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Exploring Fayol's management process in a traditional Mayan dance (Pochó Dance): an ethnographic study

Manuel F. Suarez-Barraza (Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP), Puebla, Mexico)
Jose Angel Miguel Davila (Facultad de Ciencias Economicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Leon, Leon, Spain)

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration

ISSN: 1757-4323

Article publication date: 1 January 2021

Issue publication date: 4 May 2021




Well into the 21st century, it is difficult to deny the contribution that Mayan culture has made to the history of the world, and not only because of its contribution to universal culture with its architecture, astronomy and mathematics. Understanding the management practices of a Mayan dance (the dance of the Pochó) that has transcended over the years can give us an idea of the management practices carried out by an ancestral culture such as the Maya. The purpose of this article is to establish an initial conceptual relationship between the management process proposed by Henry Fayol (1916) and the management of a Mayan dance that has survived to the present day.


A specific ethnographic study was carried out in the municipality of Tenosique, Tabasco (Mexico) for two consecutive years. Research methods such as direct observation, researcher diaries, in-depth interviews and photographs were utilized that allowed a study of management practices.


Thanks to the cross-checking of the data obtained, it was possible to determine a theoretical-conceptual relationship between Fayol's management process and the Mayan dance studied. In fact, 12 specific management practices found in the four phases of the process were identified. In addition, with the ethnographic study it was possible to determine the levels of intensity and impact regarding the satisfaction of those attending and performing the dance.

Research limitations/implications

Research limitations are due to result from the fact that the analysis corresponds to a single Mayan dance in a specific place (Tenosique) in the state of Tabasco, Mexico.

Practical implications

To understand the management practices of the Mayan culture through the study of a dance that has remained alive until our days; this might be useful for the management practices of today's companies.


It is a pioneering study that analyzes a Mayan dance through the optics of management sciences.



Suarez-Barraza, M.F. and Miguel Davila, J.A. (2021), "Exploring Fayol's management process in a traditional Mayan dance (Pochó Dance): an ethnographic study", Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 189-215.



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