Rural heritage of early Brazilian industrialists: Its impact on managerial orientation

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Fabio Vizeu


The understanding of modern management in peripheral countries does not take into account research into their historical background that has come a different route from the Anglo-Saxons. In this study we shall be analyzing the case of Brazil, where the modernization process has been marked by a unique colonial heritage. The central hypothesis is that strengthening of the farming system that was inherited from the colonial period was a decisive factor when the country fell behind the social, political and economic modernization processes that were taking place at that time in other parts of the world. We set out with the premise that the persistence of rural logic in social and political spheres in republican Brazil was a determining factor for the configuration of industrial management with traits that were characteristic of patrimonialist societies. These are: (a) opting for protectionism based on political influence and privileges extended to the businessman, which characterizes relationships among the economic elite in Brazil; and (b) the subordination of formal authority and the technical competence of the professional manager to patriarchal personalist logic, which favors family ties and personal loyalty.


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Vizeu, F. (2011). Rural heritage of early Brazilian industrialists: Its impact on managerial orientation. Brazilian Administration Review, 8(1), 68-85.