To examine the use of appreciative inquiry to promote the emergence of innovative ideas regarding the reorganization of health care services.
With persistent employee dissatisfaction with work environments, experts are calling for radical changes in health care organizations. Appreciative inquiry is a transformational change process based on the premise that nurses and health care workers are accumulators and producers of knowledge who are agents of change.
A multiple embedded case study was conducted in two interdisciplinary groups in outpatient cancer care to better understand the emergence and implementation of innovative ideas.
The appreciative inquiry process and the diversity of the group promoted the emergence and adoption of innovative ideas. Nurses mostly proposed new ideas about work reorganization. Both groups adopted ideas related to interdisciplinary networks and collaboration. A forum was created to examine health care quality and efficiency issues in the delivery of cancer care.
This study makes a contribution to the literature that examines micro systems change processes and how ideas evolve in an interdisciplinary context.
The appreciative inquiry process created an opportunity for team members to meet and share their successes while proposing innovative ideas about care delivery. Managers need to support the implementation of the proposed ideas to sustain the momentum engendered by the appreciative inquiry process.