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.