The role of language in constructing social realities.The Appreciative Inquiry and the reconstruction of organisational ideology (English version)
AbstractThe article explores the ways in which language is a factor in the generation of social realities. Having as a foundation social constructionism, the appreciative inquiry is a form of intervention in the organisational environment that can produce a rapid change in the way an organisation’s members define the organisation they work in. Thus, the theory of social constructionism seems to be operational in the organisational space, as it focuses on the relations through which social actors construct realities. The approach of social constructionism starts from the assumption that the language people use in order to understand the world is a social artefact, the historical product of exchanges between people. During the meetings with representatives of governmental and nongovernmental organisations involved in the experiment, we recorded the adjectives and the metaphors they used in order to describe the organisational environment they worked in. The experiment proves the fact that the negative definitions given to the organisations in which the participants were operating could be transformed into positive or neutral definitions through an appreciative approach. As a rule, people use negative terms in order to describe the organisations they work in; however, an appreciative intervention can cause a rapid change in their language, which generates in its turn new organisational realities. The results obtained during research provide the opportunity to rethink the organisational environment through the filter of ideologies negotiated and constructed through dialogue and to use an appreciative approach in order to change them.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Editura Lumen, Department of Economics in its journal Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala.
Volume (Year): 36 (2012)
Issue (Month): (March)
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Web page: http://www.rcis.ro/
constructionism; language; Appreciative Inquiry; ideology; appreciative intervention; realities;
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