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Concentration of power: a UK case study examining the dominance of incumbent automakers and suppliers in automotive sociotechnical transitions

Skeete, Jean-Paul 2019. Concentration of power: a UK case study examining the dominance of incumbent automakers and suppliers in automotive sociotechnical transitions. Global Transitions 1 , pp. 93-103. 10.1016/j.glt.2019.06.001

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Abstract

Sustainable transition scholarship has recently challenged the stereotypical characterisation of sociotechnical transitions, by revisiting the concept of creative destruction. The central counterargument is that new paradigms do not destroy old ones, but rather extend and complement them. Based on a case study of the UK’s automotive industry, this article argues that established firms lead the industry in technological innovation, in large part due to regional regulatory frameworks and preferential state accumulation projects. That article then goes on to examine the ‘power flows’ surrounding incumbent firms as the primary agents of creative accumulation within global production networks. By exploring revealing linkages between evolving government-industry relations, the motorsport sub-sector, and component suppliers, this article renders a more nuanced understanding of incumbent firms as empowered, multi-level agents of innovation. Finally, this article evaluates the UK’s incremental, ‘zero-carbon’ pathway and raises some concerns about the regime’s current sociotechnical configuration, and its fitness to achieve its stated goals.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
ISSN: 2589-7918
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 July 2019
Date of Acceptance: 13 June 2019
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2019 10:15
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/124244

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