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The role of language in constructing social realities.The Appreciative Inquiry and the reconstruction of organisational ideology (English version)


  • Stefan COJOCARU

    () (PhD, Associate Professor, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Iasi, Bd. Carol I no. 11, ROMANIA)

  • Constantin BRAGARU

    () (PhD, Lecturer, Nicolae Titulescu University, Bucharest, Department of Business Administration and Marketing, Faculty of Economics, ROMANIA)

  • Oana Maria CIUCHI

    () (Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports, Counsellor, Str. General Berthelot, nr. 28-30, sectorul 1, Bucuresti, ROMANIA. PhD Lecturer, Petre Andrei University from Iasi)


The 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan COJOCARU & Constantin BRAGARU & Oana Maria CIUCHI, 2012. "The role of language in constructing social realities.The Appreciative Inquiry and the reconstruction of organisational ideology (English version)," Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala, Editura Lumen, Department of Economics, vol. 36, pages 31-43, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:lum:rev2rl:v:36:y:2012:i::p:31-43

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexandra GALBIN, 2015. "Constructing Organizational Discourse. A Symbolic Action In Improving Work," SEA - Practical Application of Science, Fundația Română pentru Inteligența Afacerii, Editorial Department, issue 7, pages 247-250, April.

    More about this item


    constructionism; language; Appreciative Inquiry; ideology; appreciative intervention; realities;

    JEL classification:

    • A23 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Graduate
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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