Using Appreciative Inquiry as a Strategy to Accelerate Team Building on Site

Ignacio Pavez1, Luis F. Alarcón2 & Jose L. Salvatierra3

1PhD Candidate, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA, +1 216 772-1256,
2Professor, Department of Construction Engineering and Management, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile, +56 2 2354-4201,
3Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Universidad de Santiago de Chile. Av. Ecuador 3659, Estación Central, Santiago, Chile, Phone +56 2 27182818,


Current team building models has been designed using traditional organization development practices, which has not been proven to be effective for accelerating the process of team formation. Therefore, we designed a study aimed to contrast two different strategies of team development, in order to compare their capacity to speed up the process of team building on-site. The first strategy was based on the traditional team building approach and the second was based on appreciative inquiry (AI), which is a strength-based process of organizational development and change. We used grounded theory methods to conduct a systematic comparison of 10 construction project teams, which were randomly assigned to either the strength-based team development intervention (based on AI) or to the traditional one (based on Dyer’ model of team building). Data collected from three different sources (face-to-face interviews, field notes and observations) provided strong evidence that the strengthbased process of team development is better to accelerate the process of team formation, especially at the early stages of a construction project. To consolidate the outcomes of this study, we created a strength-based model of team development (called P-ICIA), which offers some interesting insights to enrich team development research and practice.


Team building, appreciative inquiry, strength-based change, trust, collaboration.



Pavez, I. , Alarcón, L.F. & Salvatierra, J.L. 2015, 'Using Appreciative Inquiry as a Strategy to Accelerate Team Building on Site' In:, Seppänen, O., González, V.A. & Arroyo, P., 23rd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Perth, Australia, 29-31 Jul 2015. pp 701-710

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