7th Biennial ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference

Positive organisational arts-based youth scholarship
2020-12-02, 11:10–11:25, Zoom Breakout Room 2

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.

• A/Prof. Ann Dadich: A.Dadich@westernsydney.edu.au
• Prof. Katherine Boydell: K.Boydell@blackdog.org.au
• Ms Stephanie Habak: S.Habak@unsw.edu.au
• Ms Chloe Watfern: Chloe.Watfern@unsw.edu.au

Do NOT record this presentation – yes