Call for Proposals - Who drives the change? New and traditional players in the global automotive sector

11 June, 2018 - 09:00 - 14 June, 2018 - 17:00

University of São Paulo - School of Economics, Business and Accounting - FEA/USP

Organisation committee
Deadline for sending the proposals: 
31 January, 2018 (All day)
Deadline for submitting the papers: 
15 April, 2018 (All day)
The current international programme of research of Gerpisa focuses on the new frontiers of the automotive sector intended, literally, as new emerging markets and industries, but also as new technologies, new innovation fields, new applications and regulations. In the last international colloquium in Paris we asked whether the transformations taking place in these new spaces and fields were disruptive or evolutionary as far as their nature and pace were concerned. This year in Sao Paulo, we would like to focus on the players who are involved in these transformations and their capacity to shape different types of futures and to drive the direction of change.
The complexity of the automotive sector has grown dramatically in the last years. Two worlds are colliding: on the one hand, the traditional world of carmakers, OEMs and car related distribution and services, which is dealing with the electrification and digitalization of cars, the digitalization of production and value chains, the transformations of mobility systems and more constraining environmental and transport regulations; on the other hand, the world of ICT, which is entering the automotive sector in many different ways (Tesla, Uber, Google, Amazon, Cisco, Huawei, etc.) and could change its structure and the very nature of its business. In addition, due to the electrification of cars, battery producers, as well as other companies in the battery and electric engine value chain, are becoming very significant players in the automotive sector.
Between them, local, regional, national and supranational governments are rapidly reshaping mobility systems, innovation systems, environmental and industrial policies in ways that could affect all these players. But the direction of change is also shaped by the roadmaps and technology expectations that shape the actions of many of these actors. Such visions are embodied in artefacts – consultants’ reports and analyses, industry advisory reports, technology roadmaps, patents pools, research papers and books, public policies and reports – that are produced by different types of actors who also require our attention.
What are the strategies and business models that these players deploy in order to transform or disrupt the automotive sector? How do they interact with each other through competition, but also through alliances, consortiums, mergers and acquisitions, lobbying and political work and action? Who is driving the change in these fields of innovation: global or local players? Mature or emerging countries? Automotive or ICT companies? Products and technologies or policies and regulations?
We are aware that answers to those issues are not unique and during the São Paulo conference special attention will be devoted to better understand what would be the case of countries like Brazil (where no indigenous OEM exists) that seem to be losing the race to develop new competencies when compared with the situation of, let say, some years ago. Is there any space or opportunity for country strategies like Brazil’s in developing new products and services for the electrification and digitalization of vehicles? For instance, does the strong interconnection between these new technologies and the emergence of new mobility paradigms pave the way for more local solutions and innovations pushed by specific public policies? Do local players have an advantage in dealing with such transformations?      
We are calling for empirical and/or conceptual studies focusing on these as well as other questions raised by the current reconfiguration of the automotive sector triggered by the entry of new actors, the emergence of new mobility systems, and fast and cumulative changes in public policies and regulations. We still also keep a special focus on the impact of all these changes on work and employment either in the recent past or in the foreseeable future.
Papers developing historical perspectives on all these issues are also welcome.
This call for papers is organized in five major themes of research that structure our on-going international programme on “The new frontiers of the global automotive industry”.
We also draw your attention to the special issue of the international journal IJATM that will be based on a selection of the best papers presented during the colloquium, including the winner of the young author’s prize, and to the special sub-theme on the future of work in collaboration with the International Labour Organization.
1.    Embedding the automobile in societal contexts: new services, new uses, new integrated mobility systems, new business models (Bruce Belzowski, Alex Covarrubias, Bertha Vallejo)
2.    New technologies: electrification, digitalization and beyond (Giuseppe Giulio Calabrese, Roberto Marx)
3.    Production models and strategies, new and traditional players: between incremental and disruptive innovation (Thomas Klier, Tommaso Pardi)
4.    Employment and labour relations: between segmentation and convergence (Tommaso Pardi, Martin Krzywdzinski, Jorge Carrillo-Viveros)
5.    Public policies – national and regional clusters: between path dependency/inertia and structural change (Sigfrido Ramirez, Bruno Jetin)
In order to submit a proposal click under the dedicated link below the chosen theme. Proposals should range between 500 and 1000 words. They should present the outline of the research question (Purpose), the methodology (design), the main results (Findings) and their practical implications.
The procedure to submit final articles will be sent by email following the proposal acceptation. Final articles should range between 5000-7000 words (excluding figures, tables and references) in order to be considered for the IJATM special number. High-quality articles which exceed 7000 words will be also considered.
IJATM special issue
The International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management (IJATM) published by Inderscience publishes each year a special issue based on a selection of the most relevant papers presented during the GERPISA yearly colloquium. One or two papers from young authors will also be published in this special issue. An evaluation committee, composed of members of the GERPISA’s international steering committee, will assess the papers during the colloquium (young authors and others).
The criteria of the assessment are based on the relevance of the topic inquired, the presentation and the accuracy of the results, the quality of the methodological work, and the review of the literature. A variety of work in the field of social sciences (history, management, economics, sociology, geography, political science, etc.) dealing with automobile industry is welcome.
After the decision of the GERPISA’s steering committee, the selected papers will be refereed through a double-blind process, and then published in a special issue of the International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management. We are looking forward to reading your papers and attending your presentations.
Gerpisa Young Author Price
The Young Author’s Prize of GERPISA, consisting of the publication of the winning paper in a special issue of IJATM and a 1500 € reward, aims at recognizing the work of young researchers on topics related to the automobile industry, encouraging them to develop their enquiries on automobile industry.
Requirements to submit a paper proposal for the young author’s prize:
1. Master, Ph.D. students, post-doc, etc. (no full-time associate professor, professor or researcher) needs to be less than 37 years old (papers co-authored with a senior researcher will not be assessed);
2. Paper based on the analysis (whether theoretical, methodological, or empirical) of the automobile industry (topics have to cover one of the five themes of the colloquium);
3. Presentation of the paper during the 26th international colloquium, Sao Paulo, 11th of June – 14th of June 2018;
4. Submission online (for one of the 5 above-mentioned themes, specifying that the papers are for the prize), and email (name, date of birth, nationality, status, University, topic, abstract) to Giuseppe Calabrese (, and Tommaso Pardi ( before the 31st of January 2018 for the proposal and the 15th of June 2018 for the final paper.

Embedding the automobile in societal contexts: new services, new uses, new integrated mobility systems, new business models

Theme N°: 

The global automotive industry is on the verge of dramatic change as traditional automotive companies attempt to move outside their typical areas of designing, developing, and manufacturing vehicles into providing new services and uses for their vehicles.  New entrants into the auto industry have already forced change through new technology (Tesla, Waymo), while others have been absorbed into the auto companies, particularly in autonomous vehicle development (Cruise Automation, Argo AI).  Under this theme, we welcome contributions that focus on how and why new uses and services and new integrated mobility systems and new business models will alter the global automotive industry.  How, if at all, will these changes affect automotive manufacturers and suppliers?  How, if at all, will new entrants outside the traditional industry structure force change in the business models that have been in place for over 100 years.  

New technologies: electrification, digitalization and beyond

Theme N°: 

Innovations and technologies are redefining the major frontiers in the automotive industry with regards to new powertrains (not only electrical vehicles), new design (architecture definition and electrification), new mobility (autonomous and connected vehicles), new business (sharing economy), new materials (downsizing and light-weighting) and new ways to build vehicles (industry 4.0 and big data). Several trajectories are emerging, with interactions and conflicts among them. We require contributions able to describe and understand the role of all actors involved all over the world. In the context of the disruptive or evolutionary scenario, we are particularly interested in the integration of old technology and public policies in the new paradigm. 

Production models and strategies, new and traditional players: between incremental and disruptive innovation

Theme N°: 

This year’s theme relates directly to production models and related topics. Who produces what? How will the new technologies and services in the automotive industry impact the value chains? For example, some OEMs are launching vehicle platforms that are exclusively dedicated to the production of electric cars. How does that, or the arrival of new players, alter the balance of power between assemblers and suppliers? How will it change the production models of existing industry participants? What impacts are there in manufacturing processes? How will the changes affect the structure and organization of R&D in this industry?
Where will economic activities in this industry take place? Will the arrival of new players and a different set of technological capabilities alter the existing footprint of this industry? We also need to think about political events (such as Brexit and the NAFTA renegotiations) and their likely impacts on the value chains in this industry. How will supply chains respond to possible new trade barriers?
Papers addressing these aspects of the arrival of new technologies and services in the auto industry around the world are welcome. 

Employment and labour relations: between segmentation and convergence

Theme N°: 

Under this theme we welcome contributions that focus on the on-going transformations of work and employment in the global automotive sector both in mature and emerging countries. Special attention will be given to contributions that analyse the impact of digitalization in production (industry 4.0), the consequences of the electrification of cars in terms of employment and work qualifications, and the employment and work conditions in new digital automotive companies such as Tesla or Uber. Contributions addressing recent trends of restructuring and future scenarios for work and employment in different automotive regions and countries are also welcome. 

Public policies – national and regional clusters: between path dependency/inertia and structural change

Theme N°: 

Emerging markets from the BRICS have been at the forefront of challenging the dependency that they had from technological paths developed in the Triade. For example, the Innovar Policy in Brazil had been considered as one of the most successful attempts to upgrade the position of the country in the global value chain, constraining OEMs and first-tier suppliers to localise research capacities and develop innovations specially-dedicated to the needs of the country. This has been done by maintaining a double tension between the strong regional dimension of automobile policy to attract FDI and the respect of WTO trade regulations. We call for papers presenting cases of national and regional policies and regulations for developing innovations in the automobile industry with a special focus on those developed in BRICS’ countries. We are also interested in prospective public policy and paradigms for innovation and industrial policies in all countries and their compatibility with the regulations of supranational bodies (European Union policies-competition, internal market, etc.) and international agreements at the world level by international organisations (WTO, UN-ECE WP or Paris COP21, etc.). 

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