Innovation processes in the automotive industry: different contingencies, different processes

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Krakow (2012)


Automotive companies have developed particular models to follow for their innovation management. They base these on classical new product development models, which focus on durable goods. However, because the theoretical models available are so general and the challenges imposed by different contingencies so varied, further exploration is needed to arrive at a more detailed understanding of the processes used by automotive firms in the real world. Studying literature of common theoretical models for new product and innovation development the research gap will become clearer and help in constructing a theoretical framework. The methodology follows inductive case studies and fourteen innovation projects in ten different Brazilian automotive companies were studied in great depth. An investigation of the innovation process relies on formal and informal approaches. The cases identify common organizational contingencies for innovation projects in automotive companies. The results suggest that the innovation processes applied in the automotive sector can be explained by three different typologies, each one associated with specific sets of identifiable organizational contingencies. This work seeks to improve the existing theory on innovation processes, providing support for automobile companies and their managers. It will help them select the best models that match the configurations for their respective organization’s innovation projects.

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