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Abstract

It’s been nearly 30 years since the original articulation of Appreciative Inquiry in Organizational Life was written in collaboration with my remarkable mentor Suresh Srivastva (Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987). That article generated more experimentation in the field, more academic excitement, and more innovation than anything we had ever written. As the passage of time has enabled me to look more closely at what was written, I feel both a deep satisfaction with the seed vision and scholarly logic offered for Appreciative Inquiry (AI), as well as well as the enormous impact and reverberation. Following the tradition of authors such as Carl Rogers who have re-issued their favorite works but have also added brief reflections on key points of emphasis, clarification, or editorial commentary we have decided to issue a reprint the early article by David L. Cooperrider and the late Suresh Srivastva in its entirety, but also with contemporary comments embedded. To be sure the comments offered are brief and serve principally to add points of emphasis to ideas we may have too hurriedly introduced. My comments – placed in indented format along the way – are focused on the content and themes of furthermost relevance to this volume on organizational generativity. In many ways I’ve begun to question today whether there can even be inquiry where there is no appreciation, valuing, or amazement – what the Greeks called thaumazein – the borderline between wonderment and admiration. One learning is that AI’s generativity is not about its methods or tools, but about our cooperative capacity to reunite seeming opposites such as theory as practice, the secular as sacred, and generativity as something beyond positivity or negativity. Appreciation is about valuing the life-giving in ways that serve to inspire our co-constructed future. Inquiry is the experience of mystery, moving beyond the edge of the known to the unknown, which then changes our lives. Taken together, where appreciation and inquiry are wonderfully entangled, we experience knowledge alive and an ever-expansive inauguration of our world to new possibilities.

This article presents a conceptual refiguration of action-research based on a “sociorationalist” view of science. The position that is developed can be summarized as follows: For action-research to reach its potential as a vehicle for social innovation it needs to begin advancing theoretical knowledge of consequence; that good theory may be one of the best means human beings have for affecting change in a postindustrial world; that the discipline's steadfast commitment to a problem solving view of the world acts as a primary constraint on its imagination and contribution to knowledge; that appreciative inquiry represents a viable complement to conventional forms of action-research; and finally, that through our assumptions and choice of method we largely create the world we later discover.

Details

Organizational Generativity: The Appreciative Inquiry Summit and a Scholarship of Transformation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-330-8

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Book part

David Cooperrider, David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva

It’s been thirty years since the original articulation of “Appreciative Inquiry in Organizational Life” was written in collaboration with my remarkable mentor Suresh

Abstract

It’s been thirty years since the original articulation of “Appreciative Inquiry in Organizational Life” was written in collaboration with my remarkable mentor Suresh Srivastva (Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987). That article – first published in Research in Organization Development and Change – generated more experimentation in the field, more academic excitement, and more innovation than anything we had ever written. As the passage of time has enabled me to look more closely at what was written, I feel both a deep satisfaction with the seed vision and scholarly logic offered for Appreciative Inquiry, as well as well as the enormous impact and continuing reverberation. Following the tradition of authors such as Carl Rogers who have re-issued their favorite works but have also added brief reflections on key points of emphasis, clarification, or editorial commentary I am presenting the article by David Cooperrider (myself) and the late Suresh Srivastva in its entirety, but also with new horizon insights. In particular I write with excitement and anticipation of a new OD – what my colleagues and I are calling the next “IPOD” that is, innovation-inspired positive OD that brings AI’s gift of new eyes together in common cause with several other movements in the human sciences: the strengths revolution in management; the positive pscyhology and positive organizational scholarship movements; the design thinking explosion; and the biomimicry field which is all about an appreciative eye toward billions of years of nature’s wisdom and innovation inspired by life.

This article presents a conceptual refigurationy of action-research based on a “sociorationalist” view of science. The position that is developed can be summarized as follows: For action-research to reach its potential as a vehicle for social innovation it needs to begin advancing theoretical knowledge of consequence; that good theory may be one of the best means human beings have for affecting change in a postindustrial world; that the discipline’s steadfast commitment to a problem solving view of the world acts as a primary constraint on its imagination and contribution to knowledge; that appreciative inquiry represents a viable complement to conventional forms of action-research; and finally, that through our assumptions and choice of method we largely create the world we later discover.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-436-1

Keywords

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Book part

Danielle P. Zandee

Appreciative inquiry is an approach to action research that intends to create knowledge for social innovation. Such knowledge has the generative capacity to interrupt…

Abstract

Appreciative inquiry is an approach to action research that intends to create knowledge for social innovation. Such knowledge has the generative capacity to interrupt habitual practice and to create an inspiring sense of possibility that energizes novel action. How can appreciative inquiry live up to this promise? The premise of this chapter is that we need to better understand the generative qualities of inquiry in the appreciative/inquiry equation. What is the nature of inquiry that has generativity at its core? The chapter describes five distinct, yet interrelated approaches that enhance the generative process of inquiry. They depict generativity as a dynamic interplay of open-endedness and connectedness. How can the five dimensions of generativity advance appreciative inquiry as a scholarship of transformation? The last section of the chapter gives some suggestions for such possible enrichment. We need audacious forms of scholarship for the creation of a more just and sustainable global society. Appreciative inquiry as a generative process is well positioned to take on that role.

Details

Organizational Generativity: The Appreciative Inquiry Summit and a Scholarship of Transformation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-330-8

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Book part

Therese F. Yaeger, Peter F. Sorensen and Ulf Bengtsson

Appreciative Inquiry has clearly made a significant impact on the field of organization development and change. This article presents an assessment of 50 studies based on…

Abstract

Appreciative Inquiry has clearly made a significant impact on the field of organization development and change. This article presents an assessment of 50 studies based on a review of more than 400 publications and papers. The article covers four sections: first, an overview of the growing significance of AI since the initial Cooperrider and Srivastva article in 1987, with a brief summary of the history, definition, awards, and chronological presentation of the growing body of AI literature. The second section presents a description of the data search process and descriptions of data categories. The third section describes the nature and extent of AI activities and results based on the review of the 50 studies. The final section includes a summary and discussion of the current state of Appreciative Inquiry.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-167-5

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Book part

David L Cooperrider and Michel Avital

Appreciative Inquiry is a constructive inquiry process that searches for everything that “gives life” to organizations, communities, and larger human systems when they are…

Abstract

Appreciative Inquiry is a constructive inquiry process that searches for everything that “gives life” to organizations, communities, and larger human systems when they are most alive, effective, creative and healthy in their interconnected ecology of relationships. To appreciate, quite simply, means to value and to recognize that which has value – it is a way of knowing and valuing the best in life. In the language of Positive Organizational Scholarship it means a research focus – a positive bias – seeking fresh understanding of dynamics described by words like excellence, thriving, abundance, resilience, or exceptional and life-giving (Cameron, Dutton & Quinn, 2003). In this context the word appreciate means to value those things of value – it is a mode of knowing often connected to the idea of esthetic appreciation in the arts. To appreciate also means to be grateful or thankful for – it is a way of being and maintaining a positive stance along the path of life’s journey. And not incidentally, to appreciate is to increase in value too. Combining the three – appreciation as a way of knowing, as a way of being and as an increase in value- suggests that Appreciative Inquiry is simultaneously a life-centric form of study and a constructive mode of practice. As a form of study, Appreciative Inquiry focuses on searching systematically for those capacities and processes that give life and strength and possibility to a living system; and as a constructive mode of practice, it aims at designing and crafting human organizations through a process in which valuing and creating are viewed as one, and where inquiry and change are powerfully related and understood as a seamless and integral whole. But the key to really understanding Appreciative Inquiry is to put the emphasis on the second word in the inseparable pair. While many are intrigued with the Appreciative Inquiry positive bias – toward the good, the better, the exceptional, and the possible – it is the power of inquiry we must learn more about and underscore. Inquiry is all about openness, curiosity, creative questioning; its spirit involves what Whitehead once called “the adventure of ideas.”

Details

Constructive Discourse and Human Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-892-7

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Abstract

Details

Positive Design and Appreciative Construction: From Sustainable Development to Sustainable Value
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-370-6

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Abstract

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-436-1

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Article

Dana M. Griggs and Mindy Crain-Dorough

The purposes of this paper are to provide a description of AI and to document and compare two applications of AI, one in program evaluation and another in an applied…

Abstract

Purpose

The purposes of this paper are to provide a description of AI and to document and compare two applications of AI, one in program evaluation and another in an applied research study.

Design/methodology/approach

Focus groups, interviews and observations were used to gather rich qualitative data which was used to detail Appreciative Inquiry's value in evaluation and research.

Findings

AI aided the researcher in connecting with the participants and valuing what they shared. In both studies, the use of AI amassed information that answered the research questions, provided a rich description of the context and findings, and led to data saturation. The authors describe and compare experiences with two applications of AI: program evaluation and a research study. This paper contributes further understanding of the use of AI in public education institutions. The researchers also explore the efficacy of using AI in qualitative research and recommend its use for multiple purposes.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations occurred in the AI-Design Stage by using a positive viewpoint and because both program and partnership studied were new with limited data to use for designing a better future. So, the authors recommend a revisit of both studies through the same 4D Model.

Practical implications

This manuscript shows that AI is useful for evaluation and research. It amplifies the participants' voices through favorite stories and successes. AI has many undiscovered uses.

Social implications

Through the use of AI the authors can: improve theoretical perspectives; conduct research that yields more authentic data; enable participants to deeply reflect on their practice and feel empowered; and ultimately impact and improve the world.

Originality/value

AI is presented as an evaluation tool for a high-school program and as a research approach identifying strengths and perceptions of an educational partnership. In both studies, AI crumbled the walls that are often erected by interviewees when expecting to justify or defend decisions and actions. This paper contributes further understanding of the use of AI in public education institutions.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Article

Sooksan Kantabutra

Although leaders are widely believed to employ visions, little is known about what constitutes an “effective” vision, particularly in the higher education sector. This…

Abstract

Purpose

Although leaders are widely believed to employ visions, little is known about what constitutes an “effective” vision, particularly in the higher education sector. This paper seeks to proposes a research model for examining relationships between vision components and performance of higher education institutions, as measured by financial stability, student satisfaction and growth, process improvement, and learning and faculty satisfaction. The model proposes that vision attributes of brevity, clarity, abstractness, challenge, future orientation, stability, and desirability, and vision content relating to financial stability, student satisfaction and growth, process improvement, and learning and faculty satisfaction can affect performance through four vision realisation variables.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a critical review of existing theoretical concepts and empirical evidence, a new research model, as well as research hypotheses, are developed for future research.

Findings

With future empirical support, the model will help university and college administrators to effectively improve their institutional performance.

Originality/value

While vision is core to the prevailing vision‐based leadership theories, little is theoretically and empirically known about attributes for effective visions, particularly in the education sector. The paper proposes a model for future research to fill this gap.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-436-1

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