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Personal Adaptive Capacity in a Multinational Project

Updated: May 9

Dr Piotr Modzelewski, Principal Investigator, Team Poland

I was very pleased to be invited to join a multidisciplinary team where there was a strong emphasis on public management issues. It was also important for me to address issues related to vulnerable populations, as I have been doing research in the social welfare system for a long time now. Thus, topics related to the juxtaposition to the management and economics of nonprofit and public sector organizations with clients from vulnerable populations, was especially interesting for me.

I was very warmly welcomed by the team and from the beginning of the cooperation, I valued the opportunity of focusing on aspects related to inter-organizational relations and adaptive capacity. However, as time went on, I began to learn more about the political science point of view, and it turned out that I was finding common ground from earlier research on populism which was carried out with another US researcher. These different approaches are largely complementary, as well as having similar phenomena in the 4 countries studied. As a team we successfully went through the stages of informal brain storming, where we were able to eliminate redundant and unrealistic proposals, largely because the people on the team have experiences that balance and complement one another. I am grateful to the team for accepting my proposals in this area with great enthusiasm.

The pandemic has made working and meeting online a common thing, and I very much appreciate our regular team meetings, however I do believe that meeting in person are equally important and allow us to better build relationships and share one another’s points of view. A crucial moment for me was a ‘tête-à-tête’ meeting in New Orleans, where I realized that I am on the same page with the rest of the team with regard to the interviews with the NGOs. Before the workshop on inductive and deductive coding I was insecure during the interviews with NGOs. Luckily, thanks to the workshop conducted by the UK team, I gained confidence, which allowed the NGOs interviews to progress.

I find great pleasure being on this team, as I am constantly learning something new and gaining competence for carrying out international projects. This has been my personal journey towards learning how to increase my own ‘adaptive capacity’.

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