In the spirit of open practice, these are the comments that Prof Guy Merchant, my tutor and Richard Pountney, the course leader offered me on passing this dissertation:
This is a strong and thought-provoking case study of digital storytelling in an organisation and it is produced to a high standard in an appropriate and professional way. Creative dimensions enrich the account, but not to the detriment of the story it tells, or at the expense of the literature it draws upon. If Bruner is right in claiming that stories are the ‘currency and coin of culture’ this is certainly worth the money! Developing communication and reflective practice at Netskills lies at the heart of the case study and this is carefully explored.
There is a good solid literature review and this is subdivided into four sections. This shows careful attention to detail and the review is summarised and synthesised effectively. Perhaps more could have been done to bring these themes together. This is followed by a clear rationale for the adoption of a case study methodology which in turn provides the groundwork for a carefully designed study which gives clear consideration of the researcher’s positionality and the strengths and limitations of the interview approach. Ethical issues are covered here, too albeit in a rather formulaic way.
I thought the study’s weak point was the rather superficial description of the processes of data analysis. The 5 themes that emerge are so close to the research questions that they seem like a top level analysis, where a little more depth could have emerged at this stage. Nonetheless there is an intelligent commentary, and the data is allowed to ‘speak for itself’.
In the concluding sections very good use is made of Bruner’s ideas about narrative and identity and their applicability to organisational contexts. There is a measured approach in drawing conclusions and the practical recommendations about using digital storytelling in organisational contexts for institutional purposes make the exercise well worthwhile. On the whole this is a very good piece of work from a student with plenty of potential. I also felt that the mode of presentation makes it a model of its kind.
I agree with the first marker’s comments. The topic and its treatment are very interesting and this is a worthwhile study with many important insights for the researcher and the organisation. The chosen format is an excellent way to make the study accessible and I enjoyed the exemplars. I also agree that deeper analysis of the data would benefit the study. To be fair this may be a symptom of the format – the hyper-linked structure is more visible and the study, as a story in itself, becomes vulnerable to ‘reportage’, perhaps as a result of this. I also wonder about the nature of stories, how they are constructed and their semantic as well as their emotional content. However, this is thought-provoking work!