The Role of Technical Visits in Learning and Institutionalizing External Control Practices
This article describes the process of acquiring external knowledge through technical visits and its role in institutionalizing the external control practices of the Brazilian Federal Audit Tribunal. Technical field visits made by the entity from 1998 to 2004 are identified and described. The theoretical framework is based on studies of organizational learning and the institutional approach, with focus on institutional isomorphism. The study takes a qualitative approach, based on data collected in 2006, in two stages. In the first, internal documents related to technical visits were analysed and in the second, 18 semi-structured interviews were conducted with people involved in those visits. Content analyses was the principal data analysis technique. The main results are that the technical visits, associated with conversion of the knowledge acquired into practice, have affected the institutionalization of the Tribunal’s external control practices, in an isomorphic context.