David Cooperrider biography and books

David Cooperrider - Toolshero

David Coopperrider is a Professor in Social Entrepreneurship at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University and founder of the Appreciative Inquiry theory. David Cooperrider has also lectured at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, the Catholic University in Belgium, MIT and other major universities.

Biography David Cooperrider

Cooperrider is the founder and chair of the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value. This initiative engages in sustainability and business opportunities of the 21st century. Here social and global issues are dealt with and there is a focus on leading eco-innovations and social entrepreneurship.

In addition to his academic career, Cooperrider has served as an advisor to various organizations such as Boeing Corporation, Fairmount Minerals, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, McKinsey, Parker, Sherwin Williams, Wal-Mart, Hewlett-Packard, IDEO, Yahoo!, etcetera.

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Most of the advice he provided to these organizations was inspired by the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) methodology.

Dr. David Cooperrider carried out much theoretical and empirical research and he focused on creating a positive revolution in times of change. The central starting principle in this is to help organizations discover where the strengths of the organizations lie so that they can develop innovation sustainably.

The work of David Cooperrider is unique because of its proved ability to enable positive change, innovation and sustainable designs in systems of a large and complex scale.

His dynamic and proven ideas on Appreciative Inquiry (AI) can be found in several publications in journals such as Science Quarterly, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Organizational Development (OD), Practitioner, Advances in Strategic Management but also in The New York Times, Forbes, NPR, Science, Washington Post and others.

Cooperrider has also received many awards. He received the title ‘Best Paper of the Year’ at the Academy of Management and he was named top researcher of the year (2005) at Case Western Reserve University.

  • In 2000, Cooperrider was recognized as among the top ten visionaries in the field by the Training Magazine.
  • In 2004, Cooperrider received the ‘Porter Award’ for best writing from the OD Network.
  • In 2004, Cooperrider received the ASTD’s highest award for distinguished contributions to the field of organizational learning.

Cooperrider has published more than 15 books and he is the author of over 50 articles.

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Famous quotes

  1. “We live in worlds our questions create.”
  2. “We have reached “the end of problem solving” as a mode of inquiry capable of inspiring, mobilising and sustaining human system change, and the future of organisation development belongs to methods that affirm, compel and accelerate anticipatory learning involving larger and larger levels of collectivity. The new methods will be distinguished by the art and science of asking powerful, positive questions.”
  3. “We create our organizations based on our anticipations of the future. The image of the future guides the current behaviour of any system.”
  4. “It could be argued that all leadership is appreciative leadership. It’s the capacity to see the best in the world around us, in our colleagues, and in the groups we are trying to lead. It’s the capacity to see the most creative and improbable opportunities in the marketplace. It’s the capacity to see with an appreciative eye the true and the good, the better and the possible.”
  5. “We have reached the end of problem solving as a mode of inquiry capable of inspiring, mobilizing, and sustaining human system change. The future of Organization Development belongs to methods that affirm, compel, and accelerate anticipatory learning involving larger and larger levels of collectivity.”

Books and publications by David Cooperrider et al.

  • 2017. Appreciative Inquiry in Organizational Life. Research in organizational change and development. Emerald Publishing Limited, 2017. 81-142.
  • 2011, 2005, 1999. Appreciative inquiry: A positive revolution in change. ReadHowYouWant.com.
  • 2010. Introduction to Positive Design and Appreciative Construction. London: Advances in Appreciative Inquiry Vol 3 Emerald Publishing.
  • 2010. From Sustainable Development to Sustainable Value. London: Book Series: Advances in Appreciative Inquiry vol 3 Emerald Publishers.
  • 2010. Developing Tomorrow’s Business Leaders to Enact Corporate Citizenship: The Call and Opportunity for Business Schools. Sheffield: Special Issue of The Journal of Corporate Citizenship.
  • 2010. Can Stakeholder Engagement be Generative?. Sheffield: Journal of Corporate Citizenship/Greenleaf.
  • 2010. Design Inspired Corporate Citizenship. Sheffield: Journal of Corporate Citizenship.
  • 2010. Managing as Designing in an Era of Massive Innovation. Sheffield: Journal of Corporate Citizenship.
  • 2010. Design Inspired Corporate Citizenship (vol. 37, ). Sheffield: Special Issue of The Journal of Corporate Citzenship.>
  • 2010. The Power of Appreciative Inquiry (pp. 3-6). Berrett Kohler.
  • 2010. A Peter Drucker Moment: Harnessing the Innovation Producing Potential of a Shareholder and Stakeholder Theory of the Firm (vol. 36, pp. 3-6). Sheffield: Journal of Corporate Citizenship.
  • 2010. Building a Green City on a Blue Lake: A Model for Building a Local Sustainable Economy (1 ed., vol. 33, ). HRPS People and Strategy.
  • 2009. Is Corporate Citizenship Spreading and Shrinking? (35 ed., vol. Autumn 2009, pp. 3-6). Sheffield: Journal of Corporate Citizenship.
  • 2009. A Journal That Makes a Difference (April 2009 ed., vol. 33, pp. 3-6). Sheffield: Journal of Corporate Citizenship.
  • 2008. The appreciative organization. Taos Institute Publications.
  • 2008. Appreciative inquiry handbook: For leaders of change. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • 2007. Designing information and organizations with a positive lens. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • 2006. Toward a theory of positive organizational change. Organization development: A Jossey-Bass reader, 223-238.
  • 2003. Appreciative Inquiry Handbook: For Leaders of Change. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
  • 2003. Strategic inquiry appreciative intent: inspiration to SOAR, a new framework for strategic planning. AI Practitioner. November, 10-17.
  • 2001. A positive revolution in change: Appreciative inquiry. Public administration and public policy, 87, 611-630.
  • 2000. Appreciative inquiry: Rethinking human organization toward a positive theory of change. Team Performance Management, 6(7-8), 140-140.
  • 2000. Appreciative inquiry: The power of the unconditional positive question. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, 189-199.
  • 2000. The appreciative inquiry summit: An emerging methodology for whole system positive change. OD PRACTITIONER, 32(1), 13-26.
  • 1999. Collaborating for change: Appreciative inquiry. P. Holman, & T. Devane (Eds.). Berrett Koehler Communications.
  • 1999. Organizational dimensions of global change: No limits to cooperation. Sage Publications.
  • 1998. Organizational wisdom and executive courage. Lexington Books.
  • 1996. The “child” as agent of inquiry. OD practitioner, 28(1), 5-11.
  • 1995. Social construction and appreciative inquiry: A journey in organizational theory. Management and organization: Relational alternatives to individualism, 157-200.
  • 1991. Global social change: A new agenda for social science?. Human Relations, 44(10), 1037-1055.
  • 1990. Positive image, positive action: The affirmative basis of organizing. Srivastras, S. and Cooperrider, D. Appreciative Management and Leadership.
  • 1990. Generative metaphor intervention: A new approach for working with systems divided by conflict and caught in defensive perception. The journal of applied behavioral science, 26(2), 219-239.
  • 1987. Appreciative inquiry in organizational life. Research in organizational change and development, 1(1), 129-169.
  • 1986. Appreciative inquiry: Toward a methodology for understanding and enhancing organizational innovation . Doctoral dissertation, Case Western Reserve University.

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Original publication date: 12/14/2011 | Last update: 04/30/2023

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Vincent van Vliet
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Vincent van Vliet

Vincent van Vliet is co-founder and responsible for the content and release management. Together with the team Vincent sets the strategy and manages the content planning, go-to-market, customer experience and corporate development aspects of the company.


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