Interviewing the interviewers: Difference, knowledge sharing, and cohesion within the Queensland speaks interviewing team

Miller, Danielle and Stanley, Maree (2012) Interviewing the interviewers: Difference, knowledge sharing, and cohesion within the Queensland speaks interviewing team. The Oral History Review, 39 1: 61-82. doi:10.1093/ohr/ohs032


Author Miller, Danielle
Stanley, Maree
Title Interviewing the interviewers: Difference, knowledge sharing, and cohesion within the Queensland speaks interviewing team
Journal name The Oral History Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0094-0798
1533-8592
Publication date 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/ohr/ohs032
Volume 39
Issue 1
Start page 61
End page 82
Total pages 22
Place of publication Cary, NC, United States
Publisher Oxford University Press
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract The Queensland Speaks oral history project sits at the crossroad between history and political science. The interview team comes from a range of professional backgrounds and career stages. Although guided by the overall goals of the project, the interviewers have considerable autonomy over whom they interview and the questions they ask. The implications of this flexible approach for the overall cohesion of the project provided the impetus for us to write this article. The literature on oral history and interviewing clarified a preexisting appreciation of the role of the interviewer in the outcomes of interviews, a situation that has particular implications for the Queensland Speaks oral history project in light of the above-mentioned autonomy. In this article, we draw on the literature relating to oral history and interviewing in order to explore how a coherent oral history project has emerged without the boundaries imposed by having a dominant research question and/or a team of interviewers originating from the same discipline. The experiences of the key interviewers were examined to establish likely influences on their interviewing skills and to investigate the differences across the team. We also wanted to gain an understanding of how each individual conceptualized the project. After conducting these interviews with the team and listening to interviews that they had already conducted for the Queensland Speaks project, we found that each interviewer did bring his or her own style and research interests to bear. Even so, the differences between their individual approaches and the subsequent interview outcomes were not as great as we had anticipated, and we found that extensive research undertaken by the less experienced members of the team acted to balance existing knowledge and skill gaps between the early career researchers and those interviewers who are either former Queensland public servants themselves and/or have extensive knowledge of Queensland political history. Through informal communication and teamwork, a high degree of cohesion within the Queensland Speaks interviewing team has emerged.
Keyword Australian politics
Gender
Peer interviewing
Queensland
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
 
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Created: Wed, 25 Jan 2012, 15:43:50 EST by Kimberly Dobson on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry