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Managing technological innovation

The history of technological innovation has been nothing short of remarkable, affecting our lives, the effectiveness of organisations, the profitability of industries, the well-being of societies and the prosperity of nations. Understanding the processes that underpin technological innovation is therefore crucial, whether you are a user or producer of technological innovation. And if you are involved in managing innovation processes, an understanding of the overall process of innovation and its variations is a core professional competence. This online module examines innovation from a management perspective, enabling you to improve how you contribute to the process and management of technological innovation.


T848 is a compulsory module in our:

T848 is an optional module in our:

This module can also count towards M03, which is no longer available to new students.

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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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: Defining and evaluating added value

This block provides the knowledge you need to develop and work with forms of evaluation suitable for “measuring” the created or added value from technological innovation. It will take account of the contextual, conceptual and theoretical factors that underpin, inform and shape evaluation and assessment.

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.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will be assigned a tutor with broad knowledge and skills relevant to this module. Your tutor will advise you as you develop ideas for your assignments and end-of-module assessment. You will also have access to advice through our online forums and through wikis and real time online tutorials. Communication with your tutor will be mainly through email, telephone and online tutorials.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.

Future availability

Managing technological innovation (T848) starts twice a year – in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2019 and May 2020. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2020.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    This is a masters level module that can be taken either as a stand-alone module or as part of a postgraduate qualification.

    Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 6 and minimum score of 5.5 in each of the four components: reading, writing, speaking and listening under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.


    Start End England fee Register
    01 Nov 2019 Apr 2020 -

    Registration now closed

    01 May 2020 Oct 2020 £1400.00

    Registration closes 09/04/20 (places subject to availability)

    01 Nov 2020 Apr 2021 Not yet available

    Registration closes 08/10/20 (places subject to availability)

    This module is expected to start for the last time in November 2020.

    Future availability

    Managing technological innovation (T848) starts twice a year – in May and November. This page describes the module that will start in November 2019 and May 2020. We expect it to start for the last time in November 2020.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    Ways to pay

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    Learning material is provided online. Online databases for literature searching will be accessible via the OU Library website. Further resources (such as examples of research of relevance to your discipline) are also available via the module website. You will need to use online forums, wikis and podcasts.

    You will need

    There are no set books but you may find books, articles or other material on innovation and the management of innovation useful for your assignments. Note that useful material can be obtained without cost from semi-permanent online sources.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    If you have a disability

    The core teaching material for this module will be delivered online via the module website, so you will need to spend considerable amounts of time using a personal computer and the internet. If either your sight or manual dexterity are seriously impaired, you may find using the web challenging. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you in using a computer or the internet and have concerns about accessing this type of material you are advised to contact us about support that can be given to meet your needs.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.