Experiences of a PhD candidate at Gothenburg Research Institute

Hi, my name is Chiara Bartolacci. I’m a PhD candidate in Economics and Management at Macerata University.

Now, I can imagine that few of you reading this post, know where the University of Macerata is, so to prevent you from googling it, I will tell you that it is in Italy. On the adriatic cost, precisely.

But geography is not the point. The most interesting thing for you (for this blog, at least) is that I’ ve been visiting Gotheburg Research Institute for almost ten months. I arrived in Gothenburg at the end of August and after a long winter and some beautiful days of summer, I’ll be back in Italy at the end of June. So this is a farewall post.

Gothenburg Research Institute is a happy place for Social Science: here you can find people going back and forth between different universities, disciplines, countries and languages.

It’s going to be tough. I can already say that I will miss the city as much as the Institute. Here people have welcomed me in the kindest way since the very beginning. If I had to pick just three adjectives to describe GRI, I would say: international, interdisciplinar and familiar.

Gothenburg Research Institute is a happy place for Social Science: here you can find people going back and forth between different universities, disciplines, countries and languages. Here you are surrounded by people of different ages, backgrounds and nationalities that are available to help you and give you useful insights about your research project. And furthermore, they are ready to listen to your experience, your ideas and open to your contribution and opinion. They encourage you and make you feel home. I think that it’s correct to say that they take care of you, both as a person and as a researcher.

After this emotional breakdown maybe some of you are wondering what my research is about. So here it goes: My research project is about narrative representations in organizational communication. And I’m claiming this proudly and fiercely because this statement has come together with lots of struggle and effort.

Also, I need to add that I’m an industrial PhD student, which means that my research project is applied to and carried out within an Italian company.

In particular, my dissertation is meant to describe the organizing processes behind the construction of the narrative representations of my host company. Starting from my direct observations and my active involvement in the Communication Office and in the Research for Development Office, my work will lead to build a theory of the local practice, or rather a praxiography. And obviously a prominent aspect of this description will come from and thanks to the role I’ve been covering within my field-work, as both a researcher and a worker.

Research is a tough and long process, especially during a PhD. And it is not just about work, it involves you as a person. This is what I’ve understood in these months.

Therefore, these months spent in Gothenburg were really precious in order for me to step back from the field and go to the desk to analyze my field-material. Honestly, it was not easy. At all. But I had the precious guidance and help of Barbara Czarniawska, who during these months provided me with the tools to carry out this work.

I also attended the UFIS (Ute på fältet, inne vid skrivbordet/ From field to desk*) course, held by Barbara Czarniawska and Andreas Diedrich. There I discovered that doing research also can be fun and entertaining. It’s not just hard and painful. Although sometimes it is, you know. But you are not alone out there. Experiencing difficulties and despair is completely normal.

Research is a tough and long process, especially during a PhD. And it is not just about work, it involves you as a person. This is what I’ve understood in these months.

I’m now leaving Gothenburg Research Institute with feelings of huge gratitude. These months have been really intense and formative and this visiting has been one of the most significant experiences so far.

GRI it’s a truly enriching place. I’m going back to the University of Macerata as a grown up researcher and person. I don’t know what the future holds for me, nor where my future will be. But what I do know is that this visiting period have had a huge resonance no matters which path I’ll choose to follow.

If you want to know more about me, about my research or about my visiting experience at GRI, you can email me (c.bartolacci1@unimc.it).

Once more, thank you GRI and all the people there.chiara

Vi ses,
Chiara

Chiara Bartolacci, PhD candidate in Economics and Management at Macerata University.

** A transdisciplinary qualitative method course

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