Course 2014-2015 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.)

Course Objectives

This course develops students' understanding of how firms use technology to position themselves strategically, from the perspective of a director of business development. For this purpose, we rely heavily on real business cases, dealing with firms, characterized by international scope and strategy, which have faced the challenges of managing innovation and technology strategy. We begin with an understanding of how technological systems evolve, with particular emphasis on the emergence of standards, and then turns to understanding networks, such as the Internet. 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. The last part of the course is dedicated to understand how these issues can be translated to low-tech contexts characterized by pervasive innovation. Also, we deal with some hot topics in the strategic management of innovation and technology.

Course Content Summary

  • Introduction to the course: rationale, topics, rules of the game.
  • What is Technology and why it is important for gaining and sustaining competitive advantage.
  • Tools to solve business cases.

Part 1. Technology and innovation strategy from a macro perspective

  • Dynamics of Technology over time.
  • The Emergence of a dominant design.
  • The Role of Network Externalities.
  • Timing of Entry.
  • Disruptive Innovations.
  • Disruptive Innovations Reconsidered.

Part 2. New Product Development

  • Radical and Incremental Innovations.
  • Customers and User Innovations.
  • Organizational Structures.
  • Ambidexterity.
  • Appropriating the Rents of Innovations.

Part 3. Beyond Technology The Case of Design Driven Innovation

  • Design Driven Innovations.
  • Market-related Competences and Style.
  • Core Competences for Developing Style.
  • Low IPR Regimes.

Part 4. Hot Topics

  • Supply chain management.
  • Open and collaborative Innovation.
  • Wrap up and Conclusions.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

For non attending students

Written exam based on the material for non-attending students.

For Attending students

The course is case-based. Class interaction and participation are evaluated. Students deliver two assignments throughout the course.

A final written exam evaluates students’ overall understanding of the topics.

The final grade is computed as follows:

  • Class participation (20%)
  • Individual Assignments (40%)
  • Written exam (40%)


For non attending students

  • G. Verona (Ed.). Cases and Readings on Technology and Innovation Strategy. Egea 2013
  • S. Shane. Technology Strategy for Managers and Entrepreneurs. Prentice Hall (except for chapters 13-14-15)

    For Attending students

  • G. Verona (Ed.). Cases and Readings on Technology and Innovation Strategy. Egea 2013
  • Handouts distributed throughout the course
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 25/03/2014 15:30