Online Program

Building Public Health Capacity through Workplace Forgiveness: An Appreciative Inquiry Approach

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Amy Smart, M.S., Health Sciences, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL
Maureen Bezold, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Sciences and Social Work, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL
With increased emphasis on accreditation, many public health agencies are continuously looking to identify processes for improvement and build organizational capacity. Understanding an organization’s current position and strategic priorities for the future not only meets certain standards set by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAP), but also is fundamental to effective management and organizational success. An assessment of organizational culture provides an understanding of external and internal contexts that shape organizational values and its capacity to function effectively. Research has shown that a climate of forgiveness provides a strategic advantage, acting as both a prosocial and profit force for organizations. Using an Appreciative Inquiry approach, this study explores the concept of forgiveness climate potential and organizational change through questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential. In response to a call from the Illinois Department of Public Health on February 24, 2014 encouraging all local health departments (LHDs) to consider voluntary accreditation, one Illinois LHD served as the measurement target for this study. Using the Workplace Forgiveness Model as a strategic approach to climate research, this study focused on core cultural values, leader attributes and organizational practices that reflect the organization’s goals and provide a basis for forgiveness climate emergence and its sustainability over time. Using an Appreciative Inquiry approach to guide data collection, individual interviews and focus groups were held.  The data was then analyzed to understand the qualities of the organization through which a forgiveness climate could emerge.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership

Learning Objectives:
Define forgiveness climate. Explain the method of Appreciative Inquiry. Explain constructs included in the Workplace Forgiveness Model. Assess forgiveness climate potential in a local health department.

Keyword(s): Workforce Development, Workplace

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Ph.D. in management and an M.P.H. I have been researching workforce and organizational issues for over 20 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.