Appreciative Inquiry: An Integrative Review of Studies in Three Disciplines

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This integrative literature review aims to review, critique, and synthesize the existing literature on appreciative inquiry (AI) in three disciplines where the most significant number of AI-related articles could be found: healthcare, higher education, and management. We sought to identify critical insights, along with similarities and divergencies between the three fields. We identified diverse reasons for adopting AI methods and differing degrees to which researchers adhere to the 4D cycle. The reviewed literature suggests that AI yields positive effects across three levels (individual, group, and organization). Our results indicate that positive impacts from AI can be achieved even when not all steps of the 4D cycle are strictly followed. Furthermore, we discovered numerous innovative AI applications and multiple instances of using modified AI models. Based on our research findings, we proposed a systems model for understanding the AI process and offered implications for both HRD research and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHuman Resource Development Review
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • appreciative inquiry
  • healthcare
  • higher education
  • integrative literature review
  • management


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