Shifts in modes of governance and sustainable development in the Brazilian oil sector

Thereza Raquel Sales de Aguiar, Fatima de Souza Freire

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4 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


This article discusses shifts in modes of governance in the Brazilian oil sector over a 60-year period. On the basis of Driessen et al.'s (2012) framework, we discuss the impact of these shifts on sustainable development. Our results suggest that changes in modes of governance were driven by regulation and mostly associated with shifts in both actors and institutional features but that the underlying rationale of prioritising economic outcomes remained unaffected. The results also confirm that a central governance structure remained in place over time and co-existed in different modes of governance. Petrobras was the backbone of this structure and instrumental in empowering and disempowering non-state actors. This article stresses that a mode of governance furthering sustainable development should promote interactions of large numbers of actors and may require active participation of Petrobras to encourage rationales that support improvements in social and environmental domains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-710
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Issue number5
Early online date11 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

The authors are grateful for the resources received from CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico. In English: National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development). The authors would also like to thank the School of Management at the University of St. Andrews and the Accountancy Department at the Universidade de Brasília for the academic visits to these institutions, which allowed the development of this paper. Finally, the authors would like to express their gratitude to the Accounting and Finance group at the University of Glasgow for supporting this research.


  • sustainable development
  • modes of governance
  • oil sector
  • Petrobras
  • Brazil


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