Both Knowledge Management and Appreciative Inquiry attempt to amplify human and organizational capacities by leveraging the best of each. Whereas knowledge management systems aim to help identifying the substantive organizational knowledge in its broadest sense and leveraging it to benefit the organization and its stakeholders, the appreciative inquiry methodology is also about the search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. In their root cause, both knowledge management and appreciative inquiry "involve systematic discovery of what gives life to a living system when it is most alive, most effective, and most constructively capable in economic, ecological, and human terms." Following a brief introduction of knowledge management systems and appreciative inquiry, this essay examines the corollary relationship between the two, and subsequently points to critical areas in which knowledge management practices can benefit from adopting the appreciative inquiry perspective. More particularly, we submit that appreciative inquiry can motivate organization-wide adoption of knowledge management systems and it can provide language-based mechanisms to facilitate effective knowledge exchange. The development of an appreciative-inquirybased mode of knowledge management opens new horizons and uncovers previously overlooked possibilities, which eventually can contribute to the overall organizational performance and wellbeing.
Avital, Michel, "Bolstering Knowledge Management Systems with Appreciative Inquiry" (2004). ECIS 2004 Proceedings. 17.