Imagine creative workshops as a qualitative research tool

Martyn Richards
Martyn Richards Research

Chapter 1

The theme of storytelling is running through the research world at present: John Turner using it to engage decision-makers (Turner, 2012) and Martin Oxley using stories in quantitative research (Oxley, 2012) as examples. For myself, for several years I have been using a case study approach as an alternative to individual depth interviews, with several visits and locations over time, allowing individuals' stories to inform the client as much as my own interpretation. The key point of difference is that each individual is presented, with still photographs to aid context-setting and understanding, rather than the more standard synthesis/combination/analysis of the findings as a whole. Stories are also at the heart of this paper, though where elsewhere storytelling principles are presented mostly as a basis for analysis and presentation of data and findings, here I am exploring them as a basis for qualitative data collection. In the spirit of this theme, I shall begin with a story.