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Communications of the IBIMA

Corporate Social Responsibility and Knowledge Management Implications in Sustainable Vehicle Innovation and Development

Hamid Jafari Khaledabadi and Thomas Magnusson
Volume 6, number 2,
Communications of the IBIMA, 2008, pages 8-14


Recently, due to the ever-increasing concern regarding the environment, the automotive industry has experienced a significant technological competition in the power-train. Focusing on how Corporate Social Responsibility issues can affect product innovation in a mature industry, this paper studies different technology strategies in sustainable vehicle development. In this regard, after a comprehensive literature review, by carrying out a patent analysis in Europe, the study exemplifies how typical technological knowledge could be managed to enhance innovation strategies. The study reveals that hybrid and fuel-cell technologies have gained prominent attention in the past two decades and seem to be the least risky approaches of alternative technology vehicles in the foreseeable future. Also, the study shows that the Japanese carmakers, who have had a clear commitment to sustainable management, have been the pioneers in this field. Moreover, the paper has some strategic science-to-market transfer implications as well which could serve as the cornerstones of sustainable competitive advantage.

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