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The "Narrative Recherche" as an artistic method in a Municipal Context

Case Study: Situational Discourse Analysis

At a glance


The company is subject to change processes. And with it organizations, institutions and companies. The way we think, act and communicate is changing. How do we respond to these changes? How do we shape change? With which images, with which stories do we tell about ourselves? How do we give our social, our organizational, our corporate "we" in motion an adapted narrative and structure?

The block seminar "Narrative Research - Artistic Movements in Organizations" at the HKS Hochschule für Künste im Sozialen Ottersberg teaches BA and MA students of art therapy, dance and theater pedagogy, fine arts and artful leadership the basics of "narrative research". The "Narrative Research" was developed by Michael Uhl, freelance director and lecturer. It is an artistic intervention and technique with which the theater questions society by collecting perspectives and narratives of the actors involved. The result is a mosaic of different perspectives and narratives, which are brought together in an artistic form. This artistic method of "narrative research" can also be applied to specific social groups such as institutions or companies. The storytelling, the common view of the whole, is not told hierarchically from above, but represents a common communicative process of the most diverse individual perspectives. - The seminar is practice-oriented: Students are to go through the phases of a "narrative research" by doing their own exemplary work. In the course of the seminar, students will conduct discussions with political and official actors in Ottersberg local politics and will participate in a council and a technical committee meeting for culture and citizen participation, finance & economy. The results and learnings from these encounters flow into the process of "narrative research".

The research area OKOE Organizational Communication and Public Spheres of the IAM Institute for Applied Media Studies is realizing a case study on behalf of the HKS in the form of an explorative situational discourse analysis. The analysis focuses on the following questions: What are the interests of students going through the process of a "Narrative Recherche" in local administration and politics? Which topics and stories can be reconstructed linguistically? How do students experience the process of the "Narrative Recherche"? Which practices of the "Narrative Recherche" can be identified and how is the process evaluated? The analysis includes a situational determination of the stories and topics told by the interviewed students as well as the linguistic reconstruction of the process of "narrative research" - this in the sense of an initial "mapping" of the experiences made during the seminar and in the practical field of local politics and administration.