TITLE

The use of Narrative in Organisational Learning: Making Sense of Information Literacy Interventions

AUTHOR(S)
Martins, Jorge Tiago; Canhoto, Rosa
PUB. DATE
January 2015
SOURCE
Proceedings of the European Conference on Research Methods for B;2015, p267
SOURCE TYPE
Conference Proceeding
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of narrative research in the process of creating situated understandings of new experiences - issues, objects, events and processes that have not been encountered before by organisational actors. The specific context of the study reported in the paper is that of the Portuguese Ministry of Education issuing policy guidelines for the development of information literacy interventions, which were to be led by school librarians at national level. Our focus is on school librarians' stories of their own experiences of navigating the implementation of those information literacy interventions. Methodologically, this implied giving participants the opportunity to act as active framers who related new knowledge to previous understanding and experiences, and who actively engaged in the construction of a narrative. We then engaged in a two-staged process of interpretation: cross-case analysis for the comparison of themes emerging in the accounts of different participants, and within-case analysis to look more closely at organisation and plot. At times narratives were expressed as what happened when things went well and when things went wrong. At other times, the emphasis was placed on reflecting upon what school librarians originally aimed for, and what kind of managerial and leadership challenges they faced. The construction of the sequence of actions and events that participants perceived to be relevant conveys a combination of realist tale, impressionist detail and confessional tones. We suggest that these narrative development processes helped school librarians respond to and make sense of the experience of implementing the policy guidelines issued by the Portuguese Ministry of Education for two reasons. First, they provided a means for the summarisation and communication of key observations. Second, they operated as triggers for action planning, and as instruments in the pursuit of quality improvement.
ACCESSION #
111356929

 

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