W03 - The ‘do-ability’ of an appreciative inquiry PhD Tamsin MacBride - United Kingdom
We are a group of researchers who have undertaken/are undertaking a PhD using Appreciative Inquiry (AI), valuing its strength based, possibility and generativity focus. As part of an ongoing inquiry group we have been exploring the tensions between the methodology of AI and the traditional PhD approach.
Action research, once at odds with the traditional PhD route has become a legitimate methodology across disciplines. Literature also discusses tensions surrounding participatory action research (PAR) and the traditional PhD route. As a group of researchers at various stages of our research careers we concur with the view of Moore (2004) that choosing this mode of research can potentially lead one into a ‘paradigmatic battle’. We will explore in our workshop how this ‘battle’ or encounter with differing views within academic cultures, can present opportunities for robust dialogue and high quality research outputs. With Appreciative Inquiry increasing in popularity as a research methodology it seems timely to explore and develop guidance around supporting PhD researchers in adopting this approach.
During this workshop, we will share with participants our own journeys of being Appreciative Inquirers during our PhD studies. We will then invite participants to explore with us possibilities in terms of how to support PhD students and their supervisors using Appreciative Inquiry. Using a range of creative methods we will facilitate dialogue around the following themes:
• Appreciative Inquiry- Structure and (exploring) Self – How might we understand spaces for inquiry into self, and the role of emergence within the traditional PhD structure?
• Appreciative Inquiry and writing with a critical voice- what can this look like in the context of an appreciative literature review
• Appreciative Inquiry and Demonstrating Quality- how might we support PhD students in creating convincing arguments for the rigor and quality of AI and what does Bushe and Kassam’s (2005) transformational change criteria have to contribute to this?
• Appreciative inquiry and New Knowledge- How might we best understand the requirement for new knowledge when using a methodology that forefronts ‘inquiry as intervention’ and asks ‘what might yet become?’ ahead of describing ‘what is’
As an output of this workshop we hope to co-create guidance that may potentially support future PhD students using Appreciative Inquiry as their methodology and their supervisors.