APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY IN POLICY EVALUATION: A RESEARCH PROPOSAL
Antwerp Maritime Academy (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:Appreciative Inquiry (AI) - as a positive approach to organizational development - has been proposed, applied and tested in various contexts and circumstances.
In order to be well-conducted, the process of AI is supposed to contain a number of characterizing phases each posing positively phrased questions, leading the respondents toward equally qualitative work processes in the future.
Some circumstances can be beneficial to the right initiation and progress of the process, others may act as contradictory forces to it. Effects from the process are expected to arise at organizational as well as individual level, among evaluators and organizational actors.
Existing research does not particularly look into learning effects, it rather offers some ideas about the execution of the process entailing the correct sequence of phases. This paper argues that research looking for conditions and effects could bring a number of interesting insights. On the one hand it would illuminate what to foresee in order to set up the process correctly. Also it would be interesting to show how the well-organized process would render particular effects for individuals and teams in the organization. Only this way learning effects can bring improvements to the organization.
The context in which variables are presented here is one of policy evaluation in higher education institutions. It is brought forward as an example; what is being offered in this paper would also be applicable to organizational change processes in general.
An introduction is made of a research methodology that is expected to gather information about the phases in a detailed manner: case study research using the Delphi technique. Through case study research an actual phenomenon (policy evaluation situation) is investigated, in depth and in a real setting. Delphi works with several qualitative research instruments (documents, interviews, surveys) and offers the opportunity to assemble a diversity in opinions from participating actors, with the ultimate purpose of inventory.
The idea of AI might be inspiring to conference attendees having all kinds of interests. It is a philosophy that, due to its simple but relatively unknown and undeveloped ideas, can bring positive energy to various kinds of development processes in organizational life.
Keywords: Appreciative inquiry, positive questioning, policy evaluation, Delphi method.