Content and leximancer analysis as methodological tools to study formal school grievances: An archival study
Heath, A and Swabey, K and J-F, Content and leximancer analysis as methodological tools to study formal school grievances: An archival study, Proceedings of the 2014 joint Australian Association for Research in Education and New Zealand Association for Research in Education Conference, 30 November - 4 December 2014, Brisbane, Australia, pp. 1-5. ISSN 1324-9320 (2014) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Positively addressing and resolving staff grievances within a school is imperative for effective schooling and leadership. Often overlooked in grievance procedures are the role/s of stakeholders especially those in authority (e.g., Principals or School Leaders). Content and Leximancer analysis are two useful methodological tools used in tandem which can specifically assist in understanding the process/es undertaken to positively resolve grievance in terms of procedures, roles of individuals and outcomes in line with policy. Content and Leximancer analysis were used to review 10 formal archival files between the periods of 1973 until 1987 from a secondary school secure repository in Tasmania. Content analysis was used to capture broad themes, essences, and trends common in archived formal grievance files which have led to identifying incidents in terms of their nature and severity. Leximancer analysis was used to look at key ideas, concepts, and common words mandated by Human Resource Policy documentation; this assisted in assessing whether appropriate procedures and processes were followed leading up to positive resolution. Content analysis revealed that disputes regarding behaviours (e.g., bullying) appeared to have resolved within five working days and, required no further action from school leadership. However, Leximancer identified that the grievance procedure in this school had a focus on producing measurable outcomes (e.g., reducing the bullying) rather than solutions (e.g., restoring an effective working relationship after bullying has ceased). Content analysis allowed for a multi-layered consideration as it assisted in unpacking the grievance in terms of behaviour, and Leximancer analysis provided a clear link in identifying how outcomes were achieved in line with policy and whether they resulted in positively resolving the grievance.