Author: David Cooperrider , Suresh Srivastva
Editor: D Cooperrider , P F Sorensen , D Whitney
Appreciative Inquiry: Rethinking Human Organization Toward a Positive Theory of Change
This chapter presents a conceptual refiguration of action-research based on a “sociorationalist” view of science. The position that is developed can be summarized as follows: For action-research to reach its potential as a vehicle for social innovation it needs to begin advancing theoretical knowledge of consequence; that good theory may be one of the best means human beings have for affecting change in a postindustrial world; that the discipline’s steadfast commitment to a problem solving view of the world acts as a primary constraint on its imagination and contribution to knowledge; that appreciative inquiry represents a viable complement to conventional forms of action-research; and finally, that through our assumptions and choice of method we largely create the world we later discover.
We are sometime truly to see our life as positive, not negative, as made up of continuous willing, not of constraints and prohibition.
–Mary Parker Follett.
We are steadily forgetting how to dream; in historical terms, the mathematicist and technicist dimensions of Platonism have conquered the poetical, mythical, and rhetorical context of analysis. We are forgetting how to be reasonable in nonmathematical dialects.