Analyzing and communicating action research data: Practical approaches to conveying the quality and texture of experience

Blog post by Megan Reitz

Megan Reitz

Megan Reitz

Have you ever settled down to write about your experience of a phenomenon and felt frustrated by how difficult it is to convey the richness and complexity of that experience? In my research I was attempting to explore and illustrate the relational, dialogic ‘space-between’ leader and follower using Martin Buber’s work on I and Thou. I wanted to further our conceptualization of the space-between through noticing the complex processes at play in leadership relations and through describing and celebrating the holistic beauty, color and ineffability of this interplay. The problem was, after I had used grounded theory to extricate key themes (the ‘texture’ of the between-space), I realised I had ‘disappeared’ the tumultuous, exciting, colourful, scary, dynamic and mundane nature of that between-space. So I resolved to come up with some approaches which attempted to convey both texture and quality. This paper presents these with the invitation to researchers to try them out and come up with other novel methods to enable us to specify salient issues relating to phenomena whilst capturing the sense of the experiential quality of those events.

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