Systemic innovation and organizational change in the car industry: electric vehicle innovation platforms

Type de publication:

Journal Article


European Review of Industrial Economics and Policy, Fascicule 3 (2011)



Collective Innovation, Electric Cars, Industry Structure, Organizational Change, Platforms


The design and development of Electric Vehicles (EVs) is a complex and distributed process that has led to the creation of large partnerships, the aim of which is to learn and acquire selective technological competencies, including those developed outside the car industry. The introduction of electric vehicles can be described as a collective innovation wherein different actors, such as traditional OEMs, automobile battery producers, utilities, and system integrators, contribute their complementary resources and technologies to work towards common goals and incentives. We argue that the process of integration, coordination and direction of the different strategies and goals of the various organizations involved demands a novel form of organization that combines the scope of learning typical of networks with the coherence of the centralized decision-making typical of the vertical corporation. We identify the innovation platform, which has recently been the focus of numerous studies in the field of innovation, as the appropriate organizational solution to the problem of dynamic coordination.

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