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Journal Article

The Use of Narratives to Reveal the Secret Data of Organisational Life  pp1-8

Andrew Armitage, Alan Thornton

© Jan 2012 Volume 10 Issue 1, Editor: Ann Brown, pp1 - 52

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Abstract

This paper considers the use of narrative exchanges in the form of letters and conversations as a legitimate research method when collecting “secret data” within organisational settings. It refers to narrative exchanges the authors’ undertook over a three‑month period, regarding their different perspectives on their University Staff Appraisal System. It explores personal tensions and anxieties that reside within the “secret data” of organisational life. It also reveals a concern regarding “professional commitments” with colleagues and the “managerial” edicts that dominate their work environment. From a “critical management” perspective, the paper initially provides an overview of the postmodern position and its impact upon organisational power relationships and knowledge, as individuals strive to attain and gain their authentic, personal voice within the domination of modernistic organisations. It then explains the methodological approach used for the narrative exchanges and describes the context and relationship of the two colleagues. Commencing from a discussion of organisational policy and postmodernist critiques the conversations increasingly developed into a dialogical meditation on the relationship between “self” and “other”. These narratives revealed, through their autographical, autobiographical and at times surreal discourses, messages that are often absent from conventional research data. The paper concludes with a perspective regarding critical management in which individual values, dignity, honesty and respect are upheld. Thus, narrative exchanges of this kind allow dialogical conversations in which statements are agreed, accepted, challenged or sometimes synthesised to be used as a means to explore and collect legitimate “secret data” of organisational life within an environment that respects the ethical and value systems of the participants engaged in narrative exchanges.

 

Keywords: postmodern, surrealism, autography, autobiography, aesthetic, individual voice, critical turn

 

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Journal Article

From Art for Arts Sake to Art as Means of Knowing: A Rationale for Advancing Arts‑Based Methods in Research, Practice and Pedagogy  pp154-167

Sally Eaves

© Nov 2014 Volume 12 Issue 2, ECRM 2014, Editor: Ann Brown, pp75 - 167

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Abstract

Abstract: This paper advances a philosophically informed rationale for the broader, reflexive and practical application of arts‑based methods to benefit research, practice and pedagogy. It addresses the complexity and diversity of learning and knowing, fo regrounding a cohabitative position and recognition of a plurality of research approaches, tailored and responsive to context. Appreciation of art and aesthetic experience is situated in the everyday, underpinned by multi‑layered exemplars of pragmatic vi sual‑arts narrative inquiry undertaken in the third, creative and communications sectors. Discussion considers semi‑guided use of arts‑based methods as a conduit for topic engagement, reflection and intersubjective agreement; alongside observation and int erpretation of organically employed approaches used by participants within daily norms. Techniques span handcrafted (drawing), digital (photography), hybrid (cartooning), performance dimensions (improvised installations) and music (metaphor and s tructure). The process of creation, the artefact/outcome produced and experiences of consummation are all significant, with specific reflexivity impacts. Exploring methodology and epistemology, both the ⠜doing⠀ and its interpretation are explicated t o inform method selection, replication, utility, evaluation and development of cross‑media skills literacy. Approaches are found engaging, accessible and empowering, with nuanced capabilities to alter relationships with phenomena, experiences and people. By building a discursive space that reduces barriers; emancipation, interaction, polyphony, letting‑go and the progressive unfolding of thoughts are supported, benefiting ways of knowing, narrative (re)construction, sensory perception and capacities to act. This can also present underexplored researcher risks in respect to emotion work, self‑disclosure, identity and agenda. The paper therefore elucidates complex, intricate relationships between form and content, the represented and the representation or performance, researcher and participant, and the self a

 

Keywords: Keywords: arts-based research, arts, aesthetics, visual narrative inquiry, reflexivity, authenticity, polyphony, knowledge

 

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