Sunday, March 8, 2009

Appreciative Inquiry RE: 1/26

In the article, Cooperrider and Srivastva (1987) are proposed as saying that they offer 4 steps to their appreciative inquiry: begin with appreciation, should be applicable, should be provocative and should be collaborative. Keeping these 4 steps in mind, the value of collective empowerment is evident and also the act to cause awareness and bring about change through appreciation and provocativeness. There is significant value which is placed on the individual, but the overall organizational collective and vision is what is focused on in order to bring about change.

Things that I do not like about his theory/method is the incorporation of internal researchers. By including an organization’s members you are leaving a wide open space for extended bias, either between the interviewer and interviewee. Further, interpretation can become skewed due to social aspects and organizational interpretation by the interviewer. Therefore, should I consider and include processes of this theory in my OD, I may not contend with using an internal researcher, unless it is data research and concrete factual research/knowledge that is required.

Another negative aspect of this theory is that of the lack of structure and social implosion that could take place. IF structure is not placed in the research and collection that is completed in the interviewing process, the interviews and information received may lead them to become astray and off topic and goal of the initial OD research. This could be considered positive as it may lead into further OD, and arising true primary OD issues, however the interviewer may need to have underlying agenda with which to complete the interview.

Being a counselor and socially based, I believe that perceptions, realities and feelings within employees is a significant factor that needs to be taken into place when any OD is completed, whether internal or external, but the negative and flawed areas of this inquiry should remain considered when completing this research. The goal of finding a collective understanding for the organization’s overhaul will be imperative along with all individual finding meaning in the overhaul and org. goal.

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