Call for papers / International Colloquium of Gerpisa 2021

Informations

In order to submit a proposal click on the link under each "theme" listed below - you need to login first.
Accepted proposals will be announced a week after the deadline.
The 2021 International Gerpisa colloquium will be virtual.

29th GERPISA International Colloquium

Date: 
15 Juin 2021 - 09:00 - 18 Juin 2021 - 17:00

Online

Date limite pour l'envoi des propositions: 
1 Mar 2021 - 23:59
Date limite pour la soumission des papiers: 
15 Mai 2021 - 23:59
GERPISA’s sixth international programme, on the New Frontiers of the Automobile Industry, considered the transition between the old and new paradigm of the automobile and mobility as a long and complex phenomenon, occurring despite the "disruptive" rhetoric that accompanies it. The electrification of the fleet, the development of the connected and autonomous vehicle, and the rise of shared mobility will take at best more than a decade to assert themselves and to sustainably transform transport and automobile production/sales systems. Looking at the future implies a reflection on the long-term coexistence of the two paradigms and on the complex interactions between technological, economic, political and social conditions that could advance, delay or even partly reverse the transition between the two. The inherent tensions between the increasing restructuring of a capital-intensive auto industry and the expected demands on labour reorganisation on a global scale further compound the transition process. Within this complex scenario, there is also the substantial uncertainty caused by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, which will undoubtedly have a significant impact on all these developments.
 
The new international programme aims to study these transformations, as well as the forms of coexistence between the old and new paradigms, through the prism of digitalisation, which is asserting itself as the main accelerator in the transitions underway. Launching this new programme, the 29th International Colloquium of Gerpisa focuses on “the transformations of the Global Auto Industry: Digitalisation, Ecological Transition and the impact of the COVID-19 Crisis”.
 
The 2021 Colloquium will build on our previous research streams, namely the changes occurred in the global auto industry in terms of product architecture, value chains and labour relations, and the wider industry eco-systems, and will continue to investigate key transformations like the electrification, the broader ecological transition, the digitalisation of the sector and the future of work in the industry. In addition, this year’s Colloquium will also aim to analyse whether and to what extent the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated or halted such changes. We thus welcome proposals on policy measures designed to contain the crisis in the industry, and on the social and political impact of the pandemic, with special reference to increasing inequalities and the changing labour scenario.
 
This call is organized in three sub-themes of research.
 
1.    New product architectures: electrification, digitalisation and the impact of COVID-19
Key topics: EVs, AVs, connected cars and their related technologies and innovations; their conception, production and distribution; alternatives technologies (biofuel, NGV, etc.); country strategies (e.g. China, USA); company trajectories (OEMS, global and national suppliers, new entrants etc.); profit strategies and product policies; productive organizations; integral vs modular product architectures; global platforms organization and governance; platform economy and related product-services; COVID-19 and its impact on digital transformation and ecological transition of the industry.
 
2.    New value chains architectures and labour relations: digitalisation, globalisation, de-globalisation and the future of work
Key topics: the transformation of global value chains; the impact of new technologies on transnational manufacturers; industrial and innovation policies; economic, functional and social upgrading (downgrading); trade policies, FTAs and neo-protectionism; the future of work and the impact of digital technologies on work and employment; working conditions; upskilling – deskilling; training; organizing labour; restructuring; autonomy and control at work; decent work; impact of COVID-19 on global supply chains, employment structures and labour relations; labour responses to the COVID-19 crisis
 
3.    New eco-system architectures: transitioning to a ‘green’ industry and embedding the automobile in societal and political contexts
Key topics: new mobility models and their implications for the automotive eco-system; new business models for mobility providers; endorsement, acceptance or resistance towards new mobilities by users and workers; the role of old and new actors; public policies and regulations (local, national, and global) and their impact on the industry at the national and global level; work and labour in platform economies; ecological transition and environmental policies; ecological transition and changing mobility patterns.
 
We are also interested in papers that try to combine perspectives on different analytical levels, linking for instance transformations in product architectures with the reconfiguration of existing value chains and the creation of new ones, and the emergence of new eco-system architectures.
We welcome both empirical and theoretical studies, but this year particular space will be given to recent and applied works analysing the actual impact of the COVID-19 crisis and related challenges. Along with varying levels of geographic focus, we are interested in studies analysing the many levels of players in the industry: OEMs, global and local suppliers, distributors, retailers and aftermarket providers, new digital entrants, battery makers, transport, energy and service companies, trade unions and ‘new’ categories of workers. Similarly, we are interested in how the the industry is structured and being re-structured, in the light of the current crisis:from global value chains to regional and national industries, with regards to evolving regulatory frameworks and changing labour relations. The effects of possible re-organisations of the industry, from increasing inequalities between competing regions to the re-composition of the employed workforce and its social impact, will be of particular interest. This could include the roles of workers and trade unions in response to the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the impact on product purchasers and end users. In addition, coverage could focus on the intervention of governments and other public authorities to confront the crisis, including new legislation, and legal, regulatory frameworks, and specific regulations.
 
Papers providing recent perspectives on these issues are welcome. In particular, 1) works analysing challenges related to digitalisation processes and the ecological transition of the industry, 2) papers trying to assess how changes in products, value chains, eco-systems, and labour relations have been affected by the COVID crisis.  How has the debate on the “future of automobile industry” and the “future of work” been influenced by the COVID-19 crisis? Have economic, social, technological changes related to the automotive industry been accelerated or halted? To what extent? What will be the ‘new normal’ in the industry, following the COVID-19 crisis?
 
 A selection of the best papers presented during the colloquium, including the winner of the young author’s prize (see below) will be included in a special issue of the International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management (IJATM).
 
Guidelines
 
To submit a proposal, please click the link below the chosen theme. Proposals should range between 500 and 1,000 words. They should present the outline of the research question (purpose), the methodology (design), the main results (findings) and their significance (practical and theoretical implications).
 
Instructions on how to submit final articles will be sent by email following the proposal acceptance. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis, and those submitted at the 01/03/2021 deadline will be accepted by 08/03/2021. Powerpoints and/or papers, as well as the recorded video of the presentation (see instruction here: ) should be posted on the GERPISA website by the start of the first week in June, so that they can be linked to the program. Final articles should range between 5,000-7,000 words (excluding figures, tables and references) in order to be considered for the IJATM special issue. High-quality articles that exceed 7,000 words will be also considered on a case-by-case basis.
 

 IJATM special issue
 
The International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management (IJATM) published by Inderscience publishes a special issue each year selected from 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 International Steering Committee, will assess the papers during the colloquium (young authors and others) and invite those chosen to submit to the IJATM Special Issue. After the decision of the GERPISA’s steering committee, the selected papers will be refereed through a double-blind process prior to final acceptance.
The criteria of the assessment are the relevance of the topic, the quality of the presentation (for works in progress), the strength of the results, the quality of the methodological work, and the review of the literature. Work across the social sciences (including history, management, economics, sociology, geography, and political science) dealing with the automobile industry is welcome.
 
Gerpisa Young Author Prize
 
The Young Author’s Prize of GERPISA, consisting of the publication of the winning paper in a special issue of IJATM and a €1,500 award, recognizes the work of young researchers on topics related to the automobile industry. Our goal is to encourage scholars to focus on topics related to the automobile industry early in their career.
 
Requirements to submit a paper proposal for the young author’s prize:
1. Masters and Ph.D. students, post-docs and junior faculty are eligible. Applicants should be under age 37. Papers co-authored with a senior researcher will be assessed only for masters and doctoral students. We exclude those at the associate professor level or above, and senior researchers.)
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 by the young author during the 29th international colloquium online.
4. Submission online (in line with one of the 3, specifying that the authors wish to be considered for the prize). They should also email basic information (name, date of birth, nationality, status, university/research affiliation, topic, and abstract) to Giuseppe Calabrese (giuseppe.giulio.calabrese@ircres.cnr.it), and Tommaso Pardi (tommaso.pardi@ens-cachan.frbefore 1st March 2021, for the proposal and 15th May 2021, for the final paper.
 
Paper Preparation
 
An original article would normally consist of 5000-7000 words (excluding figures, tables and references).
All articles must be written in UK English. If English is not your first language, please ask an English-speaking colleague to proofread your article.
Submissions may be formatted in single or double spacing, preferably in Times New Roman size 12 font.
The paper should include the following:
Title: as short as possible, with no abbreviations or acronyms.
Abstract: approximately 100 words, maximum 150.
Keywords: approximately 10-15 words or phrases. Keywords are important for online searching;
Address*: position, department, name of institution, email address for each author.
Biographical notes*: approximately 100 words per author, maximum 15
Text: no more than 7000 words (excluding figures, tables and references),
Tables and figures: please put in the text where tables and figures are positioned
References: IJATM papers are recommended
Notes: the less the better
Acknowledgment: in case you have any 
Thèmes

New product architectures: electrification, digitalisation and the impact of Covid-19

Theme N°: 
1

As far as product architectures are concerned, the dominant design based on global modular platforms controlled by OEMs did not seem to have been challenged by the digitalization of R&D and products. Indeed, the combination of electric drivetrains, shared mobility, and digital manufacturing seemed to open up the possibility of open-modular network-based product architectures. However, this scenario now appears to be questioned by China, through its national industrial plan Made in China 2025, and by the United States, where the entry of the Californian digital giants into the automobile sector constitutes a concrete threat to the hegemony of the manufacturers. To the challenges posed to manufacturers by these transformations, we must also add the impact of the global pandemic on their business model.
Some of the fundamental questions thus become: how do the industrial strategies pursued by giants like China and the US question the global product architecture? To what extent have business models that were being shaped around such architectures recently been affected by the COVID-19 crisis? What are the crisis implications for existing productive models? Do we see new business models emerging, aimed at exploring new sources of profits and altering the established provision of mobility, data management and energy consumption? How have activities been organized to cope with these challenges at the research, development and industrialization phases? Will we see new product architectures emerging through these processes? Are there particular types of vehicles (mini-cars, low-speed vehicles, ultra low cost cars) where the dominant design has already been challenged? What are the implications of these changes for the evolution and/or transformation of value chains and ecosystem architectures?
 We welcome papers that theoretically and empirically explore these avenues, as well as contributions that illustrate how OEMs’ product designs and global platforms are adapting to these potential radical changes.
 

 

New value chains architectures and labour relations: digitalisation, globalisation, de-globalisation and the future of work

Theme N°: 
2

Value chains appear to be under the firm grip of OEMs. Yet, the electrification and digitalization of vehicles are creating opportunities for new actors, both in the supply chain and many new OEMs. It is already clear that battery makers, electricity producers and distributors, mobility providers, internet companies and new car manufacturers specializing in EVs and connected/autonomous cars will all take away some of the control held by OEMs and global suppliers on value chains.  But we should also consider the possibility for new types of value chains to be built around these new actors, as well as the implications for labour relations and employment patterns. Will power be redistributed along the value chains? Who will gain and who will lose from such shifting balances and productive innovations? Will the current COVID-19 crisis induce further globalization or de-globalization of existing value chains?
In the case of autonomous vehicles, many believe that those who will control the software will become the primary players, in the same way in which Microsoft commodified personal computers in the 1990s.  Another interesting case is New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) in China, where the domestic internet giants see themselves as providers of Industry 4.0 technologies, connecting consumers and service providers with NEVs producers. In the case of EVs, battery producers at one end of the value chain, and energy providers and distributors at the other end, could also reshape the value chain of new mobility system around the storage, use, and management of energy. Together with new industrial players and corporate relations, such changes might bring about a different employment composition and new labour relations along the chain and within existing production nodes.
 
We welcome papers that analyse such changes, and in particular how the 2020 COVID-19 crisis potentially impacted the value chains linked to digitalization/electrification and papers that explore the emergence of new actors and/or changing employment scenarios. 
How are OEMs and global suppliers integrating new actors into their global value chains? Do new actors such as Tesla and Byd, CATL, Panasonic, Waymo, Alibaba, and Uber challenge their dominant positions? Were the ongoing transformations and such emerging actors favoured or hampered by the COVID-19 crisis?  
Did digital technologies represent a tool to overcome the crisis or gain from it? How? Who gained and who lost? ?  Did these new technologies provide opportunities to leapfrog existing players, or did they contribute to reinforce the hegemony of incumbents based primarily in the Global North? Did the introduction of new technologies and the entry of new players affect employment composition and labour relations, and how? How was the transition to 4.0 technologies affected by the COVID-19 crisis? Did the current lean production paradigm in productive organisations and employment relationships change? What was the impact of the pandemic on employment and work conditions in the global automotive industry/at local level? How did industrial and trade unions deal with these transformations in different countries and at different levels of the value chain? 
 

New eco-system architectures: transitioning to a ‘green’ industry and embedding the automobile in societal and political contexts

Theme N°: 
3

The transformation of the eco-system of the automotive industry, driven in part by digitalization, was expected to trigger transformations in the architecture of products and value chains. Eco-systems are outside the control of any single actor, such as the OEMs, and are therefore more open to influence. For some aspects the main “architects” are countries, which can influence policies at the local, national and supranational levels. For example, national governments are active in fostering electrification and decarbonisation of vehicles, as well as in permitting experiments with new forms of mobility, for which start-ups have raised significant amounts of money. By the same token, OEMs appear keen to become “mobility providers.” As a result, it is possible we will see the rapid emergence of new eco-systems built around connected, electric, shared and autonomous vehicles, data driven mobilities, and the smart management of renewable and fossil-fuel energy.
To what extent did the COVID-19 crisis influence the transition towards new automotive eco-systems and new mobilities? Will countries still be able to provide the required infrastructure for connected and rechargeable vehicles, despite the heavy economic and financial crisis? How will the role of private actors change, following the pandemic? Will business models designed before the crisis still be viable?
 
Will new mobility solutions be required to be accessible for both consumers and workers? What is the relation between the ecological transition of the industry and mobility patterns? Did the risks generated by the pandemic cause a shift between public and private mobility solutions, and to what extent? What was the impact of the crisis on platforms such as Uber or Deliveroo both in terms of business models and employment patterns? Are there alternatives to privately-owned digital platforms, such as cooperatives and non-profit organisations, that could promote sustainable types  mobility, able to respond to the challenges imposed by the crisis?
 
Are emerging countries in the position of leap-frogging existing automotive players and value chains, in this regard? In particular, China through its ambitious programme Made in China 2025 aims to become the front-runner in electric vehicles. Did this type of initiative respond better to the crisis, compared to paths followed in the developed economies? Do we see convergent or divergent patterns? What type of policies, institutions and state actors shaped these strategies and transformations?
 
What is the role of global finance in promoting/organising this new eco-system? What are the tools used by institutional investors to create and capture value? Is a financially driven transformation of mobility and transport systems sustainable? Does the financialisation of OEMs and global suppliers reinforce or weaken their capacity of dealing with these evolutions?
 
We welcome papers that explore these questions, as well as papers that look at what is happening at the city, regional and national levels, in terms of new services, experiments and technologies being tested or deployed, and in terms of strategies to overcome the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 global crisis. 

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