New Trends in Operations Management – New Trends in Processes, Products, Services and Transitions in Automotive Industry

Discipline: EAD5977-1

Concentration area: 12139

Number of Credits: 8

Course load:

(Per week)
(Per week)
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Never before has the automotive industry has been involved in so many revolutions at once: the EV revolution, the digital and autonomous car revolution, the new mobility revolution, the industry 4.0 revolution. Forecasts from authoritative agencies announce that in the very near future the car as we have come to know it until the beginning of the XXI century – privately acquired and owned, personally driven, propelled by an internal combustion engine and manufactured by human beings – will cease to exist, replaced by electric, autonomous, connected mobility services produced in highly automated and flexible factories.

Carmakers and automotive traditional suppliers do not contest these views: they rather portray themselves as the future providers of these new services and technologies. Several reports suggest that if they don’t (or even if they do), other actors, ranging from GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) to others ICT (Information and Communication Technology) and “social network” firms and start-ups, will take the control of this new digital value chain.

Yet, if one looks at the 91 millions of cars produced worldwide in 2015, an all time record, it is hard to see many traces of these on-going and upcoming revolutions. Indeed, never before in the history of mankind were so many conventional, ICE propelled and privately owned and driven cars produced by the traditional players of the automotive industry.

The problem with disruptive innovations is that they are supposed to start small, before becoming dominant. But how to know in advance if we are dealing with true radical changes or passing fashions? How to properly characterise their dynamics in order to assess what is actually happening rather than what “should” be happening or “will” be happening? More precisely, what are the economic, technological, institutional, political and social conditions that would allow these radical changes to take place and diffuse? Companies like Tesla and Uber do appear as successful disruptive players, pushing forward fully electric cars, new mobility services and autonomous cars, but their impact is still very small and one may question how long they can survive if their losses grow (much) faster than their revenues? More generally, what are the “business models” that sustain these radical transformations, for instance, not only for EV production and sale, but also for the building of the required charging infrastructure, and the provision of the batteries and the electricity in the amount and at the price required to support a fast and large diffusion?


Classes Syllabus
Aula Tema Professor(a)
1 Introduction – Technological Transitions Adriana Marotti e Roberto Marx
2 Sustainable Urban Mobility – New Business Models in Automotive Industry Adriana Marotti e Roberto Marx
3 New Technologies – Evs/Autonomous Vehicles Flavia Consoni
4 Advanced Manufacturing – Impacts on Operations Strategy and Supply Chain Eduardo Zancul
5 Innovation Policies Mario Salerno
6 Organization for Innovation Anna Grandoni (Univ.Bocconi - Italia)
7 Advanced Manufacturing – Impacts on Operations Strategy and Supply Chain – Industry 4.0 View Martin Krzywdzinski, (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung – Alemanha)

8 Innovation and Work In Emergent Countries – Mexican Experience Jorge Carrillo
( El Colegio de la Frontera Norte – México)

9 New Market Trends and Technologies Bruce Belowski
(Univ.Michigan – EUA)
10 New Process Technologies and Trends in Product Development Takahiro Fujimoto
(Univ.Tokyo/ Harvard University)
11 Global Supply Chains Giulio Calabrese
(CNR-Ceris – Italia)
12 Global Strategies in Automotive Industry Tommaso Pardi
(CNRS-IDHES – França)

Avaliation methods:
- Participation in class
- Elaboration of na essay about one of the themes discussed in class .


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