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Tractor Dad: From story to a scientific text, and back

Writing Differently

ISBN: 978-1-83867-338-3, eISBN: 978-1-83867-337-6

ISSN: 2046-6072

Publication date: 24 April 2020


This chapter begins with a short story based on a personal memory which is about how the interplay between ‘human’ and ‘technology’ may indicate a level of mastery in knowing in practice. The story suggests that ‘human’ and ‘technology’ can perform tasks that could not be performed by only one element. I turn to discuss how papers could be designed to be accepted as ‘scientific’, providing examples of the use of stories in research and explicitly sets ‘story’ in relation to Dewey’s ‘art as experience’. Dewey states that we should pay attention to what a product does with and in experience; something that is relevant for scientific products. Different forms of writing contribute knowledge that lie outside the strict framework of scientific articles. Notwithstanding this, a story needs a framework of some sort if it is to connect to a scientific discourse. To be able to write differently, we need arenas for publications that are accepted within the evaluation systems that govern academic careers. This matters to researchers’ careers and to the relevance of the knowledge that is developed in the scientific community and the relevance of universities as ‘knowledge providers’. If the formal structure of an academic article determines what researchers can say, then the scope of scientific knowledge will be limited. The inclusion of stories can stimulate dialogue, potentially link creative and logical thinking together, and bridge theoretical and practical knowledge. We need stories to heal and unite separated life worlds.



Bjursell, C. (2020), "Tractor Dad: From story to a scientific text, and back", Pullen, A., Helin, J. and Harding, N. (Ed.) Writing Differently (Dialogues in Critical Management Studies, Vol. 4), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 53-65.



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