How Can We Build A Strength-Based Professional Development Program Through Appreciative Inquiry For The UNICEF Chinese Staff

Xie Jian, SIT Graduate Institute


Based on the author’s HR training experiences in Human Resources Division, UNICEF New York Headquarters, this paper tries to renovate a strength-based HR Development program, which has currently been used in UNICEF, to fit this organization’s Chinese staff considering the culture difference.

At the beginning, this paper illustrates why strength-based HR Development has significant meanings for UNCEF Chinese staff. In light of comprehensive literature review and the comparison of Chinese and American culture, this paper has also identified those potential barriers on strength-based HRD for Chinese people, such as cultural environment, values, and general personality. Under the framework of Appreciative Inquiry, this paper creates a new approach for UNICEF Chinese staff—strength based professional development through Appreciative Inquiry. This new approach has finally been examined in UNICEF Headquarter through interviews of American and Chinese staff, in which a series of findings have been observed and recorded. Based on the analysis of findings, this paper provides some recommendations for a strength-based professional development program, reflects on some limitations in the fields of its framework and interview design, and further discusses the relationship between some important concepts related to strength, weakness and goal.