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Systemic disruption and ambidextrous program management: The case of electric buses


Midler Christophe & von Pechmann Felix (2019) “Disruption systémique et management de programme ambidextre : le cas des bus électriques”, Gérer et Comprendre, n° 138 (décembre), pp. 3-19.


Technological developments (mainly digital), worldwide competition based on innovations and societal pressures having to do with the environment have created a context where organizations are faced with major, sudden transitions. Relating the literature on innovation, ambidexterity and project management, this article describes these “systemic disruptions” and, using the concept of “ambidextrous program management” proposes the principles for coping with them. With the help of these concepts, a typical case of such a transition is analyzed, namely the electrification of the city bus service in Paris. It helps clarify the issues raised by such transitions and the forms of project management capable of responding to them. An explanation is made about how these forms compare with the processes adopted since the 1990s to manage innovations in firms.

Keywords: Ambidextrie, Systemic innovation, project management, electric bus vehicle