NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ922549
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0969-6474
Mobilizing Change in a Business School Using Appreciative Inquiry
Grandy, Gina; Holton, Judith
Learning Organization, v17 n2 p178-194 2010
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore how appreciative inquiry (AI) as a pedagogical tool can be generative in nature creating opportunities for development and change in a business school context. Design/methodology/approach: Using a qualitative approach this research involved data collection and analysis in three stages of AI with a group of undergraduate students enrolled in strategic management and organizational change courses. Initial data collection occurred over a three-hour period with a larger group of students, followed by two sessions with a smaller group of organizational change students. Findings: The experiential nature of the AI process was a success in promoting inquiry and dialogue, encouraging collaboration and team building, and empowering individuals toward a collection vision. Through an iterative process, four possibility statements were developed including: meaningful relationships with professors and peers; leadership opportunities; experiential learning; and creativity and flexibility in program design. These statements serve as a starting point for future planning to the business school under study. Practical implications: The process offered a number of insights for both faculty and students regarding the symbiotic relationships between learning and change as fundamental to moving a business school from a place of learning to a learning organization. The inquiry process of AI opens the system up to learning about itself as a prelude to change. By intentionally ignoring the traditional deficit approach to change, AI encourages the system to seek its point of light, its achievements, and in so doing, inhibits the dissipative nature of problem-centred methodologies. Originality/value: The use of AI in this context demonstrates the potential for AI as a pedagogical tool, as well as the usefulness of AI as a bridge to creating partnerships with multiple stakeholders in developing business schools into learning organizations. (Contains 2 figures.)
Emerald. One Mifflin Place Suite 400, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA 02138. Tel: 617-576-5782; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada