Collaborative Inquiry

When you are facing questions for which there are no obvious answers, we have developed Collaborative Inquiry, a form of cutting-edge research that enables innovative and new insights to emerge from within your organisation's resources.

This is a tool for organisations looking to develop new methods of learning and to encourage new forms of leadership involving everyone.

Oasis has a long history of research using Co-operative and Collaborative Inquiry methods, including a 20-year association with its co-founder John Heron. Inquiry topics have included peer learning; transpersonal learning; globally responsible practice in organisations; leadership requirements for the future; frugal innovation; collaboration; and increasing creativity at work.


Those involved work together as peers, increasing engagement and collaboration

New perspectives

Working with the unknown and the uncertain

Develop new ways of learning

Encourage new forms of being and leading

We believe that good research is research with people rather than on people. We believe that ordinary people are quite capable of developing their own ideas and can work together in a co-operative inquiry group to see if these ideas make sense of their world and work in practice.

John HeronAuthor, Co-operative Inquiry: Research into the Human Condition

Collaborative Inquiry is an evolving participative approach to experiential research. Human-based inquiry has been under steady development from its inception in the early 1980s.

It is informed by other approaches to inquiry such as Appreciative and Co-operative. It brings more opportunity for challenge than some approaches, and is less personally intense than others. It has been effectively offered in business settings as well as in the health sector and for individual development.

A Collaborative Inquiry usually follows several cycles of planning, action, review and assessment. The inquiry members then distil their conclusions and decide how to express their findings.

Examples of Inquiries

The Workplace of Tomorrow Inquiry had its first research cycle in 2009, supported by a wide range of contributors in the UK and internationally. Further development of the research began in 2013, culminating in the publication of 7 Principles to Shape the Workplace of Tomorrow in 2015.

A UK Leadership Collaborative Inquiry held by Oasis led to a series of Developing Collaborative Leadership Retreats for CEOs, Directors and Oasis Change Agents from across the UK.

Co-directors, staff and associates took part in four cycles across five years of a Co-operative Inquiry into Whole Person Learning from 2011. Research focused on how the approach lives in practice.

For a more in-depth overview of how Collaborative Inquiry works, how it fits with Whole Person Learning and how you could use it in your organisation, read About Collaborative Inquiry.

Contact us

Get in touch on 01937 541700 or by email to find out more about how we can help you work with your organisation's questions.