Webinar synopsis

Business research is commonly ‘problematised’. If a research project starts with the premise that a particular process is wasteful and inefficient, prospective participants might worry that it is their part of the process that is under scrutiny; that the problem is their fault. Sometimes no matter how strong the commitment to anonymity and confidentiality, some participants will not feel comfortable enough to open up completely honestly.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is an alternative way to approach research questions, such that they are not ‘problematised’. AI starts the research not from the point of problem solving but from a continuous improvement perspective – what’s going well and how can we emulate that elsewhere? AI celebrates good performance rather than focussing on poor performance and can help motivate people to engage in the research process. AI was developed by Cooperrider and Srivastva (1987) who felt that the problem-based approach limited the creation of new ideas and of new theory. They suggested that the use of a more positive approach would help to bring about organisational change. The approach consists of four stages that may be used in a cycle to bring about change – discovering, dreaming, designing and delivering. This session will introduce the approach, give some examples of AI in action and allow participants to experiment with applying it to their own research.

Cooperrider, D.L. and Srivastva, S. (1987) ‘Appreciative inquiry in organizational life’. In: Woodman, R. and Pasmore, W. (eds) Research in Organizational Change and Development, Volume 1, Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Outline agenda

2.00pm Online joining and introductions
2.10pm Presentation about using AI in research
3.10pm Online group activity, applying the approach to your current (or recent) project.
3.40pm Plenary discussion of issues raised during the workshop activity, plus Q&A
4.00pm Closing remarks and thanks


Provider Information

BAM Research Methodology SIG and
BAM Marketing & Retail SIG


Who Should Attend?

Academics who are interested in finding out about a method that does not start with problematising an issue. This is suitable for PhD students, ECRs and experienced researchers.

The event speaks to Sections A1, A2, A3 as detailed in the BAM Framework 


Dr Alison Lawson

Dr Alison Lawson

Head of Discipline for Marketing and Operations, Derby Business School

Dr Christian Veasey

Dr Christian Veasey

Lecturer in Marketing, Derby Business School


Dr Amanda Lee - Co-Chair RMSIG

Prof Mark N.K Saunders - Co-Chair RMSIG


Benefits of attending
  • Learn about the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) approach to data gathering and consider pros and cons
  • Hear about examples of AI being used successfuly in business research
  • Apply AI to your own research and see how it could work for you
  • Network with other academics to make connections for future collaborations

Please contact the BAM Office at [email protected] with any queries.  


Event Fee 

BAM Members: Free 

Non-Members: £35

If you are booking multiple paid events as a Non-Member, it may be cheaper for you to purchase an annual BAM Membership for £80 as nearly all BAM Events are free or at a discounted rate for Members.

For more information, please visit BAM Membership


Booking Deadline

Registrations close on Thursday 29th June 2023 at 17.00 UK time.

Payment and Cancellation Policy

Payment for the event must be received before the start date of the event concerned. Access will not be permitted to the event if full payment has not been received. 


  • Cancellations received within 14 days of booking your place on the event will receive a full refund. 

  • Cancellations received after the 14-day cancellation period and later than 14 days before the start date of the event will not be eligible for a refund.  

  • Although we endeavour to run all events as advertised, BAM reserves the right to cancel any event if, for example, there are not enough people to justify running the event or if other significant unforeseen circumstances arise.

To cancel a booking a cancellation request must be submitted via your BAM Account, to do this:

  • Go to your BAM Account
  • Click 'My Events'
  • Under 'Upcoming Events' will be the booking, please click Cancel Booking
  • Follow the steps and complete the request