What you will study
This module is relevant if you are involved or interested in the development and management of technological innovation in a wide variety of contexts and sectors as diverse and varied as:
- transport and logistics
- energy production and supply
- defence and security,
- management and administration
- any form of services, including health, welfare and leisure.
In all these fields, and more, the major theme of this module - the importance of strategically planning and managing a range of organisational resources and capabilities to deliver technological innovation - is central to the effective and successful operation of organisations of any size and purpose.
Block 1: Innovation capabilities
Since the 1950s scholars and researchers of innovation have tried to analyse and explain innovation and what makes some organisations successful at it while other, often similar, organisations are not. This block introduces you to one popular approach to understanding and explaining this conundrum - the resource based view (RBV) of organisations and the dynamic capabilities approach - and how and why this approach is important for the development and management of technological innovation.
Block 2: Innovation strategy
Strategy is nowadays commonplace across all forms of organisation and enterprise, whether commercial, government and public sector or non-profit - or so we are led to believe. And acceptance of the assumed importance and benefits of strategic management is widespread. It is argued that strategy is both integral and crucial to the development and success of technological innovation. This block briefly reviews the development of strategic management, its rise to current levels of popularity and what might constitute good and bad strategy. To conclude this block, you’ll explore the nature of innovation strategy specifically and its growing importance for organisational and technological innovation.
Block 3: Business models for innovation
Business models are the basis on which organisations gain value from the technological innovations they develop. Recent innovations have sometimes disrupted whole industries (such as in the case of digital music) requiring the creation of dramatically different business models. Other innovations have had less dramatic impact but it is frequently still necessary to develop a more effective business model in order to gain or maintain competitive advantage. This block analyses the nature of a business model, examines examples, and then draws on a range of approaches to develop new models.
Block 4: Innovation, culture and risk
This block is about the relationships between three topics: innovation; risk; and organisational climate/culture. A willingness to take risks has been identified as a positive determinant of creativity and innovation but it is equally important that actual and potential risks are identified and managed appropriately. The ways of doing both risk identification and risk management are covered in this block. Organisational climate/culture affect all aspects of an organisation but are particularly important where innovation is concerned and will therefore also be discussed in some depth. Finally, determinants of organisational culture that influence innovation will be examined before considering the extent to which it is possible to shift culture in a pre-determined direction.
Block 5: Innovation, power and influence
This block takes a contextual, innovation related, approach to the analysis of organisational and systemic sources of power and influence and their use in leveraging advantageous positions and resources and in the creation and strategic management of capabilities for technological innovation.
Block 6: Future capabilities for innovation
This block concludes the module by reviewing and synthesising some of the key themes and issues that emerge from across the previous five blocks. The block ends by examining some potential future developments in the development and management of capabilities for innovation and our understanding and application of this approach.