Using narratives as a research strategy

Helen Wildy, Coral Pepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports on our use of narrative accounts in qualitative research about educational leadership in Western Australia. Data for the research were gathered through semistructured interviews. We wanted to know whether interview data constructed as narrative accounts then analysed would help us understand the phenomenon of leading for sustainability. We had used this approach previously (Wildy & Pepper, 2005; Clarke, Wildy & Pepper, 2007) in our examination of school leadership. Our commitment to an interpretive approach (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990; Kvale, 1996), to delve into our participants' understanding of their experiences remains strong. Rich insights into the experiences of participants are revealed in narrative accounts crafted from semistructured interviews. Stories and descriptions of experience are given status when presented as narratives so contribute to participants' wellbeing and meet the criteria for 'good educational research'. In this paper we describe collecting data, constructing narratives, confirming quality and conducting analysis to describe the 'wakefulness' and transparency we adhere to when using narrative accounts as a research strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-26
JournalQualitative Research Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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