Understanding power and organisational learning
Gustavo Guzman from Griffith University in Australia, now a visiting scholar at GRI, studies power from the perspectives of practice theory and Actor-Network Theory, and how politics shapes ethics and the other way around. Currently he is working on a study of a (failed) police department merger in Brazil.
From Peru to Australia, via Brazil to Sweden and Gothenburg, this is the route of Gustavo Guzman, who is currently visiting GRI. He has already become an integrated member of the Institute, cooperating with many researchers here.
GRI is a research institute that is frequently visited by researchers from other parts of the world. During the autumn, Dr. Gustavo Guzman from Griffith University in Australia visits the Institute for the second time (his first visit was in 2014). His research plans are truly impressive, and he has many of them.
- I wanted to develop my work on power from the perspective of practice theory and Actor-Network Theory (ANT), and I had read the work of Barbara Czarniawska, which I find relevant and original, Gustavo Guzman says. So I asked her if I could come, and she said yes.
At the moment, he is working on a study about the merger of two large police Department in Brazil, a country in which Gustavo Guzman lived for 18 years before he moved to Australia. In Brazil, police are divided into two large departments. One is city police one can see in the streets and the other is police who investigate crime. Both departments belong to the State, but are almost independent of each other. As a result, police activities are not efficient, and the State has enormous difficulties to control them. The plan was to merge them, but it failed. The examination of this case from a practice perspective permits Gustavo to untangle how politics shapes ethics and the other way around.
A favourable research environment
Gustavo Guzman cooperates with several researchers at GRI. Together with them, he has written papers, and plans to write further papers, on such different topics as organisational learning processes, bank strategies and governing modes of household waste.
I am impressed by the level of organisation of the country in general. Everything is so well organized here, even compared to Australia.
- I work on papers with different persons, but using a common conceptual basis—practice and Actor-Network Theory (ANT) — to understand power and organisational learning, says Gustavo. I’m really happy to be here, because at GRI there are so many academics from different fields, doing interesting work. I am learning a lot here. It is easy to connect with and talk to everybody. It may sound strange, but it is from the conversations at coffee break or at lunch that new ideas may come.
Gustavo’s visit this time stretches from July to November 2017, but he plans to come back for some months in 2018, and continue the cooperation already started at a distance.
Finally, we ask what it is his impression of Sweden.
- I have been travelling around, and I can say that Sweden is a beautiful country. I am also impressed by the level of organisation of the country in general. Everything is so well organized here, even compared to Australia. It doesn’t matter if it’s rainy or sunny, everything continues working very well. And you have a very good infrastructure with bikes, boats and trams to go everywhere you need to go, always on time. Very efficient!