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Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is growing in popularity as a strength-based approach to organization and whole system development. Despite numerous accounts on AI’s outcomes positively impacting on organizations and persons, a dearth of quantitative studies exists measuring AI’s impact on individual-level outcomes. This quantitative study investigates how participating in AI impacts on individuals’ psychological capital (PsyCap) through fulfilling their basic psychological needs (BPN) for competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Results, based on data from 213 participants who worked in social profit organizations and either belonged to a group with AI experience or without AI experience, indicate that satisfying the need for competence mediates the relationship between participating in AI and the PsyCap dimensions self-efficacy, optimism, resilience, and hope. Furthermore, results show that participating in AI satisfies the three BPN. Next to theoretical implications, the article provides insights into how leaders of change can build organizations in which people thrive.

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This page is a summary of: Building Psychological Capital With Appreciative Inquiry, The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, July 2014, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0021886314540209.
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