Appreciative supervision in social work

Stefan COJOCARU, 2010, “Appreciative supervision in social work. New opportunities for changing the social work practice”, Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala,  vol 29, pp. 72-91, ISSN: 1583-3410 (tipar), 1584-5397 (electronic).

The practice of social work focuses mainly on solving problems, on reducing dysfunctions, on diminishing deficiencies etc. More often then not, allocating resources for providing problem-centred social services does not solve the problems for which the services were designed.  Our initiative consists in experimenting appreciative supervision and in identifying the potential differences between the two approaches, the one centred on problems and the appreciative one. The results we have obtained in the practice of social work through the application of appreciative supervision underscore the advantages of this approach, an approach which is capable to produce profound changes in the practice of social work. We chose a pair of similar cases in terms of the child’s risk of abandonment and we managed each of them differently, according to opposing views on supervision; the results showed that the desired changes can be brought about more easily when using appreciative supervision. 
Appreciative supervision; appreciative inquiry; social work; parallel process; problem-centred supervision; appreciative case management.
ISI Thomson Reuters (Social Sciences Citation Index), SCOPUS, Central and Eastern European Online Library, Index Copernicus, Ideas Repec, EconPapers, acreditata CNCSIS no. 657, categoria A


Arches, J. (1991). Social structure, burnout and job satisfaction. Social Work, 36 (3), 202-206.

Barker, R.L. (1995). The Social Work Dictionary, SUA: NASW Press.

Cohen, B.Z. (1999). Intervention and supervision in strengths-based social work practice. Family in society, 80(5), 460-466.

Bradu, O.A., Sandu, A. (2009). Epistemic and axiological perspectives in appreciative supervision, Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala, 24, 95-102.

Brashears, F. (1995). Supervision as social work practice: a reconceptualization. Social Work, Sept, 40 (5), 692-699.

Bunea, O. (2009). Supervision as change factor of social intervention, Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala, 24, 127-144.

Bushe, G.R. (1999). Advances in appreciative inquiry as an organization development intervention,

Chapagain, C.P., Ojha, G.P. (2008) Appreciative inquiry for enhancing individual and organization capacity, Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala, 20, 7-18.

Cojocaru, D. (2003). Ancheta apreciativă – formă a cercetarii – aciune in schimbarea sociala. Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala, 2, 203-208.

Cojocaru, S. (2008). Appreciative evaluation – a form of formative evaluation, Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala, 20, 42-48.

Cojocaru, S.(2005). Metode apreciative in asistenta sociala. Ancheta, supervizarea si managementul de caz, Iasi: Polirom.

Cooperrider DL, Withney, D. (2000).  Appreciative inquiry: rethinking human organization toward a positive theory of change, Stipes: Champaign, IL.

Cooperrider, DL, Barett, F., Srivatsva, S. (1995). Social construction and appreciative inquiry: A journey in organizational theory. Hosking, D.M., Dachler, P.H. şi Gergen, K.J., Management and Organization: relational alternatives to individualism, Avebury, Aldershot: 157-200.

Cooperrider, DL, Srivatsva, S. (1987). Appreciative Inquiry in Organization Life, Research in Organizational Change and Development, 1, 124-148.

Cooperrider, DL, Srivatsva, S. (1994). Appreciative inquiry: an alternative to problem solving. French, W.,  Bell, C., Organizational development and transformation, Ridge, Irwin, 207-208.

Copperider , D.L. (1990). Positive image, positive action: the affirmative basis of organizing. Srivastva, S., Cooperrider, D.L., Appreciative Management and Leadership, Jossey- Bass, San Francisco, pp. 91-125.

Elliott, C. (1999). Locating the Energy for Change: An Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry, Winnipeg, Monitoba, Canada, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

Espedal, G. (2008). Creating growth and development in a coaching relation using appreciative inquiry and solution focused approach, Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala, 20, 16-41.

Felluga, D. (2003). Matrix: paradigma postmoderna sau impostura intelectuala?. Zeffeth, G., Matrix. Ştiinţă, Filozofie şi Religie, Bucuresti: Amaltea.

Fernando, M.S.C. (2010). Appreciative inquiry: a positive approach to organizational planning and learning, Social Research Reports, 10, 3-105.

Gergen, K.J. (1985). The social constructionism movement in modern psychology.  American Psychologist, 40 (3),  266-275.

Gergen, K.J. (1994). Realities and relationships: soundings in social construction, Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

Gugeanu, M. (2009). Supervision: new domain of social work in Romania, Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala, 24, 145-156.

Johnson, G., Leavitt, W. (2001). Building on success: transforming organisations through an appreciative inquiry, Public personnel management, 30 (1): 129-136.

Madrid, F.V. (2008). Appreciative Inquiry: a new method to discover, create, share, and implement knowledge to change government and nongovernmental institutions, Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala, 20, 19-35.

Mc Quaide, S. and Ehrenreich J.H. (1997). Assessing client strengths. Families in Society, 78: 202- 210.

Miftode, V. (2003). Tratat de metodologie sociologică, Iaşi: Lumen.

Murrel, K.L, Watkins, J.M., Mohr, B. (2001). Book review of Appreciative Inquiry: change at the speed of imagination, Organization Development Journal, 19(3): 92-93.

Rich, P. (1993). The form, function and content of clinical supervision: an integrated model. The Clinical Supervisor,  11:137-178.

Rosenfeld, J.M. (1997). Learning from success: How to develop user-friendly social work. Society Dr. Welfare, 17:361-378.

Saleebey D. (1992). The strengths perspective in social work practice., New York: Longman.

Saleebey D. (1994). Culture, theory and narrative: The intersection of meaning in practice. Social Work, 39: 346-358.

Sandu, A., Cojocaru, S.,  Ponea, S. (2010). Appreciative evaluation of training programs. Case study: Lumen Consulting and Training Center, Social Research Reports, 9, 1-76.

Searles H.F. (1995). The informational values of the supervisor’s emotional experience. Psychiatry, 18: 133-141.

Thuderoy C. (2000). Negocierile. Eseu de sociologie despre liantul social, (trad.rom: 2002, Olga Moraru), Bucureşti, Ştiinţa.

Töpfer, J. (2008). Appreciative inquiry – changing perspectives in our perception of organisations,  Revista de cercetare si interventie sociala, 20, 49-58.

Ungureanu, I.(1990). Paradigme ale cunoaşterii societăţii, Bucureşti: Humanitas.

Van Kessel, L., Haan, D. (1993). The Intended Way of Learning in Supervision Seen as a Model, New York: Haworth Press.

Weick, A., Rapp, C., Sullivan, W.P. and Kisthardt, W. (1989). A strengths perspective for social work practice.  Social Work, 34: 347-355.

Williams, A. (1995). Visual and active supervision: roles, focus, techniques, New York: W.W. Norton.

Withney, D. (1998). Let’s change the subject and change our organization: an appreciative to organizational change,

Yontef, G. (1997). Supervision from a Gestalt therapy perspective. Watkins, Jr., Handbook of psychotherapy supervision, Wiley, New York

Appreciative supervision in social work. New opportunities for changing the social work practice (Full article download – free)