individual level as the client’s world opens up with new possibilities. Starting from the assumption that individuals and higher-level human systems share common elements as open systems, the opening up of the self-structure at the individual level can be seen as similar to the system coming together in a generative way during an AI summit. Rogerian theory and AI share a common set of underlying principles, and these principles guide the similar approach to change at these different levels. Here, a community AI summit in Worcester, Massachusetts, is viewed through a Rogerian lens in an attempt to shed light on how these conditions might also operate in higher-level human systems aimed at enabling generativity.
The author would like to thank Brodie Boland for his contributions to this chapter and Carlos Ruiz for his inspiration.
Schroeder, T. (2013), "Collective Actualization: An Interpretation of Rogers’ Necessary Conditions for Change", Organizational Generativity: The Appreciative Inquiry Summit and a Scholarship of Transformation (Advances in Appreciative Inquiry, Vol. 4), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 291-309. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1475-9152(2013)0000004011Download as .RIS
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