Recognizing the Contributions Made by Another Person
From yet another perspective, the process of appreciation concerns our recognition of the contributions that have been made by another person: “I appreciate the efforts you have made in getting this project started.” Sometimes this sense of appreciation is reflected in the special recognition we give an administrator for a particularly successful project or in the bouquet of flowers we leave with our administrative assistant on National Secretary’s Day.
These occasional forms of recognition can be gratifying to those receiving the praise. However, appreciation can be exhibited in an even more constructive, ongoing manner through the daily interactions between an entrepreneurial leader and his associates in a closely-held enterprise. The consistent acknowledgment of contributions is embedded in mutual respect and it is founded on an appreciative attitude regarding the nature and purpose of work. If the entrepreneurial leader “sees work as the means whereby a person creates oneself (that is, one’s identity and personality) and creates community (that is, social relations), then the accountability structure becomes one of nurturing and mentoring.” (Cummings and Anton, 1990, p. 259)
Organizational Attitudes of Appreciation
The term appreciation is now being used regarding not only individuals but also organizational settings. The term has become closely aligned with shifts in organizational attitude. There are three ways in which the attitude of appreciation is exhibited in a closely- held enterprise. This enterprise is considered to be appreciative if one finds a positive image of the future within the organization, especially if this image infuses strategic planning in the organization with meaning and purpose.
The closely-held enterprise is also appreciative if a concerted effort is being made to recognize the distinct strengths and potentials of people working within this organization. Finally, a closely-held enterprise is appreciative if its employees consistently value and seek to establish cooperative relationships and recognize the mutual benefits that can be derived from this cooperation.