Innovation for Urgent Global Challenges
Now more than ever, it is clear that the world is facing catastrophic shocks and urgent grand challenges that cross social, economic and environmental spheres. Key grand global challenges include climate change, biodiversity loss, pandemics like COVID-19, antibiotic resistance, social injustice, economic inequities, populism, and emerging frontier risks from AI, space exploration, climate tipping points, among others. Businesses and innovators need to work in increasingly collaborative ways which move beyond traditional boundaries and research silos. This requires innovation in our management paradigms in order to move to systemic solutions to intractable problems and escalating global risks.
In such a world, there are tremendous opportunities for managers to engage and make fundamental contributions to the challenges that lie ahead.
This module explores these issues and also leverages external experts and current events including the upcoming UNFCCC’s conference on cli-mate change (COP26) hosted by the UK government in Glasgow this November, 2021.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Innovation for Urgent Global Challenges|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 1: |
- To introduce students, through research led teaching, to cutting-edge management paradigms emerging in response to today’s pressing grand global challenges.
- To develop a critical orientation towards the subject matter and an understanding of how these innovation paradigms can be operationalised in practice.
- To enhance student employability through engaging students in the latest management approaches and their implications for business and organisational practice.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. explain key innovation management paradigms and theories to address grand challenges and critically discuss how they compare and contrast;
- 2. evaluate theory-practice links between innovation management paradigms and business operations.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 3. critically evaluate concepts, theories and techniques.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 4. work independently and demonstrate self-motivated inquiry within the subject area;
- 5. work effectively in a group;
- 6. present arguments related to the module content to an audience.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||11||Lectures|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||10||Workshops|
|Guided Independent Study||60||Pre and post session reading|
|Guided Independent Study||69||Assessment preparation|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Management protocol (group)||5 minute presentation in workshop||1-6||Verbal|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Management protocol (group)||25||15 minute oral presentation and accompanying slides||1-6||Oral feedback from the class and written feedback from the module lead|
|Individual essay assignment||75||2,500 words||1-4, 6||Written feedback|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Management protocol (group)||Individual innovation report (2,000 words) (25%)||1-6||Referral/Deferral period|
|Individual essay assignment||Individual essay assignment (2,500 words) (75%)||1-4, 6||Referral/Deferral period|
Whilst the precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover all or some of the following topics:
- What new and emerging innovation management paradigms are emerging in response to today’s grand global challenges?
- Beyond the techno-fix
- Grand global challenges
- Social innovation
- Reverse innovation
- Risk management
- Interdisciplinary innovation
- Creativity in innovation
- Locating value in innovation
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
This module will require engaging with a range of readings from a variety of sources. Readings to accompany each lecture will be posted online. Examples include:
Arctic Basecamp (2021). Online Event: Part 1: A Plan for the Planet: The Arctic & Beyond. Part 2: Make Earth Cool Again. https://arcticbasecamp.org/events/davosagenda/
Beheshti, N. (2020). End business as usual — Leaders must boldly and fearlessly respond to Black Lives Matter. Forbes, June 18, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nazbeheshti/2020/06/18/end-business-as-usual-leaders-must-boldly-and-fearlessly-respond-to-black-lives-matter/
Fridays for Future. https://fridaysforfuture.org/what-we-do/our-demands/
George, G., Howard-Grenville, H., Hoshi, A., Tihanyi, L. (2016) Understanding and tackling societal grand challenges through management research. Academy of Management Journal, 59, https://journals.aom.org/doi/abs/10.5465/amj.2016.4007
Rockstrom, J., & Whiteman, G. (2021). Shell’s net zero plan will be judged on science, not spin. Climate Home News. https://www.climatechangenews.com/2021/05/18/shells-net-zero-plan-will-judged-science-not-spin/
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Who’s in the Race to Zero? https://unfccc.int/climate-action/race-to-zero/who-s-in-race-to-zero#eq-1
Williams, A., Whiteman, G., & Parker, J. (2020). Backstage interorganizational collaboration: Corporate endorsement of the sustainable development goals. Academy of Management Discoveries, 5. https://journals.aom.org/doi/10.5465/amd.2018.0154
Wilson, R., (2020). Video series: Idiot’s Guide to Climate Change. Available on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzvRx_johoA9fDngbRuMXM_Q7hYMXH_gw
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2021): Vision 2050: Time to Transform. https://www.wbcsd.org/Overview/About-us/Vision-2050-Time-to-Transform/Resources/Time-to-Transform
World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2021). COVID-19 Response Program: Vital Supply Chains Issue Brief. https://www.wbcsd.org/WBCSD-COVID-19-Response-Program/Vital-Supply-Chains/Resources/WBCSD-s-COVID-19-Response-Program-Vital-Supply-Chains-issue-brief
World Economic Forum (2021). The Global Risks Report 2021.
Whiteman, Gail (2021). Making sense of frontier risks and identifying early warning signs. WEF Agenda. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/06/frontier-risks-identifying-early-warning-signs/
Harris, M., Weisberger, E., Silver, D., Dadwal, V., & Macinko, J. (2016). That's not how the learning works - the paradox of Reverse Innovation: a qualitative study. Global Health, 12(36), 1-8. https://doi:10.1186/s12992-016-0175-7
Immelt, J. R., Govindarajan, V., & Trimble, C. (2009). How GE is disrupting itself. Harvard Business Review, 87(10), 56-65
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