Asset-based co-operative management: OPERA as a form of critical appreciation

RIDLEY-DUFF, Rory and GRANT, Suzanne (2016). Asset-based co-operative management: OPERA as a form of critical appreciation. In: ISIRC Conference 2016 (8th International Social Innovation Research Conference), Glasgow, 5th - 7th September 2016.

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Abstract

The field of co-operative development is replete with invocations to practice participatory management. Furthermore, Moreau and Mertens (2013) have argued that participatory management should be part of the core curriculum for social enterprise (SE) management education. This study examines a participatory management approach called OPERA to establish its contribution to critical appreciative processes (CAPs) within an appreciative inquiry (AI). We participated in four OPERA sessions involving 75 co operative and SE educators, consultants and managers between July 2014 and April 2016. We retrospectively examined the results of the first two session, made reflective diaries of the final two sessions and then practised OPERA in our own educational practice to authenticate findings. We found that OPERA: improves the perceived quality of meetings; elicits a broad range of topics from participants; assists non-hierarchical management practice, and; promotes direct democracy. Our study obtained credible evidence that OPERA contributes to the discovery, dream and design parts of an AI cycle, but not that it promotes critical appreciation. As OPERA processes are ‘appreciative’ in the way they undertake choice selection, they represent an asset based inquiry process that advances co-operative management. Authors are grateful to Social Enterprise Europe, the FairShares Association, Sheffield Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Co-operative College for the access and support they provided for this study.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: appreciative inquiry, critical appreciation, critical management studies, social enterprise, cooperation
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > People, Work and Organisation
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Depositing User: Rory Ridley-Duff
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2016 11:04
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2016 22:25
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12929

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