J. Kevin Barge
Dept. of Speech Communication
110 Terrell Hall
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
Phone: 706-542-3269

Christine Oliver
Kensington Consultation Centre, London
2 Wyvil Court
Trenchold Street
London, U.K.
Phone: 44-171-720-7301
email: oliver@madeleybarnes.u-net.c

Academy of Management Journal, 28 (1) 124-142



Using a poststructuralist view of managerial practice, we elaborate the notion of what it means to work appreciatively by focusing on the contested, emergent meaning of appreciation. We begin by articulating a set of concerns regarding the traditional treatment of appreciation within managerial practice and suggest that working with appreciation requires cultivating an appreciative spirit. An appreciative spirit is enhanced when managers develop three types of abilities: (1) an appreciation for the life enhancing, (2) an appreciation of the connection between spirit and technique, and (3) an appreciation for reflexivity. Implications for future theory development into appreciative management from a poststructuralist perspective are highlighted.

Key words: appreciation, reflexivity, poststructuralism, spirit

The postmodern turn in management theory shifts our conception of organizations toward a more dynamic relational conception where organization "is produced in contextually embedded social discourse and used to interpret the social world" (Boje, Gephart, & Thatchenkery, 1996, p. 2). The move toward viewing organizations as relational and socially constructed phenomena alters our perspective of conversation as primarily being about transmitting information among organizational members to a view of conversation as a powerful force that shapes the texture of organizational life. Conversation shapes the form of rationality, the type of power relationships, the identities of individuals and collectivities, and the types of emotions that are experienced by organizational members. As Ford (1999) puts it, "we can define the state of an organization at any point by its network of conversations and the actions, behaviors, and practices associated with those…conversations" (p. 5).

It is not surprising then that the significance of conversational activity within organizational life has resulted in additional attention being directed toward the importance of managing conversations in productive ways, particularly in the service of fostering organizational learning and change. Two approaches have emerged toward articulating the facets of high-quality conversation that foster development and innovation. The dialogue approach has centered on creating conversational patterns that facilitate detailed collective inquiry into the underlying assumptions, values, beliefs, and contexts that compose organizational activity in order to create new patterns of actions (Isaacs, 1999; Senge, 1990; Senge, Kleiner, Roberts, Ross, & Smith, 1994; Senge, Kleiner, Roberts, Ross, Roth, & Smith, 1999). Alternatively, the Appreciative Inquiry movement contends that the foundation for affirmative change is fostering conversation which inquires into the life-generating experiences, core values, and moments of excellence in organizational life (Cooperrider, Sorensen, Whitney, & Yaeger, 2000; Cooperrider & Whitney, 1999; Srivastva & Cooperrider, 1999). Both approaches attempt to instill a new type of conversation within organizational life, a form of conversation that moves away from adversarial discussion-oriented forms of discourse with a focus on problems to a more collaborative dialogic mode of inquiry that affirms the life-giving within organizations.

Dialogue and Appreciative Inquiry share a reflexive tendency toward the exploration of feeling and cognition that emerge through conversational exchanges. It is through the process of collective inquiry, exploring together, that new patterns of feeling, thought, and action can be created. They differ; however, in the form such inquiry should take. Dialogue facilitates an exploration into the problems and challenges confronting organizational members as well as their hopes, visions, and dreams for what the organization might become. Appreciative Inquiry, on the other hand, emphasizes that inquiry should only be directed at what works well within organizational life, and views organizational talk that emphasizes problem solving with its attendant activities of problem identification, analysis of causes, analysis of possible solutions, and action planning as unconstructive. As Cooperrider (1999) observes, "The executive vocation in a postbureacratic society is to nourish the appreciative soil from which affirmative projections grow, branch off, evolve, and become collective projections. Creating the conditions for organization-wide appreciation is the single most important measure that can be taken to ensure the conscious evolution of a valued and positive future" (p. 52).

What distinguishes Appreciative Inquiry from dialogue is it emphasis on valuing what works well within organizational life and its assumption that certain forms of emotional and spiritual life within organizations are required to foster learning and change. Appreciative Inquiry connects to the emotional and spiritual life of organizational members by tapping into their passions and strong feelings about what constitutes excellence in their work context. As research into the social construction of emotion clearly indicates, particular patterns of feelings, emotion, and affect are created when we engage in different patterns of discourse (Fineman, 1993, 2000; Gergen, 1999a; Waldron, 2000). It is not surprising, therefore, that "positive" emotions such as joy, pride, happiness, and excitement become created in the process of telling inspiring stories about excellence and these emotions, when coupled with a change agenda, provide the necessary energy to make transformation happen quickly. Unlike dialogue whose major focus is on collective thinking, Appreciative Inquiry directly attends to the emotional and spiritual dimension of organizational life.

We agree that conversational practices aimed at creating learning, change, and innovation should be life-generating, particularly in light of the success of Appreciative Inquiry in organizations that face great difficulty, turmoil, and challenge (Golembiewski, 1998; Hammond & Royal, 1998). Where our concern lies is that fixing the meaning of appreciative as "positive," dismisses and discounts other equally important and appropriate types of conversation and emotionality within organizations that may foster learning and change. We find this dismissal of other forms of living as particularly ironic because Appreciative Inquiry is positioned as a postmodern approach to management, an approach that conceives of organizations as sites where multiple and contested meanings for actions, events, and situations flourish, meaning is inherently contextual, and meaning making is an ongoing process (see Alvesson & Deetz, 1996; Deetz, 2000).

If meaning is contingent and emergent, working with appreciation in conversation is more than limiting conversation to a particular set of discussable topics or employing a set methodology for structuring conversation. Working appreciatively involves paying close attention to situated language use, its effects, and the frame co-created among organizational members to facilitate meaning if the generation of the life enhancing is to be taken seriously. Using a poststructuralist approach to language, we reconceptualize the notion of appreciation in conversational practice in order to broaden its use to a variety of conversational topics and to embrace different types of emotion in organizational life. Working within a set of guiding philosophical principles, that allow for the spirit of appreciation, facilitates discerning what moves need to be created in particular conversations. We argue that showing appreciation in conversation within organizations is key to creating forms of talk that connect with the emotions, desires, and passions of organizational members, but what needs to be appreciated and how it needs to be appreciated is challenging since it varies from situation to situation.


Appreciative Inquiry is about the co-evolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. In its broadest focus, it involves systematic discovery of what gives "life" to a living system when it is most alive, most effective, and most constructively capable in economic, ecological, and human terms. AI involves in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system's capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential. (Cooperrider & Whitney, 2000, p. 5)

Appreciative Inquiry is an approach to organizational development and management that emphasizes developing the positive core of organizational life. It is an attempt to liberate and nourish the human spirit by creating conversation around life-giving forces within organizations and developing a consensus around these positive themes. Appreciative Inquiry is characterized by three basic assumptions (Hammond, 1998; Zemke, 1999). First, organizations are socially constructed through the language and stories members use and, as a result, are best understood by exploring the story telling practices and narratives of its members. Second, inquiry is intervention. The moment one begins to ask questions and inquire into a system, the organizational member is directing attention toward particular issues or topics and away from others, thus intervening in the system. Third, inquiry should be into the life-generating and affirmative forces of organizations by eliciting "positive stories" of organizational life.

It is this last assumption that distinguishes Appreciative Inquiry from other organizational development and management approaches. Appreciative Inquiry is unabashedly focused on identifying what works well within organizations as a means for engaging and facilitating innovation in social-organizational relationships, arrangements, and processes. Cooperrider and Srivastava (1987, p. 160) draw attention to the centrality of appreciation in their first guiding principle of Appreciative Inquiry articulated in the initial theory and vision. By inquiring into the positive imagery that informs organizational practice, a narrative rich environment of what the future may look like is constructed which then guides current behavior within the organization.

Appreciative Inquiry is distinct from problem-centered discourses of organizational development and management. Problem-centered discourses of organizational development and management such as traditional action research (French & Bell, 1995) and goal setting (Locke, 1991) emphasize the importance of identifying the problems that confront organizations and its members, and through a rigorous analysis of the problem and its causes, generate possible solutions. Problem solving is rooted in deficit language that draws our attention to the problems, shortcomings, or incapacities of individuals and groups, which, in turn, discredits the individual or group (Gergen, 1999b, p. 13). Deficit language has a negative impact on individuals and groups because, "the vocabularies of human deficit produced by the critical social and organizational sciences diminish the human capacity for positive relational reconstruction by rending and unraveling the intricate social, political, and moral fabrics that make human existence and organizing possible" (Ludema, Wilmot, & Srivastva, 1997, p. 1019).

This unraveling of the organizational fabric occurs in three ways. First, deficit language and problem-solving approaches rarely result in new vision. Given that a problem is a gap between an existing and an ideal state of affairs, organizational members already possess a notion of what is ideal and do not search to expand their thinking, ideas, or visions; they merely try to reduce the "gap." Therefore, a premium must be placed on forms of conversation, such as dialogue (Isaacs, 1999), that explicitly foster the emergence of new meanings and explore new possibilities. It is also difficult to develop new vision when problem-solving approaches ask people to focus on yesterday's causes that limit an organization's growth as opposed to tomorrow's possibilities. Conversations that probe the future of an organization are central to keeping an organization poised to manage emerging challenges (Brown & Eisenhardt, 1997).

Second, deficit language and problem-solving approaches increase levels of defensiveness among organizational members. Problem-solving approaches are based on the "blame game" and can rapidly create defensiveness because they must attach blame, responsibility, and accountability to someone or something that has created the problem. Defensiveness, in the form of blame shifting, "It is not my problem but yours," is commonplace (Cooperrider & Whitney, 2000).

Third, deficit language and problem solving can create a sense of organizational enfeeblement. Increased talk about the problems organizational members are confronting expands their vocabulary of deficit and develops their expertise in creating and sustaining their own dysfunction. For example, an organizational consultant was contacted to develop a process that would manage increasing incidents of sexual harassment in the Avon Corporation in Mexico (Cooperrider & Whitney, 2000). The consultant voiced a concern that inquiring into sexual harassment would enhance the ability of people to engage in sexually harassing behaviors and also create a set of stories within the organization that would produce infirmity and enfeeblement (i.e., we are a company who seemingly cannot avoid sexual harassment). The consultant affirmatively reframed the inquiry as developing a model of high-quality cross-gender relationships in the workplace. Giving attention to modeling high quality cross-gender relationships simultaneously built the capacity of organizational members to build such relationships in a variety of contexts and managed the issue of sexual harassment by articulating what form appropriate cross-gender relationships should assume.

Appreciative conversation and management

Appreciative Inquiry privileges a particular set of managerial abilities in conversation. Barrett (1995) contends that four managerial competencies are needed in order to create appreciative learning systems: (1) Affirmative competence-the ability to identity positive possibilities by bracketing out imperfections and focusing on past and present successes, assets, strengths, and potentials, (2) Expansive competence-the ability to challenge existing thinking and organizational practices with an emphasis on stretching the capability of organizational members by having them engage passionately with important values, (3) Generative competence-the ability to create systems that foster individuals recognizing the consequence and value of their contribution to the organization and providing a sense of how they are making progress, and (4) Collaborative competence-the ability to create conversational spaces where members work together and share diverse ideas and perspectives. Of these various competencies, perhaps the most important is affirmative competence. Cooperrider (1999) observes, "the more an organization experiments with the conscious evolution of positive imagery the better it will become; there is an observable self-reinforcing, educative effect of affirmation. Affirmative competence is the key to the self-organizing system" (p. 118).

From a managerial perspective, these competencies suggest high-quality conversation is characterized by a particular set of conversational topics and practices as well as type of emotionality. Conversational topics should focus on the "positive" moments in organization, center on members' highest and aspirations and values, and be future-oriented. "At least as much time [should be] spent in meetings discussing the ideal future state as is spent discussing present and past issues" (Srivastva & Barrett, 1999, p. 395). Conversational practices, in general, should generate useful distinctions for organizational members by asking the "unconditional positive question" to elicit "positive" stories (Cooperrider & Whitney, 2000), frame issues in ways that highlight and maintain energy in the conversation (Barrett & Cooperrider, 1990), have members make expansive promises that stretch them beyond their comfort zone (Barrett, 1995), and maintain respectful irreverence, a sense of play (Srivastva & Barrett, 1999).

Appreciative conversations also acquire and generate a particular emotional flavor. If we take seriously the notion that emotions are constructed in highly contextualized relations through various types of discourse (Gergen, 1999b), then the content and practice of appreciative conversations emphasize "positive" emotions such as love, happiness, joy, passion, care, and affection. In his discussion of affect and postmodern organizations, Gergen (1999a) contends that appreciative conversations and forms of organizing are economically friendly, "Organizations in which people care for each other, empathize, help, enjoy positive group spirit, and so on are successful organizations" (p. 153). The emotionality of appreciation and its expression, are taken to be an end in itself, which makes the construction of positive sentiment significant. However, once positive sentiment becomes a means to enhance production and efficiency, the nature of appreciation changes and becomes another technique for manipulation and discipline.

Rethinking appreciative conversation

We concur that conversation is a powerful generative force that may liberate the human spirit of organizational members and foster learning and change. However, our concern is that in the quest to find ways to foster high-quality conversation, fixing the meaning of appreciation within conversation as solely "being positive" is problematic. We have three concerns with current conceptions relating appreciation to managerial practice.

First, the distinction between spirit and technique becomes blurred. Cooperrider (1999) has maintained that such a distinction exists and is important, "More than a method or technique, the appreciative mode of inquiry was described as a means of living with, being with, and directly participating in the life of a human system in a way that compels one to inquire into the deeper life-generating essentials and potentials of organizational existence" (p. 121). Unfortunately, the spirit of showing appreciation in conversation has become equated with technique. By technique we mean the specific conversational structures or moves that can be created during interaction. For example, appreciative conversations have become organized according to the 4-D model, a model that specifies a particular structure for conversational topics in order for successful change to occur: (1) Discover-appreciate and value the best of "what is"; (2) Dream-envision "what might be"; (3) Dialogue-discuss "what should be"; and (4) Destiny-determine "what will be." The 4-D model is frequently cited as the organizing principle in shaping and designing organizational interventions and conversations (see Hammond & Royal, 1998). Similarly, asking the "unconditional positive question" has become a stock move for managers to ask in conversations in order to elicit "positive" stories. Our concern is not that the 4-D model and "unconditional positive questions" are not useful; rather, our concern is that their technical use has become synonymous with the spirit of showing appreciation in conversation and that other conversational practices and techniques that may reflect and express appreciation are neglected.

Second, particular forms of emotionality in talk are dismissed and discounted as being unimportant and potentially detrimental to organizational life. Foucault (1980) has long observed that our knowledge and subjectivities are created through discourse and that different types of discourse generate different types of knowledge and subjectivities. From an Appreciative Inquiry perspective, the knowledge that is being produced through discourse is knowledge about positive highpoints and best practices in the organization and employees' bodies are being shaped to be inspired, passionate, and positive. What is not being produced is knowledge regarding limitations and difficulties within organizations and subjectivities that reflect the dark side of human existence, pain, suffering, embarrassment, shame, and guilt.

The underlying assumption is that life cannot be produced or generated if "negative" talk and emotionality creeps into the conversational fabric of the organization. Golembiewski (1998) notes that an appreciative mode of inquiry "presumes that no net perspective on those life forces can be gained by questions tapping deficits-by inquiring what elements of 'it' are lacking in a specific setting, or by asking (if you will) 'negative' questions that could inform appropriate discounting of an attractive ideal" (p. 5). Yet, there is some evidence that "negative" conversation and emotionality can create constructive experiences within organizational life. While inquiring only into "negative" moments in organizational life may be inherently life draining, promoting organizational growth and development may require inquiry into both "positive" and "negative" life-giving forces as part of management practice. "[F]ull 'appreciation' is seen as building on the positive as well as avoiding the negative. The latter goal either requires recognizing/isolating the negative, or relies on dumb luck" (Golembiewski, 1998, p. 9).

Similarly, particular embodiments of emotionality are not permitted when appreciation becomes fixed as being "positive." In keeping with post-1970s emotional research on positive emotion, showing appreciation is associated with "positive" emotions such as taking pride in the organization, enjoying one's work, and being satisfied with one's job, thereby making "love, empathy, verve, zest, and enthusiasm…the sine qua non of managerial success and organizational 'excellence'" (Fineman, 1996, p. 545). "Negative" emotions such as anger, disgust, fear, vulnerability, fragility, and irritation are viewed as problematic and whose expression should be diminished and discouraged. Yet, some research suggests that the suppression of significant negative emotions is more harmful than their expression (Waldron & Krone, 1991). The notion that the expression of a particular emotion is inherently problematic is not only unwarranted, but may result in a type of emotional eugenics-the elimination of classes of emotional expression (Fineman, 1996). Depopulating the forms of emotional expression available to organizational members reduces the requisite variety of organizational life, thus diminishing their ability to adapt to change.

Third, viewing appreciation as "being positive" in conversation has great potential for obscuring power differences within the organization. At a surface level, viewing appreciation as "being positive" may be used as a technique for manipulation and control. As Gergen (1999a) has observed, once appreciation becomes a tool to increase production, then the nature of relationship among organizational members is fundamentally altered. Expressing positive sentiment to others through caring, showing interest, and voicing concern may serve to mask power differentials between people and act as a "soft velvet glove" when disciplining others.

At a deeper level, viewing appreciation uncritically can unintentionally lead to oppressive practices within organizational life. Proponents of appreciative conversation contend that pursuing the positive within organizational life will lead to more democratically-based and egalitarian types of organizations (Cooperrider & Whitney, 2000; Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987). However, two concerns emerge from this proposition. On one hand, acting appreciatively in conversation does not provide a means for determining what will be valued if different stakeholders appreciate different aspects of the organization (Golembiewski, 1998). In postmodern organizations, it is highly likely that people will value and appreciate different aspects of organizational life. Discerning which aspects are to be foregrounded and backgrounded presupposes collaborative competence-a workplace where all members are willing to collaborate and share power (Barrett, 1995). Yet, unless managers are committed to power sharing and democratic process, it is highly likely that they will impose their views on others and pursue their own self interest.

On the other hand, even if a consensus on what is to be appreciated could be achieved, acting appreciatively in conversation does not guarantee more democratic and egalitarian workplaces. Barker's (1993) study of team-based management is instructive in this regard. Team-based management was adopted in a high-technology organization due to a new commitment by management to fostering egalitarian principles and employee empowerment. Rather than be directed by managers within a hierarchy, team members would be self-directed. Barker (1993) observed that self-directed work teams recreated systems of oppression and power traditionally attributed to management. What was initially taken to be a life-generating practice in the organization, degenerated into another form of oppression within organizational life.

The challenge of creating appreciative conversation is "to augment, rather than limit, expression of individual and group differences and conflict within the organization…strengthen the mutual understanding of these differences and action on the basis of this understanding, including separation from the organization…augment, rather than limit, awareness and analysis of the organizational functioning in its social setting" (Pages, 1999, p. 380). We believe that by adopting a poststructuralist reading of appreciation, that these challenges can be addressed and met.


The themes of postmodern approaches to management and organizational theory include the socially constructed nature of people and organizations, the centrality of language as a way of making distinctions among differing forms of constructions, an emphasis on the fluid emergent nature of the contemporary world, a recognition that power and knowledge are connected, and an acceptance of pluralism and fragmentation (Alvesson & Deetz, 1996, p. 192; Calas & Smircich, 1999; Deetz, 2000; Kilduff & Mehra, 1997, Weiss, 2000). Central to most postmodern approaches is an argument against grand narratives and theoretical systems such as Marxism and structuralism and the recognition that rationality is not only relative, it is local, depending on the intersection of institutionalized practices at a particular moments in time. Poststructuralism represents one of many postmodern approaches and focuses "on discourse, and linguistic practices as the institutional practices that shape rationality, construct power relationships, and enact member identities" (Mumby & Putnam, 1992, p. 467).

The unfolding and evolving intersection of discourses at different moments in organizational life make meaning unstable and fluid. Unlike a structuralist perspective toward language which assumes that meaning becomes stable as organizational members develop consensual meanings for actions and events that remain constant over time (Burr, 1995; Cilliers, 1998), a poststructuralist approach assumes that meaning is always emerging because the meaning of any sign is continually being deferred. "Poststructuralist analyses demonstrate how signification occurs through a constant deferral of meaning from one linguistic symbol to another. At its most basic, poststructuralist approaches suggest that there is no stable or original core of signification and, thus, no foundation, no grounding, and no stable structure on which meaning can rest" (Calas & Smircich, 1999, p. 653). For managerial practice, the implication is that individuals need to pay attention to the unique meanings constituted in the intersection of discourses during particular conversational moments.

Poststructuralism also points to the need to examine nondominant, backgrounded, or alternative meanings within organizational life. Kilduff and Mehra (1997) observe that one of the goals of postmodernism to "challenge the content and form of dominant models of knowledge . . . [by] . . . giving voice to those not represented in the dominant discourses" (p. 458). This goal is also present in poststructuralist thought as explanations of organizational phenomena typically privilege one set of terms over another. As Derrida (1976) observes, the meaning of any sign is determined through its binary opposition with other signs and that one sign of the binary opposition is privileged; yet, it is through the examination of the absent term that the meaning of the privileged term can be better understood. For example, Mumby and Putnam (1992) used deconstruction as a means of exploring the organizational concept of bounded rationality. From a deconstructionist perspective, bounded rationality achieves its meaning through its juxtaposition with emotionality. Mumby and Putnam (1992) reclaimed the absent term (emotionality) and constructed an alternative way of conceptualizing organizing creating the notion of bounded emotionality.

A comparison of the traditional and poststructuralist approaches to appreciation is provided in Table 1. A poststructuralist approach positions meaning as contested, emergent, and complex-it is continually being made by organizational members whose interpretations and sense making of events are unique and may even be radically different. The consequence is that the meaning of appreciation is contextual, unstable, and particular to persons in embodied social situations. What needs to be appreciated, when, where, and how is contingent on the set of meanings operating in a particular moment.

TABLE 1: A Comparison of Two Approaches Toward Appreciation and Affirmation in Organizational Life

"Traditional" Approaches

Poststructuralist Approach
What is appreciation?The meaning of appreciation is fixed and stable. A consensus on what counts as appreciation and how it is performed exists among organizational members.The meaning of appreciation emerges and evolves within situations. The meaning of appreciation is and can be contested by organizational members.
How do managers show appreciation?Appreciation is manifested by managers expressing positive feedback, praising high-quality performance, and providing social support to organizational members. Inquiring into moments of excellence, success stories, and the like also characterize working with appreciation. Showing appreciation is construed as either expressing or eliciting positive moments in one's organizational life.Showing appreciation connects a complexity of contexts acted out of and into. Working with appreciation means that managers make judgments about what will be life-generating and enhancing in the moment. To show appreciation means to position oneself in the conversation in ways that respect the complexity of the situation and keep the forward movement alive. This means that managers may need to explore fragilities, vulnerabilities, distresses, and criticisms as well as moments of excellence.
What abilities do managers require to work with appreciation?The fixed meaning of appreciation permits the construction of techniques and technologies that can be used to express and elicit appreciation. Managers are expected to master these protocols and to perform them competently.Working with appreciation requires situated sensibility. Managers must be able to construct stories about situations in a reflexive fashion that allow them to create conversational positions that are unique to that conversational moment.
How do we evaluate when managers have been successful in working with appreciation?Managerial performance is assessed by whether managers have performed the specified protocol and whether it has brought about the desired consequence.Developing forms of relating and connecting that allow energies to be blended in productive ways, that facilitate forward movement, and
facilitate persons constructing stories of purpose signify effective managerial performance. Evaluation is always relational, it is always judged in relationship to the conjoint action of persons in conversation, not the actions of the manager separate from the other conversational participants.

Since language is fateful and meaning is emergent, the manager who has a poststructuralist commitment has a special responsibility to construct the life enhancing, but the question is begged about what that is, who it is for, and how it gets negotiated. At times, this may mean exploring fragilities, vulnerabilities, distresses, and criticisms-areas that are not normally associated with "being appreciative." We are not advocating the development of "negative" forms of talk or urging individuals to act in ways that are unappreciative, nonappreciative, or underappreciative; rather by challenging the fixed meaning of appreciation as being positive, we want to suggest that appreciation requires connecting with what others value in the moment and coordinating aims and purposes in ways that enhance organizational life. This requires managers to develop reflexive abilities that allow them to construct understandings and stories about the situation with which are engaged. We believe that rather than view particular forms and topics of talk as intrinsically life draining and making them undiscussable, that such talk, if coordinated with reflexivity and sensitivity to what is being produced, can connect people with what matters to them and to others. The challenge for managers is to develop forms of relating and connecting that help connect people in meaningful ways that allow them to move forward with purpose.

We suggest that it is important for managers to cultivate an appreciative spirit regarding conversation and emotionality. By an appreciative spirit, we mean a way of acting in conversation that takes into account the complexity of meaning by recognizing that differing forms of talk and emotion can be life generating. The task is to coordinate these forms of talk and emotion with others in ways that sustain growth, learning, and development. From a postmodern perspective, especially dialogic and appreciative approaches, learning (Isaacs, 1999), flow (Csikszentimihalyi, 1997), and an enhanced feeling of soul (Wilber, 1998) are viewed as important outcomes. For example, in business mediation, an expression of anger is not inherently problematic, so long as the anger can be worked with in a way to create an opening for the individual disputants and their joint relationship to be transformed and grow (Bush & Folger, 1994). Developing an appreciative spirit in managerial practice may be linked to cultivating three types of abilities:
(a) an appreciation of the multiple meanings for the life enhancing,
(b) an appreciation of the connection between spirit and technique, and
(c) an appreciation for reflexivity.

Appreciating multiple meanings for the life enhancing: What should be the focus of appreciation?

Within any given conversation, a multiplicity of identities, relationships, goals, aims, and processes exist, any of which may become the subject of appreciation. Rather than assume that appreciation must always focus on the "positive" elements within conversation, from a poststructuralist perspective, it is also possible that what needs to be appreciated and discussed within conversation are problems, injustices, and sacrifices that organizational members have encountered. Therefore, it is important for managers to attune to the multiple possibilities that may be appreciated within conversation and make discernments as to which aspects are most useful to appreciate in the moment.

The importance of making situated judgments as to what needs to be appreciated in a particular conversational moment is similar to the issue of what counts as moral behavior and ethical decision making in organizational life. Donaldson and Dunfee (1999) criticize traditional theories of ethics for failing to provide specific normative guidelines for business decision makers and offer in its place integrative social contracting theory. They suggest ethical practice is normatively bounded by the unique intersection, and an often-conflicting set, of organizational contexts, community standards, and contractual obligations that are created and encountered by organizational members. From a normative perspective, ethical decision making cannot be specified a priori.

It is . . . to deny that a person can know in advance what the correct rules of business ethics are for a specific system without knowing more about the system and its participants. It is to deny, for example, the possibility of knowing in advance whether ethics requires that a high company official from an airline visit the surviving relatives of an airplane crash and present them with money (as Japanese airline officials do), in contrast to, say, merely offering sympathy and minor assistance. To know what ethics requires here, a person must know both what local custom encourages and also something about the system of compensation in the economic system. (Donaldson & Dunfee, 1994, p. 258)

Grasping what counts as ethical business practice within a situation requires business decision makers to pay attention to macrocontracts or shared general principles that inform moral rationality, microcontracts or consensual agreements regarding moral rationality in specific economic interactions, and hypernorms or generally accepted limits on moral behavior. While the notion of integrated social contracting theory has received some criticism for privileging universal principles emerging from macrocontracts at the expense of "authentic" local norms (Calton, 2001; Van Buren, 2001), our concern in the present essay is Donaldson and Dunfee's (1999) idea that a "moral free space" does exist in community contexts that is subject to multiple interpretations and open to negotiation.

The business ethics literature points us to several issues associated with appreciating the multiple meanings of the life enhancing within conversation. First, situations are embedded in multiple contexts with multiple stakeholders, each containing their own moral rationality regarding what needs to be appreciated within a given moment. For example, an individual who reports being sexually harassed within an organization to a supervisor may feel the need to have the hurt and pain appreciated by his/her supervisor and that swift justice, the immediate termination of the offending employee, is the only way to make that employee feel the hurt and pain has been recognized. The supervisor may feel that what needs to be appreciated is that all organizational members are to be treated with respect and fairness, and that the only way to guarantee a just process, given the legal environment, is to launch an investigation into the merits of the complaint and to deliberate extensively over what is the appropriate course of action. The employee and supervisor have highly different foci for appreciation that appear to be in direct conflict with each other.

Potential differences regarding what needs to be appreciated leads to a second issue, articulating standards for making decisions regarding which life enhancing possibilities need to be appreciated in the moment. Recognizing that conversational episodes and appreciation are a collective effort among persons implies that making decisions either references an existing set of agreements among persons or requires a renegotiation of agreements. This process is similar to the idea of micro social contracting which is "a collective effort at sense-making, rule-building, and problem-solving" (Calton & Lad, 1995, p. 280). Viewing conversation as a collaborative activity moves managers to recognize that the shape any conversation takes is not solely dictated by their individual acts; rather, the shape of any conversation is dictated by the conjoint action of the participants in the form of the double interact (Weick, 1979; 1996). What guides the conversational acts of the participants are the collective rules for meaning and action that are in use among participants. Using the preceding example, it may be that the employee and supervisor have cultivated a relationship that is guided by the rules of "Be supportive of each other" and "Conform to organizational policies." If the pre-existing rules remain in place, it may be appropriate for the supervisor to voice concern for the employee but to reaffirm that the organizational policies are intended to manage with situations such as these. However, if the employee feels that such a response is inadequate, s/he may reject the statement, and initiate a renegotiation of the rules that inform their relationship.

While it is true that overall shape and function of the conversation is jointly constructed, this does not diminish the fact that consciously or not, individuals make choices regarding what to say and do and that these choices reflect what they think needs to be appreciated at a particular moment in the conversation. We suggest that individuals need to use a pragmatic criterion when determining what needs to be appreciated at a particular conversational moment. According to Wicks and Freeman (1998):

Pragmatism emphasizes the importance of experimenting with new ways of living, searching for alternative and more liberating vocabularies, and opening up an array of possibilities for human action . . . The pragmatic criterion of value-usefulness-helps to remind people that they can and should see different interpretations as having more or less value (i.e., better or worse), depending on their ability to serve given purposes and enable people to accomplish relevant goals. (pp. 130, 134)

When individuals adopt a pragmatic criterion to make decisions, they simultaneously embrace the spirit of appreciation by searching for new vocabularies and possibilities to engage the life enhancing and also adopt a fairly concrete standard for making choices within the flow of conversation as to what needs to be appreciated. Conversational moves that facilitate the life enhancing by creating forward movement and removing stuckness, allowing diverse viewpoints to coexist, allowing individual energies to be blended in productive ways, and connecting with passions and energies of people would meet the pragmatic criterion of usefulness.

Implicit in this conception of the use of the pragmatic criterion is the idea that some level of consensus exists on what is viewed as possessing utility. Creating consensus among conversational participants depends on developing ability for a particular type of collaborative competence, pragmatic experimentation. In the context of organizational research, Wicks and Freeman (1998), see pragmatic experimentation as an approach to research that helps people lead better lives. Translating this notion into the context of working appreciatively in conversation, means that effective decisions regarding what needs to be appreciated should not only be useful to the individual uttering the message, but to the recipient as well. Pragmatic experimentation provides a means for different foci of appreciation to be connected in conversation where both parties view the focus as useful. However, there are instances where agreement cannot be achieved, and a manager may need to argue for his/her foci and way of managing the conversation. In such instances, it will become critical for managers to construct linguistic landscapes where they can articulate the legitimacy of their actions (see Shotter, 1993, for a description of the authorial nature of management). We address this issue more thoroughly later in the paper.

Appreciating reflexivity: What is my role in constructing appreciative conversation?

Making appreciation within organizational life is a collective process among organizational members that requires an awareness of how communication and linguistic choices influence the direction of the conversation and its relational consequences. This suggests that managers need to be mindful both of self and relational reflexivity as well as conversational structures and moves that encourage reflexivity by others.

Self-reflexivity refers to the awareness of how one's stories, thoughts, and feelings influence one's action; it is an inquiry into one's own position. The idea of self reflexivity is inherent in most approaches to organizational learning (Isaacs, 1999; Weick & Ashford, 2001). Conversation, in the form of dialogue, should explore the underlying assumptions, contexts, values, and beliefs that compose everyday life. From a learning organization perspective, high-quality conversation should not only be reflective, thinking back on assumptions and so forth, it should also be reflexive, moving people to recognize how their patterns of thought create the very situations in which they find themselves. Relational reflexivity refers to an understanding of how we create ourselves and others in conversation. Relational reflexivity explores the connections among individual action, identity, and relational forms whereby persons become aware of how their action contributes to the construction of their personal identity, the identity of others, and the overall shape of the relationship.

We would suggest that cultivating reflexive consciousness is an important part of all conversations. Managers who cultivate an appreciative spirit are aware of the reflexive effects of their talk and how it constructs particular identities and forms of power within organizational life. Eisenberg and Goodall (1997) distinguish between complicit and engaged dialogue:

A dialogue is complicit when the individuals or groups participating in it go along with the dominant interpretation of meaning. It is engaged when the individuals and groups struggle against a dominant interpretation and try to motivate action based on an alternative explanation. In most organizations most of the time you can find both complicit and engaged resources for dialogues. For this reason, an organizational culture is necessarily a conflict environment, a site of multiple meanings engaged in a constant struggle for interpretive control. (p. 142)

The danger with complicit dialogue is that individuals begin to ignore the reflexive effects of their talk because the dominant interpretation becomes taken for granted and curiosity about why particular forms of identity and power are viewed as normal is lessened. The manager with an appreciative spirit recognizes that participants in conversation need to find a way to maintain a healthy balance between complicit and engaged dialogue in order to become aware of the continuing effects of their talk.

Cultivating another's reflexivity within the situation moves managers to develop particular conversational techniques to stimulate others becoming mindful of why they position themselves with others during conversations in particular ways and how their positioning evokes certain patterns of relating and connecting among organizational members. Certainly, this has been the point of the dialogue movement (see Ellinor & Gerard, 1998; Isaacs, 1999; Schein, 1993; Senge, 1990; Senge et al., 1999). With poststructuralism informing managerial practice, the potential for broadening the technological base of managerial practice is enhanced. For example, in the context of organizational learning, Weick and Ashford (2001) point out that organizational learning is about the acquisition, maintenance, and alteration of intersubjective meanings through communication. Central to this view is the notion that the content and process of communication should match the continuous flow of experience within organizational life. They recommend that conversational content that is dynamic, utilizes process imagery, verbs, and stories more accurately represents the flow of organizational experience. When managers employ such conversational content, the likelihood that people may become more reflexive by making important distinctions and drawing boundaries is increased.

Drawing on the literature from management and therapy, Table 2 highlights some potential ways managers may structure conversation in order to facilitate reflexivity. These conversational structures are offered as illustrative of possible ways managers may enhance their own and other's reflexivity as opposed to being either definitive or exhaustive. The key to creating conversational structures that enhance reflexivity is developing ways that disrupt the flow of experience by changing one's position in conversation from that of an actor to an observer. Creating different positions to observe the conversation makes persons mindful of the multiplicity of perspectives present within situations and how their own position and perspective connects to others. For example, creating conversational structures that emphasize role taking and perspective taking facilitates reflexivity by making explicit the multiple meanings that constitute a situation. The former may be created when managers have subordinates take the role of another by speaking in their voice (Cronen & Lang, 1994) while viewing a situation through different metaphors (Morgan, 1999) or different domains of action such as production, explanation, and aesthetics may create the latter (Lang, Little, & Cronen, 1991). Similarly, conversational structures that move individuals to engage in future talk by exploring the temporal dimension of the situation enhances reflexivity. When people discuss the future, they create a position where they can reflect on the present, what factors are creating it, and how the present contributes to developing a collective pathway to a desirable future (Lippitt, 1998; Weisbord & Janoff, 1995). As the Appreciative Inquiry movement highlights, future talk can help individual and groups which have become stuck in dysfunctional patterns become mindful of new possibilities by shifting the discourse to their future hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Finally, reflecting conversations move people to contemplate on their experience by adopting a third-person perspective that allows them ponder how their behavior has contributed to the construction of the situation (Anderson, 1990; Burnham, 1992).

TABLE 2: Conversational Structures for Working with Appreciation
Conversational StructureRationale
Positioning Voices
Placing people in different roles that they may not normally occupy and have participants speak in the voice of the other.

Managers may be talking to subordinates and have them begin to imagine how people outside the organization perceive a particular issue or how they imagine the manager's supervisor sees the particular issue.
In a team setting, a manager may have a different team member speak in the voice of important organizational constituencies such as other teams, supervisors, and clients.
Taking up another conversational position allows persons to see issues from multiple perspectives.
Perspective taking
Within organizational life, different domains of action may exist including the domain of production (getting things done), the domain of explanation (constructing stories for under-standing organizational events), and the domain of aesthetics (a focus on pattern, elegance, & coherence). (see Lang, Little, & Cronen, 1990; Oliver & Brittain, 1999).

Divide a team into three groups and have each discuss an issue from one of the domains.
When talking to a subordinate, inquire into the subordinate's understanding of how they understand the unfolding conversation from each of the three domains.
Organizational life can be conceived of existing in multiple domains simultaneously. The notion of exploring how organizational activity might be perceived using each of these domains as a specific lens can begin to develop richer stories of the situation.
Future talk
Several conversational structures such as Future Search, Appreciative Inquiry, and Preferred Futuring are designed to have conversational participants talk about the future.

Managers may inquire with their subordinates into the hopes and dreams they have regarding a particular aspect of organizational life.
Managers may conduct meetings that have a visioning process built into the agenda.
The notion is that when individuals focus on past problems that they become focused on the past and only develop solutions that address past problems. Moreover, focusing on past problems can easily move to engaging in the "blame game" (who do we hold accountable for our problems) and becoming depressed (the problems are viewed as overwhelming). Future talk keeps energy alive by focusing on hopes, dreams, and desires and avoids attributing blame by exploring how people will work together collectively in the future.
Reflecting conversations
This involves having members observe the interaction between persons and publicly reflect their observations and questions positioning the observed individual or group as an audience.

A manager might subdivide his or her team and have half the team talk about a specific issue and the other half observe the discussion. At a particular point, the manager may invite the team members in the observing position to reflect back their observations to the group. The members who have done the discussion are placed in a listening role.
During a conversation with a subordinate, the manager may ask the subordinate to reflect back on the conversation so far: What has happened? What has caught your attention? How are you making sense of the conversation?
People are positioned into the role of listener. The idea is to allow others to comment on the interaction and provide the participants an opportunity to hear new voices and a muli-layering of stories. Being in the role of listener creates a conversational space to think in new ways and facilitates reflexivity.

Appreciating the connection between spirit and technique: How can one maintain relational coherence?

When spirit becomes isomorphic with technique, managerial practice is reduced to learning a set of behavioral techniques and methods and, if needed, the appropriate circumstances when they should be performed. Such an approach assumes that organizational realities remain fixed and stable, making it relatively easy to develop a partially or fully decontextualized list of permitted, obligated, and prohibited managerial behaviors. A poststructuralist approach, however, views organizational realities as unfolding and emergent, making the development of managerial recipes and behavioral lists impossible, and in many instances, unconstructive. Rather than master a list of permitted, obligated, and prohibited behaviors, managers must make situated choices in the unfolding conversation about how to sequence their action, with whom, and in regards to what topic that fit with their commitment to create the life generating.

Take for example, Leader Member Exchange (LMX) theory, a theory that emphasizes crafting high-quality leadership relationships that are life generating (see Schriesheim, Castro, & Cogliser, 1999 for a summary). LMX theory makes a distinction among leader-member relationships with high-quality relationships being characterized by mutual trust, shared goals, loyalty, support and affection. Central to LMX theory is the notion that managerial leaders form different types of relationships with different organizational members that range from being more leadership oriented to management oriented (Fairhurst, 2001). Research into LMX has demonstrated that high-quality relationships are correlated with a variety of relational and organizational outcomes such as job performance (Schriesheim, Neider, Scandure, & Tepper, 1992), satisfaction (Sparrowe, 1994), and empowerment (Keller & Dansereau, 1995). The quality of LMX has also been demonstrated to affect communication such as cooperative communication (Lee, 1997), upward influence strategies (Waldon, 1991), and the use of powerful/powerless language (Fairhurst, 1993).

From an LMX perspective, particular patterns of communication that create energy and life within leadership relationships can be identified. However, the patterns of communication reflect overall styles or modes of behavior versus situated choices that leaders make in particular conversations. It is one thing to say that creating a high-quality LMX relationship involves powerful language; it is another thing to say that powerful language should be used in a termination episode. The question becomes how to remain true to an appreciative spirit while having to engage in potentially unpleasant and unsavory episodes such as dismissal and discipline.

Key to appreciating the relationship between spirit and technique is the notion of relational coherence. Relational coherence refers to the behaviors being performed at a particular moment in the conversation being viewed as sensible and legitimate by individuals in terms of the relational contract that has been negotiated among the parties. What is important is a commitment to coherence between frames for meaning and action so that the moves and structures in the conversation show faithfulness to an appreciative spirit. The task for managers is to remain responsibly committed to the life generating and to be responsive to the situation.

In many circumstances, the relationship between appreciative spirit and technique does not need to be made explicit because of the historical background of the participants or the nature of the task. For example, during recognition episodes, such as company celebrations, offering praise may inherently be viewed as showing appreciation. On the other hand, offering a critique may be viewed negatively and employees may question whether a manager who makes an appreciative commitment should engage in criticism. In such instances, it may be important for participants to renegotiate the frame in which situations, events, and people come to be viewed. Fairhurst and Sarr (1996) suggest that framing is a key leadership ability because it provides a context for other organizational members to understand how a particular action is to be viewed. There may be moments when managers need to use framing moves that clarify the connection between appreciative spirit and technique in order to maintain relational coherence, the relationship and the messages holding together in a unified, comprehensible whole.

In addition to framing moves, alignment moves may facilitate establishing relational coherence. Poole and Doelger (1986) in their discussion of creating coherence within group discussion point to the importance of alignment moves. Alignment moves are linguistic devices that remedy misunderstandings and problems in conversation. Creating messages that legitimize inappropriate acts or motive talk and providing accounts that justify breach of relational norms, in this instance the apparent disconnect between appreciative spirit and technique, are examples of alignment moves. Alignment moves may reference how the organizational context makes it challenging for maintaining coherence between appreciative spirit and technique. For example, making reference to existing organizational policies by making statements like, "Our process for managing X is . . .," represents an aligning move that offers an account for the perceived incongruity between appreciative spirit and technique. Framing and alignment moves provide the manager an initial set of tools for reformulating the scope of permitted behaviors within conversation and facilitating increased relational coherence.


In this essay, we have suggested that appreciation is more profitably viewed from a poststructuralist perspective that opens up several possibilities for further exploration. First, we reframed the notion of appreciation as having a fixed meaning of "being positive" to a more contingent meaning where various linguistic constructions and forms of emotionality could be viewed as life enhancing. For the most part, research into appreciative conversation within organizational life equates appreciation with "being positive" by either inquiring into dreams, core values, and moments of excellence or providing statements of what organizational members view as important life-generating properties (Cooperrider, et al., 1999; Hammond & Royal, 1998). The alternative we are offering here is that managerial practice is a situated activity contingent on the ability of persons to connect their responses with others in ways that make sense and tap into what is meaningful to self and other. Thus managers must pay attention to the rules that are being used within specific conversations, at particular moments in time and space, and to structure their communication in ways that fit the unfolding conversation. The notion that organizations are networks of multi-voiced emerging conversations emphasizes the "pluralizing" nature of managerial practice (Glynn, Barr, & Dacin, 2000).

This reconceptualization of appreciation encourages additional insights into the intended and unintended consequences of privileging particular forms of emotionality. In their discussion of bounded rationality and emotionality, Mumby and Putnam (1992) observe that neither form of organizing is superior and that not privileging one realm over the other makes it more likely to construct organizations that are humane. Similarly, when "negative" emotions such as anger, disgust, and sadness as well as "positive" emotions are both viewed as life giving, it is possible to create organizations that are more humane and less alienating. At the same time, this reconceptualization draws attention to potentially harmful effects of "positive" emotions and the potentially constructive consequences of "negative" emotions.

For example, organizational scholars may examine how the active solicitation and performance of "positive" discourses and emotions can be counterproductive to both individual and organizational health. The former is exemplified by Hochshild's (1983; 1993) work in emotional labor. When organizations request frontline workers such as clerks to exhibit emotions such as being nice, pleasant, happy, they may have to exhibit a great deal of emotional labor in order to feign the emotion which can not only be stressful but may also lead to a confusion of identity (Fineman, 2000). The latter is demonstrated by Barker's (1993) exploration of the introduction of self-directed work teams where an oppressive work environment was created that led to decreased motivation and morale. Viewing "positive" discourses and emotions as potentially harmful may lead to increased awareness of how organizational power may be exercised in subtle and mundane ways to discipline employees.

A view that "negative" emotions can play a constructive role in organizational life should also be developed. For example, traditional mediation models in business have historically stressed the importance of venting, a model of conversation and emotion that emphasizes getting "negative" feelings and beliefs out on the table (Bush & Folger, 1994; Domenici & Littlejohn, 2001). The challenge is to develop ways of working within organizational life that provide a safe place for individuals to express "negativity," but that also ensure that individuals do not become stuck because they are so focused on the past and attributing blame that they cannot generate new ways of acting into the future. Some approaches such as the MIT Dialogue Project (Isaacs, 1999) with its emphasis on creating safe containers for conversation have begun to address this issue, but additional work needs to occur into the moment-by-moment conversational moves that manage "negative" emotion. This particular focus goes beyond calling for recognizing the place of emotionality in rational decision-making processes (i.e., Mumby & Putnam, 1992) and focuses on the idea that "negative" emotions can serve as valuable resources for change and innovation.

The notion that appreciation is contingent and emergent has significant implications for the relationship between spirit and technique. Developing a situated sensibility toward appreciation entails developing skills that facilitate managers attuning to the ebb and flow of conversation and the unique set of meanings that are being collaboratively produced by the participants. Holman (2000) observes that most approaches to managerial skill have been cognitive in nature, viewing skills as well-developed behavioral scripts. However, skilled activity is more than simply selecting an appropriate rule for a fixed context. "This is because in many situations a context may not be well defined prior to action and rules cannot be simply selected and applied to it. Rather rules can be understood as resources which reflexively constitute 'the activity and unfolding circumstances to which they are applied' (Heritage, 1984: 109)" (Holman, 2000, p. 961). This suggests that skilled activity is more than simply reading situations and applying the appropriate rules; rather skilled activity requires one to use resources in a reflexive fashion to construct social arrangements.

Two types of managerial skills merit further attention. First, highlighting the types of skills associated with attuning to the unique quality of emergent situations is needed. Historically, managerial communication skills have been associated with encoding and decoding skills, a model of communication that is based on an approach to language that assumes that meaning is fixed and that the point of communication is to clearly convey one's point to another (Jablin & Sias, 2001). Viewing conversation as sites where various discourses intersect and meaning is continually unfolding requires managers to develop abilities at picking up the flow of conversation and developing a sensibility for when and where to shape the conversation in new directions.

Second, given that meaning is emergent and contested, the likelihood is strong that managers and employees will have differing conceptions of what needs to be appreciated requiring managers to be able to provide legitimate arguments and reasons for why their actions fit within the situation and should be viewed as legitimate. Drawing on Shotter's (1993) notion that managers are co-authors in an unfolding organizational text, it may be necessary for managers to develop skills at articulating the organizational landscape and making rhetorical arguments to persuade others to accept their view of the situation. Skills such as framing, giving accounts, and making procedural statements provide a beginning glimpse into how relational coherence may be maintained, but further research into the linguistic strategies that managers may use to legitimize and account for their actions is warranted.

Finally, the contested nature of meaning and power within organizations may threaten an individual's ability to maintain an appreciative spirit. We have argued that the selection of particular techniques, conversational structures or moves, should flow from and be consistent with an appreciative spirit. However, the selection and performance of particular conversational acts can transform the spirit and the relationship existing among individuals. The notion that the structure and type of conversations can alter organizational relationships has been recognized at a macro level. In his epidemiological model of conversation and organizational change, Ford (1999) demonstrates how the act of altering the distribution of kinds of conversation transforms organizational members' relationships. However, Ford's model has little to say about how conversations, at a micro level, are constructed and how their performance can alter the shape of relationships within a particular episode. In the interpersonal communication research on relational maintenance (Canary & Stafford, 1994), it is recognized that certain conversational acts such as turning points (Barge & Musamibira, 1991) and transgressions (Roloff & Cloven, 1994) can trigger relational reconfigurations. This suggests that even though a manager may make a responsible commitment to an appreciative spirit, their commitment may be threatened at different moments and alternative criteria become the dominant form for making decisions. The types of events that undermine and threaten one's commitment to appreciation should be explored.

This essay has adopted a postructuralist account of appreciative practice in organizational life. In doing so, it has highlighted that being appreciative in managerial practice is a complex, situated, and emergent phenomenon that cannot be reduced to simple injunctions such as "be positive." We hope that what can now be appreciated is the play between spirit, technique, context, and meaning that open up new vistas for creating organizational life that is liberating, rewarding, and humane.


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