7th Biennial ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference

Ann Dadich

Dr Ann Dadich is an Associate Professor within the Western Sydney University School of Business. She is also a registered psychologist, a full member of the Australian Psychological Society, and a Justice of the Peace in New South Wales. A/Prof. Dadich has accumulated considerable expertise in health service management, notably knowledge translation. This encompasses scholarship on the processes through which different knowledges coalesce to promote quality care. This is demonstrated by her publishing record, which includes over 165 refereed publications; the research grants she has secured; and the awards she has received. A/Prof. Dadich holds editorial appointments with several academic journals, including: the Australian Health Review; and BMC Health Services Research. She is also the Deputy Director of the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) Knowledge Translation Strategic Platform; she chairs the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Health Management and Organisation (HMO) Conference Stream; and she convenes the ANZAM HMO Special Interest Group. Additionally, A/Prof. Dadich supervises doctoral candidates and teaches undergraduate units on change management, innovation, creativity, and organisational behaviour.

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The HIVE: A co-created art installation about health

We consider how artists explore complex health issues in a large-scale, collaborative art installation. The presentation introduces - The HIVE - an arts-based knowledge translation (ABKT) initiative through which artists collaborated with researchers, service providers, health consumers, and carers affiliated with a major translational health research centre in Australia. Specifically, we present a case study that draws on artist statements and visual documentation to evoke the different facets of the initiative. The eight projects encompassed by The HIVE were diverse. Artistic media included textiles, sculpture, poetry, and photography. Health issues ranged from palliative care to child healthcare. The HIVE was not simply an installation, but a nucleus that fostered collaboration through the design and development of creative artworks. In emphasising empathy and non-verbal communication, The HIVE at once translated and expanded health(care) research and practice.

Positive organisational arts-based youth scholarship

Positive organisational scholarship (POS) is an established methodology that goads scholars (sensu lato) to examine, understand, and ultimately promote phenomena that is life-giving and flourishing, like experiences that generate positive emotion and/or bolster resilience. Undergirded by critical theory, it is not pollyannish or ignorantly blissful – nor is its expressed intention to incite change, akin to its related counterpart, appreciative inquiry. Instead, it purposely recognises and aims to clarify how organisations – that is, groups of people who pursue a shared cause – enact virtuous practices and embody generative experiences, despite the typical challenges of organisational life, like limited resources, including funds, workforce support capacity, time, or networks, among others. Since its advent, POS has been extended into healthcare (POSH) to intentionally consider, make sense of, and raise the profile of those instances within organisational life – be they large-scale or modest – that exceed the expectation of those who deliver, manage, administer, or receive healthcare (sensu lato). This has also involved the use of the established methodology, video reflexive ethnography (POSH-VRE).

Building on these methodologies, this presentation makes a case for positive organisational arts-based youth scholarship. It demonstrates how art can be used to understand and promote positive experiences during crises, among young people. Like POS, arts-based research is an established methodology with a demonstrated capacity to visibilise the abstract and the ephemeral – that which can be difficult to articulate and codify. Yet, it is not typically used with an expressed focus on that which is life-giving or generative. Positive organisational arts-based youth scholarship serves to turn the scholar’s gaze to these phenomena.

To demonstrate its potential, this presentation describes how positive organisational arts-based youth scholarship can be used to examine, make sense of, and clarify the ways in which some young people exceeded expectation, positively managing a global crisis – namely, COVID-19. This case is substantiated with reference to digital exemplars, sourced from social media platforms and relevant organisations.

The purpose of this methodological presentation is not to present findings – but rather, to draw on exemplars to demonstrate the potential of positive organisational arts-based youth scholarship, the associated methodological challenges, and how these can be managed. In essence, the thesis of this presentation is twofold. First, many young people have the capacity to exercise agency and give voice to their experiences, particularly during times of adversity. And second, positive organisational arts-based youth scholarship represents one methodology to understand and ultimately raise the profile of their brilliance.

What could possibly go wrong? The dark sides of knowledge translation and how to lighten them

Knowledge translation represents an avenue to address the oft-cited chasm between what should happen and what does happen. Although variously defined, knowledge translation encompasses myriad processes through which different knowledges coalesce to inform practice. As such, it is more than the mere use of empirical results or clinical guidelines – it involves the amalgam of these with other knowledges, including (but are not limited to): the experiential wisdom and preferences of a patient and their family members; cultural norms; clinician expertise; the managerial and leadership prowess of their superiors; as well as the knowledge embedded within local networks – be they clinical or familial.

Knowledge translation is often lauded as an aspiration to work towards. It challenges, if not contests stability, homogeneity, and our comfort zones because it diversifies and democratises voices and knowledges. Rather than award primacy, or indeed sole attention to knowledge borne from research, knowledge translation recognises experiential wisdom, practitioner expertise, managerial prowess, leadership styles, and cultural competencies (sensu lato), among others.

However, all that glitters might not be gold. Reflecting on this adage, this panel discussion considers the dark sides of knowledge translation. Specifically, academics, clinicians, and artists will share: experiences with knowledge translation that were less than favourable; how they managed these situations; and the lessons they have garnered.

The purpose of this presentation is not to demote the importance of knowledge translation – but rather, to advance it, in a better-informed way. Only by considering the dark sides of knowledge translation can they be identified, managed, and potentially moderated, if not averted.