Course 2021-2022 a.y.


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 22
EMIT (7 credits - I sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/06)
Course Director:

Classes: 22 (I sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Mission & Content Summary


Innovation and industrial change are two key characteristics of modern economies. Firms and industries in advanced countries and in emerging economies have to deal with changes in technologies and in markets and in radical transformations of industrial structure. The course aims to give a broad understanding of the processes and factors driving innovation and industrial change and to provide the tools for an analysis of the relevance and impact of innovation and industrial change for firms, sectors and the economy. Topics to be discussed include the relationship among innovation, economic growth and economic development; the economics of patents and intellectual property rights; the role of innovation in the dynamics and evolution of industries; the relationships between science and technology; the innovative enterprise; innovative start-ups; public policy with respect to innovation and industrial change; international technological competition; technology, economic development and catch-up. Some very introductory notions in basic microeconomics and industrial organization are helpful. The class format is a mix of lectures and discussions in class on topics, issues and cases. Students are expected to participate actively in the discussions and to read the assigned material before class. Seminars and student presentations on specific topics are organized during the course.


  • The nature and measurement of innovation
  • The evolutionary theory of innovation and industrial change.
  • Sources, appropriability and dimensions of innovation in industries
  • Demand, users and innovation
  • Learning, capabilities and performance of the innovative firm
  • Innovation, entry and industrial dynamics.
  • Models of innovation and industry evolution.
  • Public policy for innovation and industrial change.
  • International technological competition and catch-up by latecomer countries .
  • Economics of science.
  • Diffusion of innovations.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand the broad economic processes of innovation and industrial change.
  • Discuss the various characteristics of the competition in innovation among new and established firms and among countries, both advanced and emerging ones.
  • Recognize the implications of the use of different sources of knowledge for innovation and technology diffusion.

  • Link knowledge and innovation with the strategies of firms, industrial dynamics, public policy, intellectual property.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  •  Discuss, interpret and explain current events concerning innovation at the firm, industry and country level, using different approaches, methodologies and theories.
  • Read and summarize medium-difficulty scientific papers published in academic journals.
  • Access and use structured data on surveys on innovation, R&D and patents at the company, sector and economy level.
  • Write a report based on individual or group research, using documentary sources and statistics.
  • Demonstrate skills and teamwork abilities in presentation and communication.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments


  • Face-to-face lectures on the various topics of the course.
  • Individual/group assignments for oral presentations and discussion in front of the class on specific topics.
  • Group assignments for paper preparation and writing.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  x x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


  • Written exam: 2/3 of the final grade
  • Group assignment- term paper: 1/3 of the final grade
  • Active participation to the class is rewarded on top of the marks for the written exam and the term paper.


The assessment of the learning outcomes for this course is based on the following components:


- A comprehensive final exam (2/3 of the final grade) or a mid-term exam (1/3 of the final grade) and a second-part exam (1/3 of the final grade). They consist in open questions aimed to assess individual students’ ability to understand the concepts, methodologies and theories presented during the course, to explain them in a concise and analytical manner and to present them in a clear way.


- A final paper (1/3 of the final grade) to be written in groups of  3-4 students on one of the topics of the course, with the goals to verify students’ ability to analyze the main issues related to one of the topics of the course, apply the proper methodology and work in group.  At the end of the course, each group delivers a 20 minutes presentation about the main ideas and structure of the paper project. This presentation, which is not graded, is intended to test students’ ability to speak in public and to organize and transfer their ideas in a concise and structured manner. The presentation is discussed by the Instructor and by the class and provides a relevant feed-back for the writing of the final paper.  

-Active participation during lectures and very short presentations of the readings in front of the classis is rewarded on top of the marks for the final essay and the term paper. This is aimed to encourage students to interact in a learning environment and to think critically about the material presented in class.

Teaching materials


  • Textbook for the first part of the course:  Richard Nelson et al.   “Modern Evolutionary Economics: an Overview” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2018
  • Required readings: required readings are posted on Bboard; they are also available from the electronic resources at the Bocconi Library.
  • Slides of the lectures: the slides are posted on Bboard after each class.
Last change 23/07/2021 12:47