Managing systemic and disruptive innovation: lessons from the Renault Zero Emission Initiative

Felix von Pechmann, Universite Paris-Saclay; Christophe Midler, Universite Paris-Saclay; Remi Maniak, Universite Paris-Saclay; and Florence Charue-Duboc, Universite Paris-Saclay

Industrial and Corporate Change 

Abstract: Some innovations are challenging to deploy because they destabilize existing technologies and value chains (systemic) as well as traditional customer preferences (disruptive). The existing literature does not provide clear guidance as to effective management methods for systemic and disruptive innovations (SDIs). We build on a unique set of in-depth data, based on a 7-year participating observation of an ambitious Renault program, targeting the development and scale-up of four electric vehicles. We propose three management levers for SDI scale-up: autonomous spanning units, a portfolio of viable local systems, and concurrent platform management.

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Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation
The Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation (PVMI) is the largest and oldest international research consortium aimed at understanding the challenges facing the global automotive industry. PVMI’s network includes more than 50 prominent scholars of innovation, strategy, technology, operations, organization, and human resources who have conducted interdisciplinary, often collaborative, research at more than 25 universities worldwide. Originally founded at MIT in 1979, PVMI became part of the Mack Institute in 2013.