1st Edition

The Innovation Odyssey Lessons from an Impossible Project

    226 Pages
    by Auerbach Publications

    226 Pages
    by Auerbach Publications

    Affordable is not typically the first adjective used to describe an electric automobile. This book traces the history of an affordable electric car, from its genesis to its marketing. This history is more than a singular adventure. It is the analysis of a project that allows us to understand the key issues of strategy and management of contemporary innovation.

    The book features in lessons in:

    • Strategy revealing the complexity of international product development and the conditions for its implementation in today’s fragmented world
    • Project management showing what is required to succeed in the a priori impossible challenge of a design within an alliance between five partners from four different countries
    • Innovation demonstrating that the electrification of mobility can be combined with affordable prices
    • Industrial policy using the emblematic domain of electric vehicles to illustrate the major role of public authorities in technology, the future direction of this role, and the importance in the competition between Western and Chinese industries
    • Intrapreneurship showing that a start-up is not the only context in which it is possible to attempt and experience breakthroughs.

    Part 1 The Odyssey of K-ZE
    Chapter 1: The Long March of the Accessible Vehicle Concept for China
    Chapter 2: Preliminary Project: Exploring the Unknown
    Chapter 3: An Innovative Framework for a Cooperative Design
    Chapter 4: An Agile Development in an Unprecedented Context
    Chapter 5: A Project in a Perfect Storm
    Chapter 6: The Phoenix
    Conclusion of Part 1: Evaluating Innovation Projects

    Part 2: Learning from Projects
    Chapter 7: Societal Innovation and Administered Darwinism
    Chapter 8: The Project as a Means of Strategic and Cultural Integration
    Chapter 9: Global Innovation Strategies and Lineage Management
    Chapter 10: Innovation and Entrepreneurial Capability in Large Companies
    Conclusion of Part 2: Reenergizing a Large Firm


    Christophe Midler, Emeritus Research Director and Professor of the Management Research Center, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris and member of the French Academy of Technologies. He is internationally recognized in the field of project and innovation management.

    Marc Alochet is researcher at the Management Research Center, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris. Previously, he was an engineer at Renault, where he held various functions and positions in product and process engineering.

    Christophe de Charentenay is CEO of M@Air, is an expert in carbon-free mobility. He was, from 2017 to 2020 the president of eGT, the operator of the K-ZE project (dacia Spring).