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Are big data a radical innovation trigger or a problem-solving patch? The case of AI implementation by automotive incumbents

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Quentin Plantec
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Marie-Alix Deval
Sophie Hooge
Benoît Weil

Résumé

Big data, supported by AI technologies, is mainly viewed as a trigger for radical innovation. The automotive industry appears as a key example: the most critical innovative challenges (e.g., autonomous driving, connected cars) imply drawing more extensively on big data. But the degree of innovativeness of the industrial purpose of incumbents, who are already embedding such technologies in their end-products, is worth investigating. To answer this research question, we relied on a mixed-method approach and used knowledge search as a theoretical framework. First, we conducted a quantitative analysis on 46,145 patents from the top-19 automotive incumbents. By comparing AI and non-AI patents, we showed that incumbents mainly rely on knowledge exploitation for data-driven innovation leading to incremental innovations. But, surprisingly, such innovation path foster more technologically original inventions with AI, which is not the case for non-AI patents. Second, we conducted a qualitative study to better understand this phenomenon. We showed that big data and AI technologies are integrated in the industrialization phase of new vehicles development process, following creative problem-solving logics. We also retrieved technical and organizational challenges limiting data-driven innovation. Those findings are discussed regarding the knowledge search and the new product development literature in the context of automotive industry.
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Dates et versions

hal-03727359 , version 1 (19-07-2022)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03727359 , version 1

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Quentin Plantec, Marie-Alix Deval, Sophie Hooge, Benoît Weil. Are big data a radical innovation trigger or a problem-solving patch? The case of AI implementation by automotive incumbents. European Academy of Management Conference (EURAM), Jun 2022, Zurich, Switzerland. ⟨hal-03727359⟩
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