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Reculturing Schools for Greater Impact: Using Appreciative Inquiry as a Non-Coercive Change Process

Author(s): Mark S. Dickerson | Roxanne Helm-Stevens

Journal: International Journal of Business and Management
ISSN 1833-3850

Volume: 6;
Issue: 8;
Date: 2011;
Original page

The benefits of a collaborative school culture include reduced teacher isolation, social and emotional support,opportunities for professional development and learning, and closer ties with significant stakeholders, such asfamilies and community organizations. While collaborative cultures may be powerful, they also may be eithermisguided or superficial. Further, cultural change is difficult and norms such as teacher isolation and autonomyare well entrenched.These concerns point to the need for a change process that has a positive focus, is essentially self-organizing,encourages deep reflection, and avoids the pitfalls of manipulation by school administrators. This analysis pointsto consideration of appreciative inquiry, a strengths-based process that builds on ‘the best of what is’ in anorganization. This paper presents research on the impact an appreciative inquiry process had on building acollaborative culture in 22 schools located in British Columbia, Canada.
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