An exploration of generativity in faculty group processes in post-secondary.


  • Christine Slavik



generativity, generative dialogue, generative outcomes, organization development, appreciative inquiry


Like most organizations, a university needs to plan for its success. The environment in which universities operate continues to shift and change consequent to economic realities, changing demographics, changes in technology, and most recently a global pandemic. Planning in higher education must be creative and responsive to address multifaceted demands. To sustain post-secondary education, institutional leaders need to develop skill sets that promote effective dialogue, group work, and generativity within internal organizations. Concepts of leadership for the 21st century shift focus away from the previous approaches of making incremental improvements to already existing processes toward discovering possibilities, exploring potential innovations, and generating actions (Burgess & Newton, 2015; Webber, 2016). Building on existing frameworks for understanding generativity in group work and planning, this study sought to understand generative processes and conversations that compel people to act upon thoughts and feelings arising from social interactions. A descriptive study design was utilized to explore and summarize the experiences of faculty involved in three different group planning processes: brainstorming (Osborn 1953, 1957, 1963), a force field analysis (Lewin, 1947), and a variation of an appreciative inquiry process (Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987). The development of a generative conversations survey tool focused on how the faculty participants perceived the qualities of their experiences. A key outcome of the research was the creation of a set of recommendations for thinking about the design of group sessions and meetings that can transmethodologically enhance chances for generative results.

Author Biography

Christine Slavik

Dr. Christine Slavik is an Associate Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley, is currently the Head of the Child, Youth and Family Studies Department, and is an elected faculty representative on the Board of Governors for the university. Prior to her appointment at the university, Christine worked as a Psychiatric Nurse, a Child and Youth Care Counselor, and a Child Life Specialist. In each of her roles over her 40+ years in human service and education, she engages with others in a relational and strength-based manner, open and curious, to lead is to learn and share meaning. Christine has held a variety of leadership roles in both health care and education. She is a past president of the Canadian Association of Child Life Leaders; past Chair of the Child and Youth Care Education Consortium of BC; Director of Child Life at BC Children’s Hospital; past Board member of the Child Life Council (now Association of Child Life Professionals); and former Head of the Teacher Education Program. Her research focus is in wellness, mindfulness-based practices, planning, generative conversations, and Appreciative Inquiry as a model of transformational change process. In addition to holding various administrative and leadership roles in both the hospital and the academy, Christine has engaged in numerous strategic planning opportunities utilizing a strength-based approach to these processes. Christine has a personal commitment to meditation and mindfulness-based practices and incorporates this into her teaching and leadership.




How to Cite

Slavik , C. (2024). An exploration of generativity in faculty group processes in post-secondary. International Journal for Leadership in Learning, 24(1), 59–102.