Management and Organization Review

Regular Articles

Indigenous or Imported Knowledge in Brazilian Management Studies: A Quest for Legitimacy?

巴西管理研究中的本土知识和引进知识 寻求合法性?

Suzana B. Rodriguesa1, Roberto Gonzalez Duartea2 and Alexandre de Padua Carrieria2

a1 Erasmus University, The Netherlands

a2 Federal University of Minos Gerais, Brazil


This article reflects upon the evolution of Brazilian management studies in light of the debate provoked by Management and Organization Review, 5(1), in a special edition on ‘The Future of Chinese Management Research’. Despite an impressive growth in publications, Brazilian management and organization studies have had litde conversation with mainstream international scholarship. The article offers some explanations as to why this might be so and suggests some alternatives for enhancing the international impact of Brazilian studies and advancing the country's reputation in the field. We suggest two routes through which Brazilian management studies could enhance international legitimacy: an outside-in approach, which draws upon established international contributions to theory to inform the investigation, but uses the Brazilian context to enlighten these same theories, and an inside-out approach that draws upon indigenous questions and research design to develop a theory relevant to the Brazilian context, which ultimately contributes to the enhancement of existing or to the creation of new theories. In addition, this article suggests that ambidextrous policies provide a better fit for research strategies intended to foster both approaches.


(Received December 30 2009)

(Accepted September 16 2011)


  • Brazil;
  • imported knowledge;
  • indigenous knowledge;
  • institutional environment;
  • legitimacy;
  • localness


  • 巴西;
  • 引进知识;
  • 本土知识;
  • 制度环境;
  • 合法性地方性

Suzana B. Rodrigues ( MSc, PhD holds the Chair of International Business at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. She is Scientific Director of the Erasmus Centre for Emerging Markets. Suzana was Professor of International Management and Organization at UFMG, Brazil and served as President and Director of the Brazilian Academy of Management for several years. Suzana's contributions have been in the areas of international business, governance and corporate co-evolution. Her interests include the influence of social organization and different network configurations in SMEs internationalization. Suzana is also currently engaged on a study of multinationals' relationships with subsidiaries and on research on corporate co-evolution. She has published in Human Relations, Journal of International Management, Journal of Management Studies, Management and Organization Review, Management International Review and Organization Studies. Her book on Corporate Co-evolution: A Political Perspective (with John Child) received the Terry Book Award at the 2009 Academy of Management Meeting.

Roberto Gonzalez Duarte (, MSc, PhD is a Lecturer of International Business at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil) and researcher of the Brazilian National Scientific Research Council. His main research interests are cross-border acquisitions, transfer of knowledge and management practices across borders and impacts of FDI on emerging and underdeveloped economies. Presently, he is developing, with other colleagues, a comparative study on FDI, linkage effect and transfer of knowledge in Brazil and Mozambique.

Alexandre de Padua Carrieri ( received his PhD in Business Administration from the Center for Graduate Studies and Research Administration (CEPEAD), Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG). He is currently an Associate Professor at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. His areas of research interest are organizational studies and symbolism, construction strategies, power relations and work, behaviour and organizational change.