Colonization and Neo-Colonization of Human Resource Management in Brazil (1950-2010)

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Thomaz Wood Junior
Maria José Tonelli
Bill Cooke


Human resource management, as a practical field of business administration and as a teaching and research area, has developed vigorously in Brazil. The objective of this critical essay is to present an historical analysis of this evolution over the last 60 years. To do so we characterize and analyze two periods: 1950-1980, which we call colonization; and 1980-2010, which we call neo-colonization. For each period we present the political and economic context, the changes that occurred in human resource management and the corresponding discourse. Our analysis adopts the perspective of post-colonialism, a rising tide in research in organizational studies, and introduces and uses the perspective of tropicalism, a genuinely local approach, which is derived from the cultural movements of the 1960s. We argue that human resource management developed in Brazil from a colonization movement that came from abroad. This movement, which involved both colonizers and the colonized, comprised asymmetries in terms of power, but also included interdependence and re-creations. 


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How to Cite
WOOD JUNIOR, T.; TONELLI, M. J.; COOKE, B. Colonization and Neo-Colonization of Human Resource Management in Brazil (1950-2010). RAE - Revista de Administracao de Empresas , [S. l.], v. 51, n. 3, p. 232–243, 2011. Disponível em: Acesso em: 23 may. 2024.
Author Biographies

Maria José Tonelli


Bill Cooke