Think Tanks, Business and the Building of Discourse Coalitions: the historical case of IPES in Brazil

Organisation Studies

Speaker:Amon Narciso de Barros, lecturer in organization studies at FGV-EAESP in Sao Paulo
Date: Wednesday 24 January 2018
Time: 13:30 - 15:00
Location: Pearson Teaching Room

Further details

Using historical data, I discuss how the Instituto de Pesquisas e Estudos Sociais (IPES) was important for the formation of a discourse coalition, engaged in influencing Brazilian society towards the interests of business elites. The IPES brought together various actors, but especially business people. First IPES’ members resisted left-wing reforms, then after the 1964 civil-military coup, it changed its way of operating, sponsoring meetings between business people and government agents and finally sponsoring some educational initiatives. The work disputes the idea that business can ever be politically neutral, pointing to the Brazilian example as an exemplary case where businesses were a major player pushing for change in the regime, from democracy towards dictatorship. The contributions of this debate to both management and organization studies are to raise awareness of the political implications of the actions of business in society, highlighting the role of think tanks in politicizing technical knowledge in favour of those actors. Amon Barros received his Ph.D. in management from UFMG (Brazil) in 2013. He is currently a lecturer in organization studies at FGV-EAESP in Sao Paulo. Amon’s research interests are in management history, the construction of the managerial knowledge, and the impacts of business on society. Since 2015, he coordinates the track ‘History, memory and organizations’ at the Brazilian Academy of Management (Anpad).