Tedeschi and Calhoun (1996, 2004) developed the theory of Posttraumatic Growth to explain the experience of growth after trauma. Their work primarily focuses on the individual experience. More recently, Gilpin-Jackson (2014, 2020) and Saul (2014) explored the experience of transformation, healing, and recovery after collective trauma. Appreciative Inquiry was introduced in the late 1980s as a strengths-based approach to organizational change (Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987). The Appreciative Inquiry method guides an organization through the change process by first selecting the “affirmative topic” to be addressed and then proceeding through a “4-D Cycle” of Discovery, Dream, Design, and Destiny (Cooperrider & Whitney, 2005, p.16). Key findings from the Posttraumatic Growth and collective trauma literature, identifying the factors that enable growth and recovery, can inform and adapt the 4-D Appreciative Inquiry model for use in trauma and adversity contexts. This article argues that the model can be revised to successfully address trauma and adversity through the addition of a new phase or activity: meaning making. The potential for meaning making to create transformative change after collective adversity is demonstrated with examples from the Kalamazoo County Land Bank’s work in Michigan over the last decade.
Clarke, Kelly Gesmundo, "Moving Through Collective Adversity: Lessons from Posttraumatic Growth Research for Appreciative Inquiry Practice" (2021). Graduate Student Publications. 1.
Organization Development Review
Organization Development Network
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