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Following Artistic Interventions for Organizational Creativity During a One-Year-Long Case Study

By: Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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In this article, I reflect on my research experiences in a longitudinal case study using qualitative methods in a 1-year-long artistic intervention project. The aim of the study was to create understanding of what was happening in an artist led project in a trade union, which wanted to learn about creativity through artistic methods. The research methodology was inspired by reflexive ethnography; I conducted a field study by observing what people did and by engaging in conversations in weekly workshops led by an artist in 2013. Based on my ontological and epistemological considerations, my research approach was based on relational constructionism, process thinking, and esthetics. Accordingly, the ongoing interpretations in the research process are influenced by my interactions with the participants and the context in which the study is situated. In this project, the implementation of artistic open work methods brought in tensions and conflicts. Consequently, the initial design of observing workshops without participating actively got me involved in action research. Writing a detailed account is essential in ethnography. When the field study ended, I had a lot of empirical material. Structuring the material was helped by considering my pre-understanding from the beginning of the study. However, in line with reflexive ethnography, I was open to changing my assumptions. Using the aesthetic perspective in organizations allowed me to understand the role of emotions, paradoxes, frustrations, and resistance in occasionally strained intervention situations. Besides theoretical studies in artistic interventions, studies on conflicts and learning in change processes in organizations became actual.

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