What you will study
The module will introduce you to theoretical approaches, conceptual frameworks, processes, practices and tools that are applicable to technology management and technological innovation. This approach has proved valuable to professionals seeking to manage innovation strategically in organisations.
The module aims to develop your understanding of the process and management of technological innovation. It adopts a broad definition of technological innovation addressing both innovation processes and different types of innovations, ranging from incremental improvements and change to radical and ‘disruptive’ innovations. If you are interested in particular types of innovation, the module focuses on product innovation (goods and services), process innovation (mainly production, marketing and organisational innovation) and sociotechnical system innovation. Innovations can also be classified and examined in terms of their novelty, level and impact, as well as function.
TB801 is therefore an applicable option for your postgraduate studies, if you are interested in the management of innovation or involved professionally with innovation in a range of contexts, including private, public and third (not-for-profit) sectors. Across these sectors, the major themes of this module of creating, managing and capturing the value of innovation, and its evaluation, are central to the strategic, effective and successful operation of organisations of any size and purpose.
You begin by gaining an overview of the study of technology and technological innovation. Throughout the module you will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of the role of people, technological, organisational and contextual factors that shape technological innovation and the value it adds. Through the study and analysis of topical issues in innovation, illustrated by a range of contemporary case studies, you will explore the detailed issues that need to be addressed to ensure that technological innovation is encouraged in organisations and delivered in an effective manner. The module combines leading innovation management perspectives and practical techniques and tools for facilitating the dynamics of the innovation process.
The module is organised into six teaching blocks as follows:
Block 1: Technology, innovation and 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 its management. The block will also introduce you to the dynamics of innovation processes and the different ways of classifying and understanding innovation. You will also consider the concepts behind contemporary forms of innovation, including frugal, social, sustainable and eco innovation and 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. This 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. 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.
Block 4: Managing product (services) innovation and system innovation
The fourth block explores the role of technology in service innovation (as a type of of product innovation) and sociotechnical system innovation. 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 associated 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 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 'doing' effective evaluation are also introduced.
Block 6: Innovation strategy and next steps
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 summary 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.