Appreciative Inquiry and Knowledge Management

Appreciative Inquiry and Knowledge Management

A Social Constructionist Perspective

New Horizons in Management series

Tojo Thatchenkery and Dilpreet Chowdhry

The authors of this book advance the Appreciative Sharing of Knowledge (ASK), a unique approach by which organizations create a culture that facilitates the sharing of information. Using social constructionist approaches, historical data, and case studies, the authors demonstrate that appreciation – or affirmation – is the key ingredient for people to trust each other and overcome their inhibitions and concerns about sharing what they know.

Chapter 5: Private Sector Case Studies

Tojo Thatchenkery and Dilpreet Chowdhry

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, innovation and technology, knowledge management


Many private industries keep their competitive edge by maintaining a culture of innovation by trying to be the first to come up with new ideas and products. In such contexts, organizational silos and incentives traditionally prohibit knowledge sharing. We believe that the appreciative approach helps remove these barriers and pave the way for cross-organizational fertilization and a cycle of innovation. In this chapter we include two case studies – an environmental information technology company (ITC, a fictitious name) and a well known top ranked bank (Green Capital Bank (GCB), also a fictitious name). In the ITC study, we provide a sample of the setting and themes produced. In the GCB case, we provide a step-by-step example of how to conduct an ASK initiative. ITC A group of experienced students with change management backgrounds formed into a consulting team and studied ITC’s corporate environment for knowledge sharing. The recently appointed Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) wanted to use the initiative to set the foundation for a knowledge management program that she hoped to create. Another objective was to find out ‘who knows what’ and to learn if ITC’s infrastructure could sustain continued growth and support new clients. During the time of the study, ITC was a 10-year-old employee-owned, environmental and consulting firm serving 15 federal agencies and several state, local, and international governments, as well as 10 private industry clients and associations. ITC was headquartered in Arlington, Virginia with other offices in Washington DC, Research Triangle Park, NC, and remote locations...

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