This article reflects upon the evolution of Brazilian management studies in light of the debate provoked by Management and Organization Review, 5(1), in a special edition on ‘The Future of Chinese Management Research’. Despite an impressive growth in publications, Brazilian management and organization studies have had litde conversation with mainstream international scholarship. The article offers some explanations as to why this might be so and suggests some alternatives for enhancing the international impact of Brazilian studies and advancing the country's reputation in the field. We suggest two routes through which Brazilian management studies could enhance international legitimacy: an outside-in approach, which draws upon established international contributions to theory to inform the investigation, but uses the Brazilian context to enlighten these same theories, and an inside-out approach that draws upon indigenous questions and research design to develop a theory relevant to the Brazilian context, which ultimately contributes to the enhancement of existing or to the creation of new theories. In addition, this article suggests that ambidextrous policies provide a better fit for research strategies intended to foster both approaches.