Strategic capabilities for technological innovation

Ongoing technological innovation has become a strategic necessity for many organisations. Even in traditionally stable sectors, maintaining the status quo is seldom viable. This creates challenges for organisations acquiring and managing the resources and capabilities necessary for effective approaches to innovation and creating and maintaining contexts that support strategic action. This module draws on material from the resource-based view of organisations and strategic and innovation management more generally to produce a multi-layered, practical approach to developing and managing technological innovation.


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
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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:

  • IT/IS
  • telecommunications
  • computing
  • engineering
  • manufacturing
  • transport and logistics
  • retailing
  • 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.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Throughout your module studies, you’ll get help and support from your assigned module tutor. They’ll help you by:

  • Marking your assignments (TMAs) and providing detailed feedback for you to improve.
  • Guiding you to additional learning resources.
  • Providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
  • Facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module and tutor group forums.

Module tutors also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part. If you want to participate, you’ll likely need a headset with a microphone.


The assessment details can be found in the facts box.

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment

Future availability

Strategic capabilities for technological innovation (T849) starts twice a year – in May and November.

This page describes the module that will start in November 2024 and May 2025.

We expect it to start for the last time in May 2027.


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.

Relevant professional experience will provide you with a good foundation for studying this module. However, as it takes a multi-disciplinary view of technology strategy, you don’t need to have previously studied any of the topics covered in the module.

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 2024 Apr 2025 £1660.00

Registration closes 03/10/24 (places subject to availability)

01 May 2025 Oct 2025 £1660.00

Registration closes 10/04/25 (places subject to availability)

This module is expected to start for the last time in May 2027.

Future availability

Strategic capabilities for technological innovation (T849) starts twice a year – in May and November.

This page describes the module that will start in November 2024 and May 2025.

We expect it to start for the last time in May 2027.

Additional costs

Study costs

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

Ways to pay for this module

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

The study material is provided wholly 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 use online forums, wikis and podcasts during your study.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

If you have a disability

The core study material 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.

Some online material may not be fully accessible using a screen reader (and mathematical and scientific materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way). 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.

To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our disability support pages.

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