Transformative Learning & Appreciative Inquiry V2.1
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Best Paper, Presented at Academy of Management, August 6, 2007

Best Paper, Presented at Academy of Management, August 6, 2007

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Transformative Learning & Appreciative Inquiry V2.1 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING & APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY: A More Perfect Union for Deep Organizational Change Loretta L. Donovan, Teachers College, Columbia University Susan R. Meyer, Teachers College, Columbia University Stephen P. Fitzgerald, Touro University International Academy of Management, Organizational Development & Change Division Philadelphia, August 6, 2007
  • 2. Changed Perspectives
    • Attempts at altering organizational strategy, operations and culture imply that shifts in performance will occur due to changed or enlightened perspectives.
        • Davis & Ziegler, 2000; Kasl & Elias, 2000; Shaw & Taylor, 2000; Yorks & Marsick, 2000
  • 3. Theoretical Synergy
    • To make the leap from insights and behavior change at individual level to comparable results at the group level calls for incorporation of theories that uphold similar principles of the nature of the person, of learning, of the organization, and of change.
  • 4. Perspective Shifts Involve Learning
    • Perspective transformation is:
    • “ . . . the process of becoming critically aware of how and why our assumptions have come to constrain the way we perceive, understand and feel about our world”
    • (Mezirow, 1999)
  • 5. Constructivism & Constructionism
    • Transformative Learning fosters
        • Constructivism
    • Appreciative Inquiry encourages
        • Constructionism
  • 6.
    • Theory related to individual learning in the midst of change can provide a conceptual platform to propose a similar process at the group level.
    Building a New Bridging Construct
  • 7. Meaning Making: Descriptive & Applied
    • Transformative Learning offers
      • Descriptive Theory
    • Appreciative Inquiry provides
      • Applied Construct and Generative Worldview
  • 8. Change Is Perspective Transformation in Action
    • Mezirow:
      • Individual shifts personal meaning perspectives and measures transformation through altered behavior
    • Cooperrider:
      • Group engaged to find new shared meaning in lived experience to shift meaning perspectives and alter socio-technical systems
  • 9.
    • To result in new behaviors at the organizational level, change must be embedded in the cognition, memory, and perspective of individuals and the whole.
    Change Derived from Collective Learning
  • 10. Tapping the Self-Reflective Process
      • Collective ideation was found critical to transformational outcomes across 20 AI cases (Bushe & Kassam, 2005).
      • Mezirow (2000) calls for a strategy to actualize transformative learning,
      • AI and TL can inform and support one another.
  • 11. Reflection Upon Experience
    • TL - Individual
      • Experiences impromptu disorienting dilemma
      • Engages in self-examination ad hoc
    • AI - Collective
      • Scaffold of generative questions raise confidence
      • Stories reveal group’s core strengths
    • Appreciative Transformative Learning
      • Scaffold of generative questions encourages individuals and groups to:
      • Inquire together about meaningful experiences
      • Inspire disorienting dilemmas
      • Reflect on the assumptions of previously hidden stories
      • Elevate individual and collective strengths and capacities
  • 12.
    • TL – Individual
      • Critically assess role assumptions
      • Recognize that one’s problem is shared
    • AI - Collective
      • Envision what might be/what the world is calling for
      • Agree on and write possibility statements
    • Appreciative Transformative Learning
      • As previous role assumptions and performance requirements are challenged, individuals and groups:
      • Recognize that they share tremendous strengths and capacities
      • Co-create positive images of an exceptional future
      • Dialogue, reflect and reframe expectations collaboratively
    Reflection Upon Expectations
  • 13.
    • TL - Individual
      • Explores options for new ways of acting
    • AI - Collective
      • Defines the social system to involve all stakeholder groups in planning
      • Aligns values, structures, and processes with vision of the ideal
    • Appreciative Transformative Learning
      • As a new mindset emerges, individuals and groups:
      • Explore options for embedding the mindset in socio-technical systems
      • Reflect to the intention that opportunities for change imply
    Reflection Upon Opportunities
  • 14.
    • TL - Individual
      • Build competence and self-confidence in new roles
    • AI - Collective
      • Co-construct a sustainable preferred future embracing innovation at many levels
    • Appreciative Transformative Learning
      • As individuals and groups experiment and live with new roles, relationships and performance requirements, they:
      • Continuously invest in systematic competence and confidence
      • Participate in emerging opportunities for inquiry
      • Reflection about how they learn in and from actions
      • Embed learning to develop individuals and reinforce the system
    Reflection Upon Action
  • 15. Conclusion
      • AI may generate transformative change more consistently by ensuring opportunities for reflection in action.
      • Appreciative Transformative Learning incorporates those practices and fosters both individual and organizational transformation