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BUS2017 : Introduction to Innovation and Technology Management

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Neil Alderman
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module provides a general introduction to a range of models, concepts and principles relating to the innovation process. It provides students with an understanding of the definition of innovation, its strategic importance and a range of managerial issues relating to the pursuit of innovation through product or service development and technology implementation in business. It provides both an internal organisational perspective on the innovation process and an external perspective on innovation through networks and collaboration. Emphasis is placed on conditions promoting innovation success and a critical assessment of their application in different contexts. The module aims to raise awareness of the pivotal role of innovation in the creation of competitive advantage and in delivering economic and social change. It sets the management of innovation and technology in its wider organisational and business context and highlights the importance of a critical approach to decisions about innovation and technology management.

Outline Of Syllabus

•Defining innovation and technology            
•Micro perspectives on innovation and technological change –product life cycles, dominant design
•Industry and macro perspectives on innovation and technological change – long waves and industry life cycles
•Who are the innovators? – individuals, small firms and large firms in the innovation process      
•Success and failure in innovation
•Research and development and the product development process
•Innovation in services      
•Innovation strategy
•Intellectual property                                                      
•The resource based view                                                
•Creating and maintaining an innovative company environment
•Innovation in networks                                    
•Involving suppliers in product development
•Customer and user involvement in innovation                              
•User innovation
•Strategic alliances for innovation                                                
•The changing locus of innovation – moving down the value chain and integrated solutions
•Promoting innovation: policy, clusters and national systems of innovation

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion174:0074:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading120:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching10:200:20N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity119:4019:40Group work.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study150:0050:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures introduce students to the main theories of and approaches to Innovation and Technology Management as it applies to both manufacturing and service activities. Students are introduced to some of the key debates and controversies in the subject area. Critical approaches to the literature are demonstrated through the lectures.

The seminars permit more detailed discussion of specific issues and case examples.

The group assignment provides the opportunity for the ideas and lessons obtained from the lectures and the literature to be applied in an analysis of a specific innovation or technology. The assignment is supported by a group tutorial.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination601A25Multiple Choice Exam.
Written Examination1202A502 sections: unseen short answer questions; and essay on seen choice of topic.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M25Group assignment 2,500 words.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MFormative on-line assessment on Blackboard at the end of Semester 1.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exams test students' knowledge of the subject, and their ability to critically assess competing theories and perspectives. The MCQs assess breadth of knowledge and understanding of basic concepts and ideas. Short answer questions assess knowledge of specific topics in more depth. The 'seen' long essay question assesses depth of understanding of a central cross-cutting theme within the course and the ability to fashion a coherent argument in support of a particular proposition about the innovation process. The group assignment tests students' ability to apply models and theories about the innovation and technology management process to the context of a specific innovation through original collective investigation of a range of academic and web-based sources.

Formative assessment is provided through the on-line MCQ test that helps students prepare for the first assessment and gain feedback on their understanding. Formative guidance on the innovation report is provided to the project groups through the group tutorial.

Reading Lists