Data representation with a dramatic difference: negotiating the methodological tensions and contradictions in qualitative inquiry. Confessions of a budding playwright...

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Based on the need to address the empirical reticence in the leadership literature revolving around networking dynamics in school governance, I conducted a case study of a Maltese multi-site school collaborative, the findings of which are represented in a semi-fictionalized narrative dramatization. This article focuses on the crafting of this narrative dramatization and the rationale behind this choice of narrative in social science. In depicting my rather unconventional mode of data representation, I demonstrate how a researcher attempts to negotiate the methodological tensions and contradictions in qualitative inquiry in order to construct knowledge differently. Through an understanding of my unique voice in research, I consider how representation will always remain incomplete. Furthermore, I argue for a continuous reconceptualization of validity as unpredictable and undecidable, while troubling the notions of transcription, translation and ‘verbatim’ in my research. Acknowledging the importance of textuality, I comprehend the significance of the writing process in my research, rather than just the product of my inquiry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-881
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2016

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