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Media workplace research methods

CEMP short course presentation (Masters Project phase), April 2013.

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Media workplace research methods

  1. 1. Action Research, Ethnography, Work, Organisation, Life
  2. 2. Methodology APPROACH STYLE TECHNIQUE PRINCIPLES QUANTITATIVE QUALITATIVE Experimental Style Survey Case Study Ethnographic Style Action Research Measurement Questionnaire Secondary Sources Observation Interview Validity Reliability Generalisability Triangulation Ethical Issues
  3. 3. The basic steps of an ac/on research process cons/tute an ac/on plan: • review our current prac/ce, • iden/fy an aspect that we want to inves/gate, • imagine a way forward, • try it out, • take stock of what happens. • modify what we are doing in the light of what we have found, and con/nue working in this new way (try another op/on if the new way of working is not right), • monitor what we do, • review and evaluate the modified ac/on, and so on … Two processes are at work: your systema/c ac/ons as you work your way through these steps, and your learning. Your ac/ons embody your learning, and your learning is informed by your reflec/ons on your ac/ons. Therefore, when you come to write your report or make your research public in other ways, you should aim to show not only the ac/ons of your research, but also the learning involved. (McNiff, Lomax and Whitehead, 1996)
  4. 4. people reflect and improve (or develop) their own work and their own situa/ons by /ghtly integra/ng their reflec/on and ac/on; people make their experience public not only to other par/cipants but also to other persons interested in and concerned about the work and the situa/on (i.e. their (public) theories and prac/ces of the work and the situa/on); data gathering by par/cipants themselves (or with the help of others) in rela/on to their own ques/ons; par/cipa/on (in problem posing and in answering ques/ons) in decision making; power sharing and the rela/ve suspension of hierarchical ways of working towards industrial democracy; collabora/on among members of the group as a “cri/cal community”; self-­‐reflec/on, self-­‐evalua/on and self-­‐management by autonomous and responsible persons and groups; progressive (and public) learning by doing and making mistakes in a “self-­‐reflec/ve spiral” of planning, ac/ng, observing, reflec/ng, replanning, etc; reflec/on which supports the idea of the “(self-­‐)reflec/ve prac//oner”; Gerald Vinten, (1994),"Par/cipant Observa/on: A Model for Organiza/onal Inves/ga/on?", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 9 Iss: 2 pp. 30 -­‐ 38
  5. 5. Reflexivity is a social scien0fic variety of self-­‐consciousness. It means that the researcher recognizes and glories in the endless cycle of interac0ons and percep0ons which characterize rela0onships with other human beings. Research is a series of interac0ons, and good research is highly aAuned to the interrela0onship of the inves0gator with the respondents… …As long as qualita0ve researchers are reflexive, making all their processes explicit, then issues of reliability and validity are served. (Delamont, 2002)
  6. 6. Bracke0ng Epoché, or 'bracke0ng' (Ashworth, 1999; Yegdich, 2000; Moran, 2000) Predisposi0ons, predilec0ons, biases, prejudices and prejudgements are set aside, and a review is undertaken with new and recep-ve eyes (Moustakas, 1994). Not to doubt or eliminate everything, only the natural a4tude, the biases of everyday knowledge as a basis for truth and reality (Husserl, 1931). Adop0ng the stance of a 'stranger' (Pring, 2000)
  7. 7. Objec0ve Non-­‐par/cipant ‘Robust’ and valid Wri`en words, units and measurements. Empirical observa/on Truth Reflexive Visual, mul/modal, mixed media Ethnography Situated Par/cipatory Storytelling Metaphor
  8. 8. Ethnography In this way you will want to explore the COMPLEXITY of your work / organisation with ‘thick description’. ETHNOGRAPHY = PRINCIPLED EFFORTS TO EXPLORE: • local meanings from ‘the inside’ – perspectives of the network / setting • reflexive questioning of assumptions (including of the producer / researcher) • blurring / testing boundaries of personal, public, professional spaces • patterns in practices and categories of thought / discourse • power structures and complicity in them.
  9. 9. Ethnography of organisa/ons
  10. 10. Media / Visual / Digital Ethnography • Participant observation in the network / setting • Open-ended, fluid interventions • Artifacts / texts over words as data • THICK DESCRIPTION Potter (2012:49): …knowing how the reflexive project of the self with its anchored and transient identities gets made & unmade over time in the various spaces online and how we live with this and function in the new media.
  11. 11. Michael Wesch
  12. 12. Themes 4 Project Key themes from reading / presentation: Epistemology and ontology, conceptual ‘mapping’ and paradigms The notion of methodology Data: coding, classification, grounded theory, typology, the Springer Spaniel analogy Participation – observing, bracketing, reflecting / reflexivity Action Research and power / hierarchy + CHANGE Ethnography and thick description of / in / for the organisation Participant fieldwork, forms of data, visual / digital / media fieldwork options

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