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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2017

Anthony H. Schmidt

This study was launched because practitioners of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) instilled awareness for needed AI outcome research. Therefore, the goal of this research was to…

Abstract

This study was launched because practitioners of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) instilled awareness for needed AI outcome research. Therefore, the goal of this research was to identify the salient AI processes and levers and the rate of AI success and failure. This study was specific to U.S. municipalities due to a researcher finding AI failure probability therein. In direct opposition, eight U.S. municipalities were identified from the literature as having utilized AI in 14 projects and all were successful even when resistance was present in three applications. A survey revealed 15 AI initiatives identified as successful even when resistance was present in eight, resulting in validation. This study utilized a mixed methods exploratory case study design, sequentially in the mix, consisting of a literature review and application of two unique instruments applied to three populations.

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International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Book part
Publication date: 6 May 2004

Peter F Sorensen and Therese F Yaeger

This chapter proposes a synergy and integration between OD’s long tradition of “survey guided development” and the rapidly emerging new directions offered by Appreciative

Abstract

This chapter proposes a synergy and integration between OD’s long tradition of “survey guided development” and the rapidly emerging new directions offered by Appreciative Inquiry. Both Appreciative Inquiry and the survey-guided development approaches have a common shared commitment to the Lewinian call to Action Research. The chapter traces the movement from Action Research to “survey guided development,” and then to the emergence of Appreciative inquiry. Several illustrations of Appreciative Inquiry combined with Survey Guided Organization Development are presented for U.S. and international applications. Findings illustrated in the chapter present the possibility of a third new and powerful perspective on the driving forces and dynamics of change. In addition, the international illustrations raise the question of and strengthen the argument for a common universal human experience.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 6 May 2004

Michel Avital and Jessica L Carlo

The underpinnings of knowledge management theories is that finding, keeping and leveraging an organization’s information assets are critical to productivity, efficiency of…

Abstract

The underpinnings of knowledge management theories is that finding, keeping and leveraging an organization’s information assets are critical to productivity, efficiency of operation and successful competition. Following a brief introduction of the knowledge management systems, this essay examines the corollary relationship between knowledge management and appreciative inquiry, and subsequently points to critical areas in which knowledge management practices can benefit from adopting the appreciative inquiry perspective. More particularly, we submit that appreciative inquiry can motivate organizational-wide adoption and it can provide language-based mechanisms that facilitate effective knowledge exchange. The development of an appreciative inquiry based mode of knowledge management as an alternative to the prevailing approaches opens new horizons and uncovers previously overlooked possibilities, which eventually can contribute to the overall organizational well-being.

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

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Book part
Publication date: 6 May 2004

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.”

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

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Book part
Publication date: 28 June 2017

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Leslie E. Sekerka, Anne M. Brumbaugh, José Antonio Rosa and David Cooperrider

Organizational development and change may be initiated from two different starting points. A diagnostic approach begins with an examination of problems to assess and…

Abstract

Organizational development and change may be initiated from two different starting points. A diagnostic approach begins with an examination of problems to assess and correct dysfunction. In contrast, the Appreciative Inquiry approach begins by identifying an organization’s strengths as resources for change. An experimental study was conducted to compare the processes and outcomes that arise during the first phase of each approach. Results show that both approaches lead to different but favorable and complementary outcomes. Both participant gender and the gender construction of the dyads in which individuals participated moderate these effects in unexpected ways. The implications for understanding the processes by which both methods work, and the potential for combining them, are discussed

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Book part
Publication date: 5 December 2013

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.

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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
Publication date: 6 May 2004

Michael J Mantel and James D Ludema

This chapter explores the power of appreciative inquiry in moving beyond a one-time intervention technique to sustaining positive change by creating on-going…

Abstract

This chapter explores the power of appreciative inquiry in moving beyond a one-time intervention technique to sustaining positive change by creating on-going “conversational convergence” around continuously evolving futures and directions for an organization. A conversational map was created from nine years of change data revealing the centrality of language in creating and sustaining change. Awareness of the corporate conversational streams and the intentional influencing of these streams helped sustain the positive change process over this extended period. This influence was applied at the individual level by developing a commitment for appreciative leadership principles and at the corporate level by incorporating appreciative design elements into the organization’s social architecture.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 6 May 2004

Ellen Schall, Sonia Ospina, Bethany Godsoe and Jennifer Dodge

This chapter explores the potential of appreciative inquiry for doing empirical work on leadership. We use a framework that matches a constructionist theoretical lens, an…

Abstract

This chapter explores the potential of appreciative inquiry for doing empirical work on leadership. We use a framework that matches a constructionist theoretical lens, an appreciative and participative stance, a focus on the work of leadership (as opposed to leaders), and multiple methods of inquiry (narrative, ethnographic and cooperative). We elaborate on our experiences with narrative inquiry, while highlighting the value of doing narrative inquiry in an appreciative manner. Finally, we suggest that this particular framework is helping us see how social change leadership work reframes the value that the larger society attributes to members of vulnerable communities.

Details

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

To view the access options for this content please click here

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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