Two students watching a video from the decolonisation project

The title, and its question-mark, set the spirit for his approach to [de]colonising across teaching and research – explore! Keep scrutinising and exploring what we (think) we know and/or not. And we learned a lot about Latin Americas, not least through the case of Unilever and their long-term presence and questionable activities in Latin Americas: plus the fact that published histories of Unilever’s activities 'overseas' have no mention of a presence in Brasil, although they were there from 1929. This is not a small topic: but suddenly it was more than that.

The beautiful term ‘histories others’ caught my attention. For me, it warned against the dangers of decolonising becoming trapped in ‘our’ categories and ending up as a ‘recolonising postcolonialism’, rather than enabling a ‘relinking-delinking with the ambiguous North Atlantic fields of Business History and Management and Organizational Studies, plus continuous exploring of paths too long left untrodden.

Not prescribing what the route(s) should be, but rather continuously exploring for paths to and tracings of decolonising that overwrite the old ‘borders’ by redefining/relinking, including across teaching and research, if we can just 'allow' it.

How do we then transition to/from recolonising to a route to or mode of decolonising? Through investigations disrupting the category as Alex expressed it of ‘history-of-the-Man-as-history’, engaging instead with ‘others to History/Man’ living ‘histories others’ within and around us. was suggested. And it is here his beautiful action inspirational talk ends with a humble but though provoking last point.

‘We humbly propose a broader ‘historic re/turn’ beyond both North-South and a ‘life-as-history and life-outside-history- binarism’. For a life-preserving organization history (Suddaby, 2016). Within and beyond ‘management/business education’: not a better imperial future.’ (Faria, 2024). Do we dare run with it?

 

Alexandre Faria

Alexandre Faria is Associate Professor in Organization and Strategy Studies at the Brazilian School of Public Administration and Management of the Fundação Getulio Vargas (EBAPE-FGV), Rio de Janeiro-Brazil. He is also Associate Director and Module Director at the International Masters’ Program for Managers (IMPM), Visiting Researcher at Lancaster University Management School, Visiting Professor at the University of Paris-Dauphine, Researcher of the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq-Brazil), and past Chair of Critical Management Studies Division at the Academy of Management. His scholarship within and outside existing systems of knowledge draws on critical management studies, decolonial studies, postcolonial studies, and management learning. He is a member of the Decolonizing Alliance and the Action Learning Lab:Alliance.