Technology and innovation management

The history of technological innovation has been nothing short of remarkable, affecting our lives, the effectiveness of organisations, the profitability of industries, the wellbeing of societies, the prosperity of nations, and the environment. Understanding the processes that underpin innovation is therefore crucial, whether you’re a user or producer of technological innovation. If you’re involved in managing innovation processes, understanding the overall process and its variations is a core professional competence. This module examines innovation from a management perspective, enabling you to develop your contribution to the process and management of 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

The module aims to develop your knowledge, understanding and skills; and open you to new ways of thinking about technology and innovation management (TIM) and applying your learning to your professional practice. TB801 will introduce you to innovation theories and practices and a broad range of related concepts and debates, supported by illustrative contemporary case studies and resources.

You’ll spend time exploring the innovation process and the importance of value creation as a fundamental feature of any innovation process – for example, commercial, social or environmental value. You’ll find that the module adopts a broad definition of technological innovation, addressing both innovation processes and different types and forms of innovation.

The module will begin by exploring innovation in terms of:

  • types of product innovation (goods and services), process innovation (e.g. production, marketing, and organisational processes) and system innovation (particularly sociotechnical innovation)
  • degrees of novelty in innovation, ranging from incremental improvements at one end to radical innovation at the other extreme
  • levels of innovation, ranging from component level innovation to whole system-level innovation
  • impacts of innovation, ranging from ‘sustaining’ innovation to ‘disruptive’ innovation.

Considering the different types, novelty, levels and impacts of innovation, and the various forms innovation can take, you will see that TB801 adopts a broad view of technological innovation.

TB801 is an applicable option if you’re interested in technology and innovation management or are involved professionally with innovation (including in private, public and third/not-for-profit sectors). This module’s central theme of creating, managing, and capturing the value of innovation and its evaluation is key to any organisation’s strategic, effective and successful operation.

Through the study and analysis of topical issues in innovation, you will explore issues that need addressing to ensure effective technological innovation management. The module combines leading innovation management perspectives and practical techniques and tools to facilitate the innovation process and achieve successful outcomes.

TB801 is a challenging module but accessible to those interested in technology and innovation management concepts, theories, debates and practices. You will begin by gaining an overview of the study of Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) fundamentals. Throughout, you will develop a critical understanding of the role of people, technological, organisational and contextual (PTOC) factors that shape the management of technological innovation and the value it creates. The module then guides you through the remaining blocks of TB801. It will introduce the more complex product, process, and system innovation management concepts. Then show you how to evaluate innovation and then, finally, how to synthesise the module teaching with a focus on innovation strategy, pulling together some implications for innovation management practices.

The module is structured into six teaching blocks as follows:

Block 1: Technology and innovation management fundamentals
The first block introduces you to a range of concepts and topics that are central to the study and analysis of technology, technological change, technological innovation and innovation management. The block will explore the dynamics of innovation processes and different ways of classifying and understanding innovation. Through the block, you'll consider the role of people, technological, organisational and contextual (PTOC) factors shaping technology innovation. You will also consider the concepts behind contemporary forms of innovation in real-world contexts, including frugal, social, sustainable and eco innovation and the value of systems approaches to innovation.

Block 2: Technology transfer and innovation systems
The second block explores emerging technologies and technological innovation in terms of technology transfer strategies and management in a range of sectors. You will be introduced to the assessment of technology readiness levels, intellectual property management and wider technology transfer networks and processes. The block introduces ‘systems of innovation’ that influence and enable innovation processes at organisational, sectoral, regional and national levels. This also includes open innovation systems and networks – a system level approach to technology transfer and innovation strategy.

Block 3: Managing product (goods) innovation and process innovation
The third block explores the role of technology in the processes and management of product innovation focusing on goods, and the ways in which product design, development and marketing informs and supports innovation. You will also be introduced to a range of process innovations, with attention to management and environmentally responsible approaches to innovation in sectoral contexts. The block introduces the technique of technology roadmapping and considers the purpose and form of a technology roadmap and how it can be used to underpin innovation strategy. The key theme of the block will examine the influences shaping innovation outcomes and the role of management in a range of contexts, especially those relating to the digital economy of the twenty-first century.

Block 4: Managing product (services) innovation and system innovation
The fourth block explores the role of technology in service innovation as a type of product innovation and system innovation, particularly sociotechnical systems. It examines how diverse actors and their strategic and operational practices influence and shape innovation processes and outcomes, relevant to managing types of service and system innovations in different sectoral contexts. The block also introduces the Multi-Level Perspective and the Strategic Niche Management (SNM) technique as applied to system innovations and considers how it can be used to underpin innovation strategy.

Block 5: Defining and evaluating added value
Block 5 provides the knowledge you need to develop and work with types and forms of evaluation suitable for measuring the value added by technological innovation. In so doing, the block explores the relationship between added value and innovation. This block also takes account of the contextual, conceptual and theoretical factors that underpin, inform and shape evaluation and assessment. The role of stakeholders and some practical aspects of ‘designing’ effective evaluation are also introduced.

Block 6: Innovation strategy and TIM conclusions
In this final block, we introduce you to different features of innovation strategy associated with the characteristics and processes of innovation, supported by practical tools and activities. An overview of management strategy theories applicable to innovation and value creation is explored. This block draws together a synthesis of the module themes with some general conclusions, before considering questions about the nature and direction of technological innovation as we head further into the twenty-first century.

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 real-time online, recorded tutorials. Tuition will take the form of 6 tutor group tutorials of one hour each and 4 group master classes which will address particular module themes. Some repeat tutorials will be offered to give you more chance of being able to participate. Communication with your tutor will be mainly through email, telephone and online tutorials.

Course work includes

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

Future availability

Technology and innovation management (TB801) 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 November 2028.


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 May 2024 Oct 2024 -

Registration now closed

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 November 2028.

Future availability

Technology and innovation management (TB801) 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 November 2028.

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

Access to the module study materials via the module website including online forums, tutorial rooms and assessment material. Online databases for literature searching will be accessible via the OU Library website.

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 teaching material for this module will be delivered online via the module website, so you will spend considerable amounts of time using a personal computer and the internet. 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.

Written transcripts of audio components, figure descriptions and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of the material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Other alternative formats of the module materials may be available in the future.

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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