Global Educational Research Journal

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Appreciative inquiry: a tool for transforming the University for Development Studies

Joseph Attiah Seniwoliba




Accepted 6th November, 2014


The supremacy of the traditional way of thinking and decision making continue to make society  to look for methods of  searching for problems and their possible causes faced by individuals, groups, organizations and find ways of overcoming them and build the capacity of the human resources and consequently, the development of individuals, organizations and communities. The University for Development Studies implores the Committee System of Management; which also scouts for problems as in the traditional approach. It is in the light of this that the study seeks to explore the positive approach of Appreciative Inquiry and make recommendations to the University Management for consideration. In the context of the current management challenges facing the University, this approach will serve as a “Positive Revolution Model” which will allow staff to participate effectively in the management of the University and hence; create transformational change in the development of the University which will in turn lead to high productivity. Appreciating one’s worth of ideas is a very powerful tool to unearth his/her talents. Appreciative inquiry has been envisaged as a powerful approach that University Administrators and Managers can adopt, as its foundation is built on the social constructionist viewpoint to support contemporary management of higher educational institutions. The paper outlines the philosophy of AI as it applies to organizational development and transformational change; illustrates AI practices connected with a five- stage model; highlighted the differences between AI and the traditional approach; and substantiated reasons why AI is more successful in managing change. The author suggests that any approach by itself is not an end in itself unless a person internalizes it positively or follows through by “valuing it and acting on it”.


Keywords: Appreciative inquiry, transformational change, higher education, dialogue