Using Appreciative Inquiry as a Tool for Revitalizing Community Organisations: A Case Study of WISALTS Inc

By Sally Paulin and Subas P. Dhakal.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

WISALTS Inc. is one of the oldest Environmental Community Organisations (ECOs) active in Western Australia (WA). The organisation has been tackling the issue of land degradation in the agricultural areas since 1978. However, declining membership as well as the departure of key leaders has cast uncertainty over its future. It has been argued that the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) approach has the potential to induce sustainable transformative change within organisations. Grounded in the theory of social constructionism, AI is a different approach to organisational development; one that focuses on past strengths and successes rather than the weaknesses and failures. In this context, this paper discusses the principles and processes of AI and explores its use in supporting a lifespan change process within WISALTS Inc., as a case study.

Keywords: Appreciative Inquiry, Environmental Community Organisations, Change Processes

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.299-310. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 841.355KB).

Sally Paulin

PhD Researcher, Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy, Murdoch University, MURDOCH, Western Australia, Australia

Sally Paulin is a lecturer and PhD Researcher at the Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy at Murdoch University. Her research and teaching interests are in social sustainability and in particular the third sector or community benefit organisations.

Dr. Subas P. Dhakal

Research Associate, Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy, School of Sustainability, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, Australia

Subas has been affiliated with Murdoch University’s School of Sustainability/ISTP as a PhD Candidate/Tutor since September 2006. His PhD explores the implications of nexus between social capital and ICTs towards strengthening urban environmental stewardship in Perth. Subas completed his bachelor level studies (Wildlife Conservation and Management) at Missouri Western State University, USA and Master’s level studies (Environmental and Natural Resources Management) at Mahidol University, Thailand. His research interests/professional experiences/publications have been in the areas of community based environmental management, environmental education, environmental economics, social capital, and ICTs.


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