Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 22
EMIT (6 credits - I sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/08)
Course Director:

Classes: 22 (I sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Mission & Content Summary


The course develops student’s understanding of how firms use technology and innovation to position themselves strategically, from the perspective of a Director of Business Development. It pays specific attention to the digital transformation which is impacting all industries in the recent years. For this purpose, it relies heavily on cases and examples, dealing with firms which have faced the challenges of managing innovation, technology strategy, and the digital transformation. To confront the implications of technology and innovation on a firm’s strategy and to understand actions and reactions by Directors of Business Development when technology and innovation originate within the firm as well as when they change exogenously the environment where the firm operates, students are asked to actively participate in class discussions and engage in an innovation contest that offer a tangible perspective on the alternative choices that managers face when crafting a technology and innovation strategy.


The course is structured into two main parts:

In part 1 we begin with an understanding of how technological systems evolve, with particular emphasis on the development of innovation, the emergence of standards, and then turn to understanding networks. We will show how technology shapes industry through the development of entry barriers but also the opportunity of differentiation with new product and services. We will devote specific attention to general-purpose technologies like the Internet, social media, artificial intelligence are transforming industries and organizations into new open systems and are stimulating opportunities for entrepreneurship.

In part 2 we will focus on the operational processes that a company has to design and manage in order to deliver innovations to the market. Specifically, we explore how firms develop new products, how they can leverage the knowledge of consumers in the innovation process, and which organizational structures are best suited to foster or hamper innovation. We will devote specific attention to digital instruments that support innovation through the creation of an open structure.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand and disentangle the different types of innovation, and the related implications.
  • Identify theoretical models which help explaining and contextualizing technological change.
  • Recognize the different approaches to manage innovation and technological change.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Evaluate the strategic effects  of innovation, depending on the context and the industry.
  • Evaluate the innovative activity of a firm and provide corrective measure.

  • Recognize threats and opportunities brought by technological change.
  • Provide solutions to different common business problems where innovation plays a major role.
  • Interact in a constructive way and think critically.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


  • Cases are discussed to identify theoretical concepts from real-life situations, students are therefore expected to read the assigned cases prior to the related sessions in order to engage in an active in class discussion.
  • An innovation contest involves groups of students in wearing the shoes of a Director of Business Development by crafting and presenting a comprehensive technology and innovation strategy from idea generation to implementation.
  • In addition to face-to-face lectures, case studies, and interactive class activities, we expect to have guest speakers who deliver a direct experience on the main issues they faced when dealing with technology and innovation and how they successfully (or unsuccessfully) solved them.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
x   x
  • Interactive class activities (Innovation contest)


In order to achieve the learning outcomes and measure their acquisition by students.

  • Not only attendance is recommended, but class interaction and participation are evaluated. Students are expected to read the assigned material for each topic before class and to participate actively in the discussion. This aims to test the student’s ability to interact and think critically applying the concepts presented throughout the course. Class participation accounts for 20% of the final grade.
  • To assess the ability to recognize different approaches to manage innovation and technological change and to provide solutions to different common business problems related to innovation, it is launched an innovation contest that involves students in groups throughout the course. On the last session each group’s innovation project is discussed and evaluated. The innovation contest accounts for 30% of the final grade.
  • To test the understanding of theoretical models that describe different types of innovation and their implications, and that explain technological change, students take a written exam at the end of the course that accounts for 50% of the final grade.


Assessment of not attending students is entirely based on a final written exam that not only probes the student’s understanding of the concepts inherent to innovation, technological change, and their management, but also the student’s ability to think critically and apply the learned models to business situations that involve technology and innovation.

Teaching materials


  • Cases on library course reserve.
  • S. SHANE, Technology Strategy for Managers and Entrepreneurs, Prentice Hall, 2014 (selected chapters).
  • Course Slides.
  • Collection of articles.
  • Class handouts, material distributed.
  • Personal class notes.
  • Other material are assigned at course inception.


  • S. SHANE, Technology Strategy for Managers and Entrepreneurs, Prentice Hall, 2014 (selected chapters).
  • Other material will be assigned at course inception.
Last change 20/06/2019 10:44