Squeaking in São Paulo

Thursday 2019_01_17

Squeaking because I’m absolutely stuffed!

Work

I’ve been doing a lot of reading today. I’ve been concerned that I’ve not yet arranged any interviews or focus groups to collect data around our research questions. I mentioned this to our Brazilian partners and got an amazing response. Hugo first tried to contact people likely to be involved with PB, including a São Paulo councillor, a councillor from a certain São Paulo neighbourhood and a member of a women’s empowerment group but so far these have not replied to him. He has also successfully contacted another councillor who also works for an interesting-looking civil society organisation. With luck I’ll meet her on Wednesday morning, before going on to meet some academics at USP Leste that afternoon.

Meanwhile Leandro has been making plans with the city servants we met last week, and these look very promising. Leandro has also sent me lots of material on São Paulo’s open government work. Open Government is a topic that personally interests me anyway. I think making information on public health, wealth and welfare freely available is essential if people are to make informed decisions about how tax money is to be spent.

Closer to theory (and assuming that openness and transparency are synonymous), Schnackenberg and Tomlinson (2016) have stated that greater openness/transparency reinforces perceptions that information-providers are trustworthy, leading to more trust:

Schnackenberg and Tomlinson define transparency in terms of three dimensions:

  • Disclosure is defined as the perception that relevant information is received in a timely manner.
  • Clarity is defined as the perceived level of lucidity and comprehensibility of information received from a sender.
  • Accuracy is defined as the perception that information is correct to the extent possible given the relationship between sender and receiver.

They quote Mayer and Davis (1999) who define trustworthiness perceptions in terms of three related dimensions:

  • Ability refers to ‘the group of skills, competencies, and characteristics that enable a party to have influence within some specific domain’.
  • Benevolence refers to ‘the extent to which a trustee is believed to want to do good to the trustor, aside from an egocentric profit motive’.
  • Integrity refers to ‘the trustor’s perception that the trustee adheres to a set of principles that the trustor finds acceptable’.

For me, it’s intriguing that this all about perceptions, i.e. that there is no room in this model for knowing that someone is trustworthy. I guess it just means that we can’t actually see what is going on in each others’ heads. Also, even if we could, we still wouldn’t be able to know that people we trust now will not change in the future.

OK, enough theory and on to the coincidence of the year. Hugo found a researcher who is interested in social topics, who lives in São Paulo, who was supervised at Napier by someone I respect hugely, and who is happy to talk with me/us. The only drawback is she’s not currently in Brazil. However, there is Skype.

A second course of spam

In addition to ramming papers and websites through GoogleTranslate, I’ve also been contacted by a few people who are still being spammed by my WriteNow! calendar invitations. I’ve contacted Napier IT colleagues and apologised to those affected. That’s the last time I send a calendar invitation to an email list. Someone found a silver lining though:

Personally I thought your continuous cancelling and reinstating the event was a fantastic (and hilarious) publicity stunt!

liquid sunshine and overeating

This afternoon, the heavens opened and stayed that way for over an hour.

monsoon!

Even bins in the hotel’s porch caught it!

This evening, Renato, Priscila, Hugo, Leandro and I went out in search of pizza. Apparently it’s quite a tradition in São Paulo. The difference between UK and São Paulo pizza-eating is that instead of everyone ordering their own gut-buster, a group of 5 or 6 people would order three large different pizze. They would arrived sliced into 8, everyone would have a slice of whichever they fancy. Rinse and repeat until replete.

Renato’s first choice of pizzeria was closed this evening, so he and Priscila took us to a pizzeria called Viena. It’s in the food-court of a large shopping centre north of my hotel. We ordered two pizzas without cheese (one with palmito, one with spinach and garlic) and one with cheese and spicy sausage.

I noticed that they offered dessert pizze, so I just had to try the banana version. Very, very nice! That’s all of today’s happenings that are fit to print, so nighty-night!

banana pizza. The wee speckles are cinnamon.

a playground in the shopping centre, seen from the lift

References

  • Schnackenberg, A. K., & Tomlinson, E. C. (2016). Organizational Transparency: A New Perspective on Managing Trust in Organization-Stakeholder Relationships. Journal of Management, 42(7), 1784–1810. https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206314525202.
  • Mayer, R. C., & Davis, J. H. (1999). The effect of the performance appraisal system on trust for management: A field quasi-experiment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84(I), 123–136. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.84.1.123.
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