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Amon Barros and Sérgio Wanderley

Knowledge about management and organizations is always localized in time and space. Inscribing time into place is also a way to write unique histories. This chapter departs from these assertions to present a contextual frame that allows understanding of the relationship between Brazil and the promise of modernity. Brazilian elites tried to lead the country towards modernity under three different superposed waves. The first wave, “To be modern is to be white”, is marked by an effort from the elites to whiten the population. The second wave, “To be modern is to be developed”, is defined by an effort to reproduce US development model . Finally, the third attempt towards modernity, “To be modern is to be open”, is connected to the effort to move towards neoliberal reforms in the country. The attempts to develop and modernize Brazil shape the context in which management and organization theories are deployed and must be understood. Thus, we emphasize the importance of place when writing management and organizational histories.