From our own experience we know how effective and energising Appreciative Inquiry can be. I would like to see more peer-reviewed research to prove its effectiveness to people who haven’t yet experienced AI first-hand.

Peer review is important, because it acts as quality control and increases the likelihood that you can trust the research methods and the findings they lead to.

There doesn’t seem to be much around, even on the Appreciative Inquiry Commons site where a search on ‘research’ doesn’t pull up much apart from PhD theses and dissertations.

One welcome exception is the website of Ray Calabrese, Professor of Educational Administration at Ohio State University. His Research page has a list of peer-reviewed articles on the use of Appreciative Inquiry in the education sector, including:

[Edit: for some reason the Ohio State University website no longer shows any of Professor Calabrese’s material, so all the links listed below are dead. Your best bet if you want to read one of them is to search on the title and see if it’s on the web as a PDF somewhere. Just one of those annoying ‘features’ of the web!]

Empowering At-Risk Students Through Appreciative Inquiry

Using Appreciative Inquiry to Create a Sustainable Rural School District and Community

An Appreciative Inquiry into the Circle of Friends

Power of the AI 4-D Cycle

Special Education Teacher Retention

An Appreciative Inquiry into a Low Performing Urban High School

An Appreciative Inquiry into Educational Administration Doctoral Programs

Building Social Capital Through the use of an Appreciative Inquiry Theoretical Perspective

Teachers Struggling with Professional Development in an Urban Middle School

Learning to Appreciate At Risk Students

Emerging Technologies in Global Communication

If you know of any other peer-reviewed research into (or using) Appreciative Inquiry, please share it by commenting on this blog or emailing me at!

Appreciative Inquiry Research

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