Comparing Appreciative Inquiry to a Diagnostic Technique in Organizational Change: The Moderating Effects of Gender
Sekerka, Leslie E.
Brumbaugh, Anne M.
Rosa, José Antonio
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Organizational development and change may be initiated from two different starting points. A diagnostic approach begins with an examination of problems to assess and correct dysfunction. In contrast, the Appreciative Inquiry approach begins by identifying an organization’s strengths as resources for change. An experimental study was conducted to compare the processes and outcomes that arise during the first phase of each approach. Results show that both approaches lead to different but favorable and complementary outcomes. Both participant gender and the gender construction of the dyads in which individuals participated moderate these effects in unexpected ways. The implications for understanding the processes by which both methods work, and the potential for combining them, are discussed.
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