Appreciative Inquiry: Organizational Development and the Strengths Revolution

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a theory and practice of inquiry-and-change that shifts the perspective of organization development (OD) methods by suggesting that the very act of asking generative questions has profound impact in organizational systems. This chapter begins by defining AI, followed by a brief history of AI, and an overview of both the classic and emergent principles of AI. The AI 5-D model is then reviewed, and AI is situated within the emerging field of positive organization development (POD). The chapter concludes with discussion of how AI is providing the grounding philosophy for the emerging three circles of the strengths revolution: elevation of strengths, configuration and magnification of individual’s strengths, and refraction of strengths. AI has evolved to become part of the OD discipline as a philosophy and process that engages individuals across the organizational whole system in processes that create renewal and positive transformational change.

Written by David Cooperrider, Lindsey Godwin and Jackie Stavros

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