This study researched the impact of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) on the development of interpersonal competencies in nonprofit boards, examining the case of the San Benito Time Exchange (SBTE), in Hollister, California. The study assessed five interpersonal competencies tied to organizational effectiveness, including: knowledge of one another, communication style, decision-making, conflict resolution, and ability to influence one another. All SBTE board members participated in pre-interviews, board retreat, and post-interviews, each using AI. Study findings indicated positive changes in four out of five measures. The SBTE case illustrated the positive impact of AI on the board's interpersonal competencies and indicated that AI could have a positive impact on interpersonal competencies in other nonprofit boards. Study limitations include the small number of participants and the short time between intervention and measurement of its impact. Areas for future research include testing the impact of AI with larger groups and over longer time periods.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Research projects (MSOD); Appreciative inquiry; Organizational effectiveness; Interpersonal relations; Communication in organizations

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Egan, Terri;