Appreciative inquiry is a model that seeks to engage stakeholders in self-determined change. It was developed by David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva, members of Case Western Reserve University’s Department of organizational behaviour, in 1987. They felt that the overuse of “problem-solving” impeded on any kind of social improvement. They developed this new method of inquiry to help generate new ideas and models for how to organize.
The appreciative inquiry model is based on the assumption that the questions a group asks tend to focus our attention in a particular direction, that organizations evolve in the direction of the questions they most ask most persistently.