Social Innovation; Connecting with the Consumer

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2011)


policy, Production and Consumer Markets, regulation, Social innovation, Societal Change


The supply matrix of the automotive industry represents a production market. Most companies involved are suppliers of intermediate goods. Only the vehicle makers supply directly to consumers. Companies within this upstream matrix are inter-connected and inter-dependent for continuity of orders and supply. Hence cost planning is dependent on this common connectivity. In other words, the market is far from the theoretical idea but is in effect ‘socialised’. Thus as pointed out by White, (2002) companies in the matrix, including the vehicle makers, are primarily concerned with up-stream relations since it is the direction of most uncertainty In this scenario the consumer is seen as largely forming an ‘aggregate demand’. However, a focus on the consumer may come about when there is a societal change leading to a change in demand (safer vehicles, greener vehicles) or where there is a regulatory change (safer vehicles, green vehicles) often itself driven by consumer pressure.

In this paper I will examine production and consumer markets related to the automotive industry and the forces of connection to the latter.

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