What you will study
This module consists of the following four distinct, but closely related, blocks of study:
Block 1: Societal impacts of entrepreneurship and innovation
In this block you'll be introduced to the societal impacts of enterprise and innovation, and the tools and techniques that are needed to identify, analyse and manage them throughout the module. It recaps selected topics on entrepreneurship and innovation to ensure progression to the next level for innovation and enterprise pathway students and to introduce novices to key themes and concepts on ethics and sustainability as applied in entrepreneurship and innovation. It also articulates the underlying principle of the module, which is about using entrepreneurship and innovation to solve societal problems in an ethical and sustainable manner, considering this at different stages of an enterprise life cycle. Written and interactive cases and examples are used throughout to bring the theoretical concepts to life.
In Week 2, the OpenStudio will be introduced as a platform for you to document (diary) your reflective learning linked to your career development planning. Additionally, as part of the introduction to Block 1, you'll complete a self-diagnostic questionnaire to assess your knowledge and skills gap to help identify a professional development plan (PDP) linked to your future career aspirations. Specific activities and tasks have been designed to help you review your PDP across the module.
Block 2: Researching entrepreneurship and innovation
In this block you'll examine how entrepreneurship and innovation can be used to solve societal challenges (e.g. social inclusion, environmental protection, economic and community development) through an experiential learning experience – My Experiential Learning Project. It starts by introducing students to the significance of specialist sectors in society and the three specialist areas selected for study. To ensure coverage of a range of relevant societal problems, while meeting the learning needs of students, three ideal specialist areas have been selected for in-depth study:
- Engineering, science and information technology: includes entrepreneurship/innovation in relation to the choice of production, operational and marketing technologies, such as ‘green’ and low carbon technology, medical technology, bio solutions, electric cars, IT services for managing patient feedback
- Creative, leisure and cultural industries: includes entrepreneurship/innovation in the visual and performance arts, poetry, languages, heritage and sports.
- Health and social care: includes entrepreneurship/innovation in relationship to the challenges of increasing access to healthcare (health care costs v health and social care needs of citizens).
As the sub-titles suggest, you'll be clustered into three specialist areas. However, the block introduction will make clear that the three categories are not mutually exclusive. My Experiential Learning Project will require you to conduct independent research within your chosen specialist area, using evidence to analyse how existing enterprises seek to use entrepreneurship and innovation to address societal problems. You should be able to conduct interviews in this organisation, so it would be helpful if it you could ensure access to the organisation.
You'll work on this experiential project throughout Block 2 with specific module directed study activities provided to support them, such as a framework for identifying and researching a societal problem in a specialist area, method of data collection and analysis, intrapreneurship and societal change, and report writing. Within this context, you'll select a societal problem within your specialist area (which could be one the three above) and start working towards developing a solution.
Block 3: Sustainable Enterprise Challenge
This block provides the opportunity to practise how to create and manage an enterprise as part of a team through a computer-assisted Sustainable Enterprise Challenge (SEC), using a version of either ‘Serious Games’ or ‘SimVenture’. You'll be provided with a scenario based on an enterprise that has just been launched and that is expected to provide an innovative and sustainable solution to a defined societal problem. Student teams will then be created and tasked with completing a series of weekly challenges: setting strategic objectives (e.g. triple bottom-line), defining organisational values and recruitment strategies, sourcing financial and non-financial resources, making choices about production technology and marketing, making enterprise expansion decisions (including second round of funding). All of these are geared towards generating student-led, pre-defined impacts. The outcome includes weekly templates of team analysis and decisions and end-of-project impact measures.;
Block 4: Module summary and revision
In this final block you'll integrate your previous learning to produce your end of module assessment. You'll return to the societal challenge identified in Block 2 and the learning from Block 3 (inter-relationship among function areas of entrepreneurship and innovation) to develop a solution to the problem. This includes decisions as to whether the solution is best offered through a start-up enterprise or an existing enterprise (intrapreneurship), ethical and sustainability considerations and a clear success criterion for measuring the impact of the proposed solution.
You will learn
By studying this module you will:
- research, create and manage sustainable forms of innovative and entrepreneurial ventures within a range of specialist areas, recognising that specialist areas have to be explored at multiple levels of analysis
- apply core theories, concepts and frameworks of innovation and entrepreneurship to understand the strategy, process and operations of financially, socially and environmentally sustainable enterprises
- discuss the impact of innovation and entrepreneurship on society, both at a conceptual and a practical level, including ethics and sustainability, economic and social benefits to you, the economy and local communities
- distinguish the responsibilities of founders, managers, employees and directors within particular types of sustainable enterprises and innovations.
By studying this module, you will gain the ability to:
- negotiate, influence, and agree on roles and rewards within founder teams in entrepreneurial settings, doing so in a legitimate and ethical manner
- appropriately plan and solve problems in entrepreneurial and innovative settings
- deploy effective networking and persuasive communication skills
- work independently and as part of a collaborative virtual team to develop attributes and capabilities for entrepreneurial success in a complex and changing environment
- undertake independent research to inform practice within your area of specialism
- critically evaluate and reflect on your own career development objectives.