November 4, 2010

David L. Cooperrider Honored as Peter F. Drucker Distinguished Fellow

The Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University has honored David L. Cooperrider, Case Western Reserve University’s internationally renowned organizational behavior professor known for his strengths-focused Appreciative Inquiry (AI) strategy and research, as the third and current Peter F. Drucker Distinguished Fellow.

The honor was bestowed shortly after a lecture and program Cooperrider provided at the Drucker School on “The Discovery and Design of Positive Institutions” in April 2010.  As distinguished fellow, Cooperrider is a valued resource for students, and he plans to teach a special graduate level seminar at the Drucker School on “Appreciative Inquiry and the Design of Positive Institutions” during the summer of 2011.

Recently, Cooperrider advised six Drucker students who participated in 3-day summit in Cleveland on sustainability and appreciative inquiry as part of Sustainable Cleveland 2019, the goal of which is to make Cleveland a model of sustainability and a leader in the emerging green economy over the next nine years.

Cooperrider regards Peter Drucker as one of the greatest thinkers of the past century. Cooperrider says Drucker advised him that the essence of leadership “is to create an alignment of strengths in ways that make a system’s weaknesses irrelevant.”

Cooperrider, the Fairmount Minerals Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve’s Weatherhead School of Management, and Suresh Srivastva jointly wrote the 1987 classic Appreciative Inquiry Into Organizational Life. The research shifted management attention from “a problem to be solved” to the importance of innovation spawning a “universe of strengths.” The end result is creation of new and sustainable value.

His book series Advances in Appreciative Inquiry (Emerald Publishers) and academic works such as The Organization Dimensions of Global Change have been drawn upon by scholars, executives, and leaders from all walks of life. Appreciative Inquiry is being called upon in the corporate world and in economics, public service, urban renewal, international development, and in faith-based institutions.

“David Cooperrider is building on and extending the work of Peter Drucker in an exciting and highly beneficial way,” said Vijay Sathe, a professor at the Drucker School. “Drucker said the best way to predict the future was to invent it. Cooperrider and his methods are helping businesses and people around the world to invent a better future for all sectors of society.”

Cooperrider joins only two others who have been named as a Peter F. Drucker Distinguished Fellow: Ikujiro Nonaka, author of The Knowledge-Creating Company, was named in 2008 and Charles Handy, author of The Age of Unreason, was named in 2009.

Cooperrider servers as faculty chair for the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value at Weatherhead, where he created the Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit in collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact and the Academy of Management. He has taught and lectured at Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge and many other business schools and organizations worldwide.