What you will study
The module adopts a broad definition of innovation, ranging from incremental change and improvement to radical or ‘disruptive’ innovation, and is applicable if you are involved or interested in the management of innovation in a wide variety of contexts and sectors, including: IT/IS, telecommunications, computing, engineering, manufacturing, transport and logistics, retailing, energy production and supply, defence and security, management and administration, and any form of services, including health, welfare and leisure. In all of these fields, and more, the major themes of this module – of creating, managing, transferring/sharing and sustaining innovation – are central to the effective and successful operation of organisations of any size and purpose.
You begin by gaining an overview of the field of technological innovation. Then, through the study and analysis of a number of topical issues in innovation, such as open innovation and green innovation, you explore the detailed issues that need to be addressed in ensuring that technological innovation is encouraged and delivered in an effective manner. The module combines leading innovation management perspectives with practical techniques for facilitating specific aspects of the innovation process in this fast-moving subject area. The module is organised into six teaching blocks as follows:
Block 1: Technology, innovation and management
The first block introduces you to a range of topics that are central to the study, analysis and application of technological innovation and its management. The block also examines ‘systems of innovation’ – that is, the contextual features and factors that underpin and/or enable innovation – at international, national, regional, and sectoral levels.
Block 2: Open innovation
Block 2 enables you to build a critical understanding of the philosophy of open innovation - and its practical application - so you can take an active role in managing an effective innovation system. You will learn the key elements of an open innovation approach so you can critically evaluate innovation systems in terms of a specific open innovation strategy and the wider innovation literature.
Block 3: Technology transfer: building value
The third block explores key features of the technology transfer process including management of intellectual property. The block introduces the technique of technology road mapping and considers what the purpose and form of a technology road map is and how it can be used to underpin an innovation strategy.
Block 4: Eco-innovation
Block 4 introduces the concepts behind an area of technology innovation which has become increasingly important with the growth of the ‘green movement’ and ‘sustainability’. You will explore the drivers which stimulate eco-innovation activity. These drivers include government action, market advantage and altruistic motives for changing manufacturing processes and service provision. Two approaches to understanding and applying eco-innovation are proposed, supported by an overview of a range of practical activities.
Block 5: Project management
This block explores the territory covered by ‘project management’ and two opposing approaches to managing innovation projects, before considering what is meant by the ‘successful delivery of an innovation project’. You then have the opportunity to try out techniques that will help you design a system that is capable of managing a particular innovation project.
Block 6: Conclusions
In this final block, you draw some general conclusions and consider questions about the nature and direction of technological innovation as we head further into the twenty-first century.
You will learn
This module will enable you to learn about the management of technological innovation. It will make you aware of a range of processes that underpin the innovation systems that develop technology-based goods and services. Most importantly the module will enable you to understand the innovation systems in which you work, critically review innovation processes and make suggestions for how they could be improved.