The Vision for the Future of Mobility

The Changing Relationship Between Innovation and Quality in the U.S. Auto Industry

  • Donna L. Bell
  • Julia C. Gluesing Wayne State University, Industrial and Systems Engineering Department


The automotive industry is going through a transformation. Disruptive technologies and tools are shifting the business model from one of automobiles to one of mobility. To accomplish this shift, automotive companies are embracing acquisitions and partnerships. In a time when the consumer electronics industry is delivering new products to market at a rapid rate, automotive manufacturers must identify ways of getting new products and features to customers faster and with high quality to maintain or increase market share.  We provide an analysis of interviews with global automotive company professionals to understand the impact that quality requirements have on innovation and the advanced product design process.   The research contributes to the literature on innovation and quality, identifying organizational behaviors and practices that facilitate or obstruct the development of high quality fast-to-market innovations, particularly in the area of mobility.

Author Biographies

Donna L. Bell

Donna L. Bell is an engineering executive that has worked in the automotive industry for more than 25 years, working mostly in electrical engineering but also holding engineering and leadership roles in product development, quality, purchasing, sustainability, and research. Donna has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Lawrence Technological University (Southfield, MI), a Master of Science degree in Electronics and Computer Control Systems and a Master of Science degree in Engineering Management, both from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI. Donna is currently a PhD candidate in Wayne State University’s Global Executive Track PhD program in the college of Industrial and System’s engineering, where she is researching the intersection of innovation and quality in a mature firm.

Julia C. Gluesing, Wayne State University, Industrial and Systems Engineering Department

Julia C. Gluesing is a business and organizational anthropologist with more than 40 years of experience in industry and academia as a consultant, researcher and trainer in global business development focusing on global leadership development, managing global teams, managing change, innovating across cultures and cross-cultural communication and training. Julia is a part-time faculty member in the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department at Wayne State University where she teaches the management of technology change and serves as a leadership project advisor in the Engineering Management Master’s Program. She also teaches courses in qualitative methods, global leadership, and global perspectives in the Global Executive Track Ph.D. Program, for which she was a founder and co-director.


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Themed Articles: Transportation