Obituary: Alberto Mayor Mora (1945-2021) the father of management history in Colombia

Luis Antonio Orozco (School of Management, Universidad Externado de Colombia, Gran Granada, Colombia)
Olga Lucía Anzola-Morales (School of Management, Universidad Externado de Colombia, Gran Granada, Colombia)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 16 January 2023

Issue publication date: 16 January 2023

37

Citation

Orozco, L.A. and Anzola-Morales, O.L. (2023), "Obituary: Alberto Mayor Mora (1945-2021) the father of management history in Colombia", Journal of Management History, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 156-157. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMH-12-2022-299

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited


Alberto Mayor Mora was a sociologist who opened the research in Colombia's management history and created the basis to understand industrialism through managerial practices and ideas.

Colombia has a rich history in industrial development in the first half of the XX century, promoted by several managers, entrepreneurs and thinkers able to perform against several constraints and limitations. The integration of education, corporative development, industrial organization, trade unions and public policies created the conditions that made Colombia the country with the most increase in industry growth – 8.5% between 1920 and 1950 in Latin America (Kalmanovitz, 2010).

Alberto Mayor Mora was born in Cali in 1945 and was a sociologist at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL). In 1975, he became a professor and served for more than 30 years at the School of Sociology at UNAL. In the first edition of the Colombian Sociology Journal in 1979, Mora published a seminal work about the education of the elite industrialist in Medellin and started the creation of the masterpiece of the social history of industrialism in Colombia. The book Ética, trabajo y productividad en Antioquia. una interpretación sociológica sobre la influencia de la Escuela Nacional de Minas en la vida, costumbres e industrialización regionales, published in 1984, contains a deep and detailed description of managerial practices in the framework of relationships between entrepreneurs, workers, managers and catholic church.

This work is the basis of his reflections about the professionalization of business administration in Colombia (Mayor, 1990), which was part of the book: In search of an administration for Latin America: experiences and challenges published in 1990. One year later, he published the analysis of the conflicts between managers, supervisors and workers around Taylorism in the biggest companies in Colombia (Mayor, 1992). His works emphasize the need to develop conceptually, theoretically and methodologically perspectives of the administration according to the conditions of our contexts. As part of this interest in the development of administrative thinking in the country, he published in 2007 the chapter: Towards a national identity in administration: among the “best sellers” and own intellectual production (Mayor, 2007). This work presents the reflections that lead the analysis of the influx and proliferation of foreign managerial paradigms that are not sympathetic to our problems.

Mayor began in 1994 the research of the most prominent figure in Colombian industrialization – Alejandro López Restrepo – because of his contributions as a professor, manager, entrepreneur, politician and, as we proposed extending the work of Mayor, a classic management thinker from Latin America to the world (Orozco and Anzola-Morales, 2019). Técnica y Utopía. Biografía intelectual y política de Alejandro López 1876-1940 was published in 2001 and became essential to understanding the diffusion and development of administrative thinking in Colombia. In addition, Mayor performed historiographic research, including a stance at the University of Oxford as a visiting professor (1985–1986) to follow the trail of Alejandro López Restrepo, who lived in England for 15 years and was consul there for five years.

The work of Mayor, including several books about the industrialization in Colombia (Mayor, 1989), is one of the most representative efforts to create knowledge for management history in Colombia and deserves to be acknowledged and recognized as the beginning of the scholarship in this field.

References

Kalmanovitz, S. (2010), Nueva Historia Económica de Colombia, Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, Bogotá.

Mayor, A. (1989), “Historia de la industria Colombiana. 1886-1930”, En Tirado, A. (edit.), Nueva Historia de Colombia. Economía, café e industria, Tomo V, (capítulo 13), Editorial Planeta, Bogotá, pp. 313-332.

Mayor, A. (1989), “Historia de la industria Colombiana. 1930-1968”, En Tirado, A. (edit.), Nueva Historia de Colombia. Tomo V: Economía, café e industria, (capítulo 14), Editorial Planeta, Bogotá, pp. 333-356.

Mayor, A. (1990), “La profesionalización d ela administración de empresas en Colombia”, En Echeverry, R., Chanlat, A. y Dávila, C. (comps.), En búsqueda de una administración para América Latina. Experiencias y desafíos, Universidad del Valle/Editorial Oveja Negra/Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Cali, pp. 97-112.

Mayor, A. (1992), “Institucionalización y perspectivas del taylorismo en Colombia: conflictos y subculturas del trabajo entre ingenieros, supervisores y obreros en torno a la productividad, 1959-1990”, Boletín Socioeconómico, Vol. 24, pp. 204-242.

Mayor, A. (2007), “Hacia una identidad nacional en administración: entre los ‘best sellers’ y la producción intellectual propia: un ensayo bibliográfico”, En Cruz-Kronfly, F. (comp.), Del Hunanismo administrativo en crisis: rupturas paradigmáticas, Universidad del Valle, pp. 11-49.

Orozco, L. y Anzola-Morales, O. (2019), “A Colombian classic management thinker: Alejandro López Restrepo”, Journal of Management History, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 221-236.

Further reading

Mayor (1979), “El control del ‘tiempo libre’ de la clase obrera de Antioquia en la década del 1930”, Revista Colombiana de Sociología, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 35-59.

Mayor, A. (1984), Etica, trabajo y productividad en Antioquia. Una interpretación sociológica sobre la influencia de la Escuela Nacional de Minas en la vida, constumbres e industrialización regionals, Tercer Mundo editores, Bogotá.

Mayor, A. (2001), Técnica y Utopía. Biografía intelectual y política de Alejandro López 1876-1940, Fondo Editorial Universidad Eafit, Medellín.

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