The Appreciative Inquiry As A Methodology


Appreciative inquiry reflects a paradigm shift in organizational consulting and is an organizational developmental approach. It enables organizations to change by looking at the positive attributes of an organization. It develops methodology, process and value systems within the organization. ??These developments shall be discussed further, as well as what appreciative inquiry is and how it benefits the organization.

Appreciative inquiry is an application of organizational developmental consulting and aids the organization to change through looking at the positive attributes of the organization and encouraging it. The main concept behind appreciative inquiry is positive imagery. Positive imagery according to Lowman (2002) necessitates that an understanding of the positive aspects of an organization is necessary in order to alter and change an organization so that a positive future can be envisioned. Positive imagery is created and is worked toward and implies that organizations need reaffirming not just fixing. The idea of appreciative inquiry first began in 1980 ^^^how, who, why, where…which led to a major change in the way organizations go about change; this method looked at the positive aspects of the organization as a tool to initiating change in the organization. There are five principles identified in the appreciative inquiry application. Whose theory is it? What do they say about it? You need to go to the original theory and look at the original publications on AI

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References?? → The first principle is the constructionist principle and this principle implies that reality is socially constructed. This to me what does it mean to the author of the theory?means that the organization consists of social structures which link together to form a whole in which each worker is apart of. Without these social structures the organization would not be as productive, as the social structures build personal relationships which determine the level of productivity amongst the workers. The second principle is the principle of simultaneity which suggests that inquiry and change occur simultaneously and that the process of inquiry changes the nature of what is being studied. This second principle suggests that through the inquiry of the structure of the organization a change occurs, as what is being analyzed is instantly changed. The third principle is the poetic principle which implies that it is contending that human organizations can be viewed as an open book. This to me implies that organizations can be viewed without obstruction or any problems, if it takes into consideration the humans that make the organization successful. The fourth principle is the anticipatory principle which implies that the organizations collective image of the future guides its behavior. This to me means that the image of the organization that each worker holds implies how the organization should be run for future use and the behavior of each worker should therefore be dictated by this. The fifth principle is the positive principle and this implies that the more positive the question the longer-lasting and more successful the change effort will be. This to me implies that the questions used to analyze the organization would be ensured a more longer-lasting and more successful change effort. This principle is important as it upholds the main concept of appreciative inquiry as it looks at the positive attributes of the organization and upholds the tools that makes the organization successful and maintains it in order to ensure successful change acknowledge quotation and credit the source throughout.(Lowman, 2002). Appreciative inquiry consists of four stages which aid the organization to make a successful change.

Appreciative inquiry consists of four stages which provide the process of how to apply this principle to the organization. Source? The first stage is discovery which implies that the organization is identified individually and collectively and through this a positive change core is established. This stage is important as it identifies each structure in the organization and establishes where the positive change core is in order to maintain it and ensure that it is the main focal point during the transformation. The second stage is dream which implies that the organizations greatest potential for positive influence is envisioned and that this impacts on the world around. Through this stage the positive aspects of the organization are used to envision a greater potential for the organization in order for the organization as a whole as well as the outside world to benefit from the necessary changes that will occur and this will ensure the success of the organization. The third stage is design and this stage implies that the organization is created around a positive change core in which strategies, process systems, decisions and collaborations of the organization are reflected. This stage is important as it establishes the main focal point of the organization being the positive change core and maintaining this aspect of the organization in order to provide strategies, process systems, decisions and collaborations which would ensure a more positive and successful change for the organization. The fourth stage is destiny which is the stage of the creation of action. This final stage is important as it applies all stages to the organization and sets in motion a plan of action in order for change to occur within the organization (Lowman, 2002). Through these four stages the main concept of positive imagery is upheld as each stage upholds the positive aspects of the organization and uses it as a foundational surface to bring about success and positive productivity. This appreciative inquiry process focuses on the strengths of the organization as being the main method of how the organization should go about its change. This process is the main distinguishing feature of appreciative inquiry and is what makes this model different from other models (Lowman, 2002). The process of appreciative inquiry also ensures how the methodology of appreciative inquiry comes about.

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The methodology of appreciative inquiry is important to the method of how to apply this model to the organization. The principles and process of how appreciative inquiry applies to the organization have been discussed and this applies to the methodology. The methodology involved in applying appreciative inquiry to the organization involve using the five principles and the four stages in order to establish a plan of action to use in the organization to establish a positive change. These methods will ensure that there is a positive foundation to establish a plan of action which will enable the organization to grow and change in accordance to the positive aspects of that organization. The positive aspects therefore set a boundary for the organization in order to establish what negative aspects need to change and to thereby build up on the positive aspects and increase productivity (Nicholson and? There is more than one author , 1981). outdated The appreciative inquiry model is applied with other models to the organization in order to provide a more detailed analysis of the organization and ensure that every aspect of the organization goes under change in order to ensure maximum productivity and increase the efficiency of the organization. This approach is known as the AI summit and with the aid of other models it ensures that the organization benefits from the overall plan of action which would result from all models being used and thereby increase the outcome of change (Lowman, 2002). This is important as the model of appreciative inquiry only covers the positive aspects of the organization thereby making it a focal point but through the use of other models it increases the chances of the organization making an overall change for the better. Appreciative inquiry can also be used in certain areas of the organization such as a method for team building. This can increase the overall work satisfaction of each individual worker and ensure that there is an increased level of productivity within each team and amongst each worker. AI interventions are used frequently to aid the organization in improving the strengths of any field in the organization which needs change to improve the effectiveness or overall productivity of that field (Lowman, 2002).

Researchers have reviewed AI interventions and have come up with five major themes which contribute to the success of this model. They are the power of the positive question, the positive emphasis on of the AI interview, the focus on the future, positive outcomes and the replacement of a focus on the negative with the identification and appreciation of the positive (Lowman, 2002). Each one of these aspects contributes towards the positive outcome of the organization and aid the organization to change effectively. Each of these points focuses on the positive aspects of the organization thereby reinforcing once again the main principle of appreciative inquiry which is positive imagery. These points increase the power of appreciative inquiry and ensure that this model is effective in order to produce change. The focus on the power of the positive question is important to appreciative inquiry as it provides a starting point in which to identify which aspects of the organization should be maintained and upheld. The focus on the positive emphasis of the AI interview is vital as it sets a foundation for enquiry and diagnosis and provides a basis of analysis to discover which aspects or fields of the organization are to be maintained and which are to be changed. The focus on the future is important as it sets a pathway in which the organization can develop and progress towards. This is important as an organization needs to set goals in which to strive towards and ensure that the methods which are used to achieve those goals are in the best interest of the organization and its components. The next point mentioned is that of the focus on the positive outcomes and the replacement of a focus on the negative with the identification and appreciation of the positive. This point is important as it reinforces the main principle of positive imagery and establishes that in order to achieve change and positive results the organization must focus on its strengths and not its weaknesses and maintain and uphold them. Each of these points ensures the effectiveness of the appreciative inquiry model and ensures that a positive change will occur in the organization (Lowman, 2002).

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The value system of appreciative inquiry has been recognized by many researchers in the field of organizational psychology. There have been many debates about the effectiveness and inappropriateness of this model however; this model has been proven to be universally applicable (Lowman, 2002). There have been many case studies which have proven that appreciative inquiry is applicable to many organizations in many countries and this thereby increases the models validity and reliability. The model establishes a positive basis to evaluate and diagnosis the relevant organization and provides a plan of action to support change in the organization and this is what makes this model effective. The value of appreciative inquiry is therefore very high and can be applied to most organizations in any setting or environment. This model is important as it enables the organization to evaluate the positive aspects of each field within the organization and provide feedback in which to construct a plan of action in which the organization can go about making a change. This model can therefore be applied to many organizations as it has no definite restriction to the requirements of the organization, just that the organization needs positive aspects in which to base its diagnosis which many organizations have regardless of whether they are small or large in size. Appreciative inquiry has many aspects within it which can be applied to different fields in the organization in order to bring about a positive change. This has been mentioned above by illustrating that AI interventions can be used to improve team building within the organization. This can also be applied to the organization on the whole as to bring about major change in order to increase the productivity and ensure the effectiveness of the organization. The principles and stages within the appreciative inquiry model can be used separately or as a whole to ensure positive change within the organization. The environment which surrounds the organization is an important factor of the amount of productivity an organization achieves as it determines what change the organization needs to go through in order to fulfill its goals.

The environment surrounding the organization is important to the appreciative inquiry model as it takes into account the positive attributes the organization fulfills in order to meet the demands of the environment. Without these requirements given as feedback and inputs to the organization diagnosis of the organization could not be possible. The environment as well as the input of the workers within the organization is the main focal points of the AI interview as it establishes where change should occur within the organization and which aspects of the organization need to be changed and how to go about it. Through these inputs and outputs the organization changes to meet the demands of its constituents and the environment. Without these factors the organization would not exist or would not be able to progress effectively. Thereby through the value system each model is analysized on the bass of its merits and its applicability to the organization and its environment. Without this value system the organization could not progress and meet its goals or demands. Appreciative inquiry is analysized in this manner as to display the applicability it has to the organization in order to meet the demands of the environment as well as the individual workers which make up the organization. It is judged by the effectiveness of the methods it applies and the outcomes of the results each principle and stage ensures. Through evaluation of this model it can be applied to other organizations in order to ensure an increase in productivity and ensure a better level of satisfaction for the workers in that organization and for the environment surrounding the organization. Thereby the value system is important to the model of appreciative inquiry in that it provides the model with an increased validity and reliability which would ensure that this model can be applied universally to many other organizations and increase the organizations level of productivity and success. Source??

In conclusion appreciative inquiry involves the main concept of positive imagery and this concept ensures that the organizations' positive aspects are seen as a focal point and used to construct a plan of action which ensures productivity and positive change. The process, methodology and value systems are all apart of this model and aid it to be different to others through establishing positive focal points to build on and increase productivity.