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Video Storytelling in a Transient, Volunteer Organization


Business Communication Quarterly Volume 70, Number 3, ISSN 1080-5699


To make sense of and learn about work environments, people actively construct their own knowledge and share stories of their experience. Telling stories is particularly challenging in a transient organization where people are hired on a voluntary, temporary basis. Such is the case of a nonprofit music festival organization in Sweden, which is rebuilt every year starting with recruiting the top management. An ethnographic study was conducted by the authors to understand the festival organization's learning processes, so as to design a digital tool that would enhance knowledge construction in the organization. They focused on one unit of the festival organization that was responsible for the Alternative program (performances and events off the major stages). Data were collected through participatory observations and through interviews with key festival workers. The results of the ethnography indicated that the festival organization lacked formal rules, valued innovative thinking, and attributed job responsibility to the individual festival worker. Although it did not promote specified ways for performing tasks, it provided a means for enculturating new volunteers into possible ways of thinking about the festival. The volunteers from prior years were relied upon to informally and orally share their knowledge and experiences with new volunteers, but this was not always consistent. This article describes the use of a video booth to encourage more sharing and archiving of stories about the experience and roles of a larger number of the volunteers.


Katzeff, C. & Ware, V. (2007). Video Storytelling in a Transient, Volunteer Organization. Business Communication Quarterly, 70(3), 381-385. Retrieved May 25, 2019 from .

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