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Ron Fry

Professor of Organizational Behavior, Case Western Reserve University

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As a co-creator of the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) theory and method, Ronald Fry, PhD, works with groups, organizations and institutions around the world to increase their cooperative capacity in order to engage the whole system in strategic thinking, planning and change. His research interests focus on the factors and dynamics that foster system-wide, positive change, and he continues to develop insights on large group dynamics, appreciative leadership, multi-stakeholder strategic planning, and business as an agent for world benefit.

His books include APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY: A POSITIVE APPROACH TO BUILDING COOPERATIVE CAPACITY, with Frank Barrett, and APPRECIATIVE TEAM BUILDING, with Diana Whitney, Amanda Trosten-Bloom and Jay Cherney. He also co-edited APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY AND ORGANIZATIONAL TRANSFORMATION: REPORTS FROM THE FIELD (Quorum, 2001). Fry’s work also appears in such journals as JOURNAL OF CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP, AI PRACTITIONER, JOURNAL OF APPLIED BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE, NZ MANAGEMENT, and QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN HEALTHCARE.

Fry has developed and conducted a Certificate Program in Appreciative Leadership and Organizational Capacity Building for over 150 leaders of voluntary social change organizations from more than 30 countries. With David Cooperrider, he co-directs the Weatherhead School of Management Certificate Program in Appreciative Inquiry in Positive Business and Society Change. He is an advisory board member and chief editor of the Fowler Center for Business as Agent of Work Benefit’s AIM2Flourish global inquiry into business innovations for business and society benefit. He has facilitated AI applications in a variety of systems including World Vision, Lubrizol, Roadway Express, US Navy, Genesis Health System, and Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Fry has served as a visiting faculty to Canterbury University in Christchurch, New Zealand, Katholieke University in Leuven, Belgium and to the Administrative Staff College of India. He has been honored with the Case Western Reserve University Award for Outstanding Teacher in the Professional Schools. In 2004, he was awarded the Weatherhead School’s Lifetime Service Award. He is the chair and faculty director of the Master of Positive Organization Development and Change (MPOD)-India Program. He also facilitates the annual summits for Sustainable Cleveland 2019.

Fry received both his doctorate and MS from the A.P. Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since joining the faculty at Case Western Reserve in 1978, he has taught courses on organizational behavior, organization change and development; group dynamics; sustainable enterprise; leading change; appreciative inquiry; and team building.