Innovation & Entrep

Course Description

Innovation is a vital process in driving change at every level in society: organisations which fail to innovate may find themselves overtaken by competitors to the detriment of economic development and growth on a regional, national and international scale. Innovation as a process is influenced not only by what happens at the level of the organisation but also by aspects of its external environment which constitute the broader innovation system, some of which may facilitate and others impede the process. Innovation happens in both existing and newly emerging organisations when entrepreneurial thinkers leverage benefits from the external environment and marshal resources and internal capabilities to exploit opportunities, taking into account the risks. This course will draw on theories of innovation and entrepreneurship toexplore how effective organisations engage in these two strongly integrated processes, exploring, in particular, product, service and process innovation and demonstrating the role of innovation as a driver of organisational growth and development. Recent cases drawn from a range of sectors will be used to illustrate practical aspects associated with implementing innovation strategies and the impact of innovative and entrepreneurial behaviour on economic development.
The course will be taught as ten two-hour sessions, using a mix of summary of key concepts, cases studies, group exercises and plenary discussions. Each session will address a key theme as outlined below. Students will also attend weekly tutorials which will be based around the discussion of activities and exercises linked to the previous week’s lecture theme.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

On successful completion of the course you should:
• appreciate the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in economic development;
• understand innovation as a core business process and how innovation can be managed, distinguishing some key characteristics of successful innovation and successful innovators;
• be able to assimilate the contributions of economics, sociology of technology, institutional theory and policy analysis to the analysis of innovation;
• have the knowledge to outline the intellectual property choices available to innovative companies and entrepreneurs;
• understand the concepts of technological trajectories and the accumulation of firm-specific competences, and appreciate how disruptive technologies disrupt these;
• appreciate the location of research and development activities and the importance of collaborations and external linkages, understanding the concepts of “innovation clusters” and “national systems of innovation”.

Cognitive, Analytical and Transferrable Skills

On completion of this course, through individual and group-work, you should have developed your ability to:
• gather and critically analyse data accessed from a range of sources, including electronic and web-based materials;
• work both individually and co-operatively to analyse business problems;
• develop and deliver effective presentations;
• develop an individual reflective piece of writing drawing on knowledge gathered collectively.

Key Skills

During the tutorial sessions, you should develop and demonstrate your ability to:
• apply your understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship concepts and theories to specific examples and decision-making tasks;
• analyse situations, evaluate alternative courses of action, formulate your arguments and justify your opinions and decisions;
• undertake tasks effectively in small groups;
• communicate ideas clearly within small groups and to the tutorial group as a whole, both through week-to-week tutorial discussions and through the presentation which forms part of the assessed work for the group project;
• listen to the ideas of other students and engage constructively with those ideas through discussion and debate, as appropriate.


In examination answers, you should be able to:
• address the key issues raised by the question:
• define key terms, concepts, and issues, drawing on relevant literature;
• relate theory to examples.