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In Organizational development (OD), appreciative inquiry (AI) is a human resource management approach to organizational renewal. The basic idea is to build organizations around what works, rather than trying to fix what doesn't. A purported benefit of the approach is its reliance on the acknowledgement of contribution at the individual level, which leads to trust and organizational alignment. Since the method discusses concrete successes and lends itself to cross-industrial social activities, it is supposed to be enjoyable and natural to many managers, who are thought to be naturally social people focused on the bottom line.
Appreciative Inquiry was developed by David Cooperrider of Case Western Reserve University. It is now a commonly accepted practice in the evaluation of organizational development strategy and implementation organizational effectiveness tactics.
The Appreciative Inquiry utilizes a 4-stage process focusing on: (1) DISCOVER: The identification of organizational processes that work well. (2) DREAM: The envisioning of processes that would work well in the future. (3) DESIGN: Planning and prioritizing processes that would work well. (4) DELIVER (or CREATE): The implementation (execution) of the proposed design. (Sources: (1) Theodore Kinni, "The Art of Appreciative Inquiry", The Harvard Business School Working Knowledge for Business Leaders Newsletter, September 22, 2003. (2) "Appreciative Inquiry" http://www.new-paradigm.co.uk/Appreciative.htm.
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