Go Green in the Automotive Industry : Open and Networked Innovation applied by Tesla Motors and Renault

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Högskolan i Kalmar/Handelshögskolan BBS; Högskolan i Kalmar/Handelshögskolan BBS


In today’s economical world, companies realize the importance to build corporate strategies on innovation to sustain a continuous profitability. Innovation is a crucial issue to develop a competitive advantage. In our networked economy, companies can not only rely on in-house activities anymore to raise creative and come up with breakthrough innovations they need to collaborate with actors from the external environment. Firms have to think outside their own boundaries to leverage the complementary resources and capabilities needed to innovate. Partnerships help to ensure firms’ future successes.

The purpose of our study is to understand how companies, operating in the automotive industry, integrate ‘Open and Networked Innovation’ concepts in their corporate strategy to enhance their environmental friendly profile. As far as the EV market is concerned, our study will also lead to determine the Key Factors of Success and the barriers that companies have to face when they want to launch an electric car in the market.

Various theoretical approaches have been developed over the time about Open Innovation and Networked Innovation. The dilemma of paradoxical organization needs of radical innovation, exposed by Dr Sigvald Harryson, is our theoretical starting-point to analyze company’s ability to find the right equilibrium between exploration and exploitation and absorptive capacity. Further on, we explore the question of absorptive capacity to know how firms identify, acquire, transfer and transform knowledge.

Thereafter, the theoretical framework is confronted with empirical data based on a qualitative and abductive approach of two case studies – Tesla and Renault. Interviews with Tesla, located in the Silicon Valley, California, USA, have been conducted. We also met two key employees in Renault’s headquarter, Paris, France. Interpretation and explanation of the data collected is reported in our analysis of each case as well as in the cross-case analysis. A presentation of our recommendations and conclusions conclude our master thesis.

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