Marketing Education in Brazilian MBAs: an Introductory Overview

  • Marcelo Rosa Boschi ESPM - Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing, PPGA/Unigranrio, Brazil
  • Denise Franca Barros PPGA/Unigranrio, Brasil
  • João Felipe Rammelt Sauerbronn PPGA/Unigranrio, Brasil
  • Marluce Dantas de Freitas Lodi PPGA/Unigranrio, Brasil


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight about how marketing discipline has been taught in Brazilian executive education programs. We therefore consider the different kinds of knowledge that tend to be an integral part of these programs, locally referred to as MBAs, and look at the consequences they have in the field of marketing in Brazil.

Design/methodology/approach – Our initial investigations (and our own experience as teachers of various MBA programs in Marketing) have shown that executive marketing programs, seemed strikingly similar in terms of syllabus and suggested bibliography. We discuss the reasons for that
based on some historical regards about the marketing discipline in Brazil. We present a description of the historical background of postgraduate courses in Brazil, and outline the fundamental transformation that has taken place in the Brazilian MBA courses’ main goal: namely, the shift from
teacher training to executive education. This change in focus has resulted in the emergence of a large and profitable executive education market. In order to illustrate that we present the case of the Superior School of Advertising and Marketing.

Research limitation/implications – To better understand the marketing knowledge disseminated through MBA programs in Brazil two points needed to be highlighted: i) the policies and the regulations governing executive education programs; and ii) the origins of marketing education in Brazil. The change in focus and the process of deregulation of PGLS in Brazil has proved to be an important source of revenue. As a result of the growth of this market, managers at educational institutions have begun to focus their courses on the needs of customers and the generation of
knowledge has taken a backseat to the need to teach the 'practical' and to develop the relationship between students. Thus, the appeal of the 'practical experience of big business' or 'successful practices' has supplanted any knowledge that might arise locally. To extend the distance between research and practice, the academia has ceased to look at what is relevant to society and to organizations and started to use rigor as the defining criterion of quality in research (Faria, 2007). As a result, the focus on the
practical has devalued the theoretical advancement of the discipline and the academia has come to look down on the practical. The historical development of the marketing discipline in Brazil clearly shows
to be strongly influence by knowledge produced in the US since its inception. A historical analysis of the field of management education in Brazil reveals the political interests that are related to the introduction and consolidation of a certain type of knowledge in the country, including marketing. More data shall be collected on the history of marketing teaching in Brazil.

Originality/value: This examination expands the literature by introducing historical perspectives on the marketing teaching in Brazil. The study of the influences of North American business schools over the Brazilian business schools and the long lasting political relations between Brazil and the United States are also addressed in a critical way.


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