Appreciative inquiry for the design of organizational stress management interventions

Ravalier, J.M, McVicar, A and Munn-Giddings, C (2018) 'Appreciative inquiry for the design of organizational stress management interventions.' Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management. ISSN 1746-5648 (Forthcoming)

Abstract

Purpose:- Our paper demonstrates the innovative application of an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) approach for the design and implementation of organizational stress management interventions, alongside a case study of the successful design and implementation of the approach. By utilizing the AI methodology to develop a ‘local stress theory’ for the participating organization, we propose a model which can be utilized in other similar organizations. Methods:- Stage 1: 35 participants completed up to 10 daily logs by answering four positively-framed questions regarding their working day. Stage 2: semi-structured interviews (n=13). The interview schedule was designed to further elaborate log findings, and begin looking into feasible organizational changes for improvement of stress. Stage 3: two focus groups (total 13 employees) verified interventions from logs and interviews and discussed how these can be implemented. Findings:- The log stage identified two key themes for improvement: managerial/organizational support and communication. From these, interviews and focus groups led to workable proposals for simple but likely effective changes. We reported findings to management, emphasizing organizational change implementation, and these were subsequently implemented. Implications & Limitations:- The study demonstrated the effectiveness of AI to identify and implement relatively simple but meaningful changes. The AI cycle was completed but allocating proof-lengthy follow-up time for evaluation of outcomes was not possible, although initial responses were favorable. There are also issues of generalizability of the findings. Originality:- This is among the first studies to utilize an AI approach for the design of stress management interventions.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: workplace stress; primary intervention; daily hassles; appreciative inquiry
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2018 14:25
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 11:20
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