Case #2214.4

Driving Change in São Paulo Practitioner Guide

Publication Date: March 9, 2021
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This practitioner guide accompanies HKS Case No. 2214.0. In 2016, after many months of negotiation, the City of São Paulo approved a new ordinance regulating Transportation Network Companies (TNC). The new regulation allowed citizens to take advantage of innovative services and it enabled city leaders to manage the fleet with significant savings as well as unprecedented transparency and data. São Paulo, the first Brazilian city to adopt this model, faced internal responses ranging from vehement opposition to overwhelming support.

The case chronicles the road to implementation, including lessons learned from the TNC ordinance process and the previous pilots. It examines the efforts of key players—including Administration Secretary Paulo Spencer Uebel—to fulfill Mayor João Doria’s public commitment to fix the transportation model, consider public opinion, and minimize disruption during Doria’s first year in office. The case also explores strategies for implementing innovative practices in government as well as dealing with resistance to change in organizations, especially in the public sector.

Learning Objective:
The case, “Driving Change in São Paulo,” will help students and city leaders identify and navigate the strategic challenges of implementing change, particularly when introducing innovations that disrupt the status quo. These challenges include:

o Naming and examining stakeholder interest and position to assess potential support or resistance
o Determining the appropriate pace of implementation
o Learning by doing; simultaneously designing and managing a process of adaptation
o Reflecting on how to prepare for sustainable success and creating the conditions for consolidation and institutionalization



Other Details

Teaching Plan:
Available with Educator Access
Case Author(s):
Jorrit de Jong, Rawi Abdelal, Yamile Nesrala
Faculty Leads:
Jorrit de Jong
Pages (incl. exhibits):
Funding Source:
Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative