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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 well-being of societies, environmental sustainability and the prosperity of nations. Understanding the processes that underpin innovation is therefore crucial, whether you are a user or producer of technological innovation. If you are involved in managing innovation processes, understanding the overall process of innovation and its variations is a core professional competence. This online module examines innovation from a management perspective, and thus enables 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
To enable you to make international comparisons, the information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ).
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
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Module cost
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Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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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.

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
No residential school

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 2021 and May 2022.

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 2021 Oct 2021 -

    Registration now closed

    01 Nov 2021 Apr 2022 £1475.00

    Registration closes 07/10/21 (places subject to availability)

    01 May 2022 Oct 2022 £1475.00

    Registration closes 07/04/22 (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 2021 and May 2022.

    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.

    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 a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of 64-bit Windows 10 (note that Windows 7 is no longer supported) or macOS and broadband internet access.

    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.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.