The alignment process toward autonomous connected mobility ecosystem structuring. Lessons learnt on the incumbents’ side

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2019)


Current innovation challenges are described as increasingly linked to high degree of systemic-ness in the offer system and of disruption in the demand system. Sectors boundaries are less and less defendable, as the value proposition resulting from the offer and demand system is situated at the intersection of different sectors. The autonomous connected mobility strategic imperative for incumbents is therefore situated at ecosystem level, in which innovation is not inserted as top down process, but which becomes itself a locus of innovation exploration. Alignment has been described as key for the materialization of a value proposition in such a context, but how heterogeneous partners navigate in such locus toward collaboration based on alignment has not been described yet.
The paper aims to investigate the mechanism of alignment building around the co-construction of the value proposition and the effectiveness of artefacts as management tools in such process.

In order to answer this research question, author performed a qualitative research on the basis of the research action protocol. Inductive multiple case
Collected data vary from semi-structured interviews (43), meetings attendance (58), and related symposia attendance (12). Data coding has been based on frames built on the elements extracted from literature in term of innovation management process and performances and collective action.
Research field was established through the participation to three innovation projects, one related to the electric mobility, one related to the connected mobility and the third to the autonomous mobility.
Case 1 - A consortium formed by four automotive manufacturers (OEMs), one energy supplier, a service operator and one academic institution (the authors were part of it) aims to deploy 200 EV charging stations in 2 years along a national highways network.
Case 2 - A consortium formed by three carmakers, two service providers, two private IT and cloud operators and one academic institution (the authors were part of it), aims to create the prototype for a marketplace to monetize data extracted from connected cars.
Case 3 - One carmaker in collaboration with several industrial, public and academic partners (the authors were part of it), aims to create a vision of the autonomous mobility, as a first step toward profitable ecosystem creation for services and integration into local urban environment.

Data assessment allowed the identification of a four-step path through which actors progressively align their interests and actions. Such pattern is characterized by specific challenges and objects pivoting. An individual and collective sense-making process is performed to overcome such challenges. Researcher highlights the role of specific artefacts for each phase and how they contribute to actors’ moving toward the materialization of the value proposition in the context of exploration of the unknown.

Implications range from innovation management to strategy guidance. First, results allow incumbents to evaluate how to manage innovation initiatives in order to contribute to the value proposition definition in accordance to its capabilities.
The elucidation of the alignment process and related management tools provides insights on how to increase performance in the pursuit of strategic target in term of active participation to ecosystem structuring and positioning.
The paper highlights the role of public institution in the ignition and fostering of such dynamics, as well as the guidances for the design and deployment of management tools for systemic innovation management purposes.

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