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Remembering Martin Landau Published: Sunday, April 10, 2005 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel Morales

The loss of a major friend, a genius, a humanist and a great scholar like Martin Landau has directed me into a profound process of reflection, prayer and reminiscence. I loved deeply Martin Landau, and I had a solid affection bond with him, so I have been shocked with a strong emotional reaction by the fact that this physical bond has been broken. Marty always provided for me great intellectual perspective, abundant knowledge and intelligence and the absolute security and safety of a good father, coach, mentor and friend throughout a large part of my personal, academic and professional life. So, I have been clinging, crying and praying for him in the last three weeks.

Marty Landau had a huge salient presence and impact in my life, as he had on many others of my best friends, including critics and supporters alike. More than thirty years have gone by and there is not a single week in which I stopped to reflect on the many, many things I learned from him and about his significance to management and organizational theory and his penetrating influence on us as individuals. Dr. Martin Landau was the very distinguished professor at the universities of New York, Berkeley and Stanford, among others.

Marty visited Puerto Rico on many occasions during a period of forty years. He was very familiar with our way of life, and he heavily contributed to the good theoretical and practical thinking at the Graduate School of Public Administration, University of Puerto Rico. He also shared and worked with other universities, with key governmental organizations, with important leaders and with various economic and productive sectors of our society.

He kept saying that Puerto Rico was a great country, and that we have to focus more on the fact that an effective organizational system was a powerful tool for achieving social and economic goals, and that it was important to ponder the many routes to organizing the system of organizations. Very early during this time, I learned from Marty that theoretical ideas about organizations were very important for change and transformation ventures, but I also learned from him that it was necessary to secure legitimization from their acceptance and utilization by practical leaders, executives, managers and administrators. Good teaching was always a practical necessity for Martin Landau, and he was one of the best theoretical and practical teachers I have ever had. He was always in the business of explaining things with much patience, clarity and delight. He always had time for a good class or good analytical and synthesis sessions. That ideas and concepts had to be both elegant, simple and sophisticated, and empirically relevant within the concrete context of organizations of all sorts was a consistent topic of his good conversations. Whether at the centers of power or at the humble corners of any street, Marty made everyone feel at ease in his presence. He loved life and lived it with intensity.

At the philosophical level, he portrayed administrative and organization theory as the ally of democracy and the enemy of any kind of violence, egocentric interest, and waste. Planning and management were seen by him as core and contingent components of democratic governance and an opportunity to integrate the needs and desires of the people (the customers) with service actions and programs of the different productive sectors of the community (institutional systems).

He was permanently engaged into researching human and organizational behavior, and into working with decision-making systems, and he was the father of redundancy theory within organizations, differentiating between efficient and non-efficient redundancy systems. He coined the very well famous phrase “good redundancy is for safety”. Marty was always into good thinking about practical problems, stressing that good theory came by approaching practical situations and working on serious issues of the concrete world. This explains why he was a superb international consultant, daring gently to insult when things were not being done right.

Apart from his great intellectual endowment, from his formidable teaching, researching and writing skills and talents, Marty was a formidable human being, always ready to help, support and advance others. For me, the Martin Landau’s life is a testimony of intellectual bravery and sacrifice, and of personal achievement, humility, loyalty and service to human kind. With the Brenes-La Roche brothers, Hiram Nazario and Moncho García Santiago, Marty Landau was one of my few best friends.

Marty you know I always loved you, and I am constantly praying that I will see you again in heaven. I will always remember you.


Copyright 2005 QBS, Inc.


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