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Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Digital Era

Module description

In a world increasingly characterised as VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous – few things are assured. Managing risk and uncertainty considering current and future opportunities is both expected – and complex. We can be relatively certain that demand for both high quality and frugal products and services will only be met by individuals and organisations who invest in learning how to manage innovation within an increasingly digital world.

While stakeholders are rarely willing to compromise on quality, the demand for value is greater than ever. Traditional business models are increasingly being turned on their head in both B2C and B2B markets. Organisations of all sizes and missions are facing growing pressure from cost-conscious and eco-aware customers, employees and governments, who are demanding affordable, sustainable and high-quality products that work in the digital era. The module addresses these challenges through integrating innovation, the creation of value from ideas, and entrepreneurship, the skills and ideas to make innovation happen.

Research demonstrates that innovative organisations outperform, in both employment and sales, firms that fail to innovate. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Digital Era module focuses on developing the dynamic capabilities that managers need to innovate in demanding global and technology driven environments.

Full module specification

Module title:Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Digital Era
Module code:BEMM212DA
Module level:M
Academic year:2021/2
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Bill Russell - Convenor
Module credit:30
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

Skills acquisition: Innovation is the principal task of senior managers and leaders. Inspiring and driving innovation on a business level separates implementers from inspiring, value creating leaders. These leaders need an entrepreneurial mindset and the capabilities to innovate.

You will develop the skills to establish and sustain innovation across a spectrum of novelty and risk. We will deep dive into “do better”, radical, “do different”, and disruptive innovation. Learners will be introduced to a range of enabling tools, models and structures that will equip them to drive forward new ventures within established organisations. 

Research in teaching: The module builds on 100 years of research into innovation to provide an understanding of how managers can deal with ongoing innovation in service and manufacturing settings. It will explore the proven enablers and blockers to the innovation process within a number of different contexts including start-ups, scale-up enterprises, established organizations and public sector/NGO institutions considering both B2C and B2B requirements. A key aim is for students to understand the strategic as well as operational issues that affect the innovation and entreptreneurship processes and to equip both aspiring and experienced corporate entrepreneurs to deal with them. The course will explore how organizations can create value – social or commercial – through the application of ideas. It will also raise the question of whether innovation is always a good thing and how we can develop approaches towards ‘responsible’ innovation.

Through experiential learning, you will embark on a journey of discovery and personal development. For inspiration, guidance and support a series of innovation and entrepreneurship webinars, videos, group forums, learning logs, online reading material, and facilitated online group sessions will be offered in addition to masterclasses. 

The aim of the module is to:

  • Enable learners to manage innovation and entrepreneurship in private, public and third sector organisations in both service and manufacturing settings
  • Evaluate how technology – and particularly digital technology – plays a central role in the innovation and entrepreneurship process, alongside human, cultural and operational factors
  • Connect innovation and entrepreneurship with organisational strategy and the operational issues that affect the creation and delivery of value
  • Equip students to identify and seize opportunities and re-configure their organisation and ecosystem to create, test, validate and operationalise ideas
  • Develop go-to-market strategies through designing business models which define who your customers (or stakeholders) are, what you are selling, how you produce your offering, and why your business is profitable
  • Help managers to answer questions such as:
    • How do we know whether this idea is worth pursuing?
    • Have we found the right solution?
    • What is the best business model for this new offering?
  • Deliver insights, frameworks and tools that can be shared with colleagues in their organisations

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. evaluate the impact of innovation and disruptive technologies innovation (mechanisms that challenge traditional business methods and practice); drivers of change and new ways of working across infrastructure, processes, people and culture and sustainability;
  • 2. initiate and lead change in the organisation, create an environment for innovation and creativity, establishing the value of ideas and change initiatives and drives continuous improvement;
  • 3. demonstrate confidence and an ability to challenge strategies and operations in terms of the legal framework, ethics, risk, sustainability, resource allocation and business continuity/risk;
  • 4. critically evaluate the nature of risk, with special emphasis on areas such as environmental risk and cyber security and identify how risk can be managed.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. critically analyse and align vision, culture and values with innovation and entrepreneurship strategy and operational plans;
  • 6. Econfidently lead innovation projects, actively seeking out new ideas and opportunities;
  • 7. evaluate the role of data (including Big Data) to strategic management and the management of change.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Masterclass28Faculty-led workshops and seminars
Webinars4Online action learning set facilitated by module lead.
Professional development 94Guided independent study through online learning activities. Reading, case studies, professional practise forums, MCQs, vlogs and formative assessment tasks.
Time in work174Time in work

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Completing weekly assignmentsMultiple items, each no more than 30 minutes1-5Interactive and imbedded in a task

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Assessment 1 - Reflection on 100 Years of Research into Innovation and Entrepreneurship301,500 words1-5Written
Select one key theme within the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship. Following exploration of the research based literature relevant to the theme, write a short report on it highlighting the key ideas and drawing out key messages about the theme for practising managers in the learner’s organisation, reflecting on how the theme could be managed more effectively in the digital era.0
Assessment 2 - Innovation fitness test - PowerPoint executive summary and report703,000 words1-7Written
Carry out research to assess the “Innovation Fitness” of the learner's organisation. The student will create a 10 slide “Executive Summary” PowerPoint presentation accompanied by a 3,000 word Innovation Fitness Report. The PowerPoint and report will analyse how well the organisation manages innovation, and will include prioritised recommendations to improve innovation performance in rapidly changing digital environments.0

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Assessment 1 - Building the innovation CaseAssessment 1 - Building the innovation Case (1,500 words, 30%) 1-5August/September Reassessment Period
Assessment 2 – PowerPoint Executive Summary and Report Assessment 2 – PowerPoint Executive Summary and Report (3,000 words, 70%)1-7August/September Reassessment Period

Re-assessment notes

All passed components of the module will be rolled forward and will not be reassessed in the event of module failure.

Defer – as first time

Refer – capped at 50%

Syllabus plan

1. Innovation as a Core Business process

  • What is innovation and why does it matter?
  • How does the internet change the context of innovation forever?
  • Why do we talk about the “Fourth industrial Revolution” and & what’s this got to do with innovating?
  • How organizations are on an innovation journey, through which the build new innovation capabilities
  • Why is data at the centre of much innovation in the 2020s?
  • How can we use digital tools to innovate?
  • Exploring the technology enabled innovation space
  • Innovation as a journey
  • The inter-relationship between Entrepreneurship and Innovation

2. Managing the Innovation Process

  • Where and how to search
  • Selecting and building opportunities
  • Implementation: Making the journey from idea to value capture.
  • Capturing value through business models

3. Building Dynamic Capabilities

  • Evolving repeatable innovation capabilities
  • Strategy: Planning for the future
  • People: Leadership, teams, organization
  • Learning through doing
  • Making innovation happen

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Tidd, J. & Bessant, J. (2015) Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Wiley

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

CMI - Management Direct - an online management resource portal. Management Direct allows managers at any level to learn, research and think. It offers fast, 24-hour access to the latest digital content to help overcome hundreds of managerial challenges from absence to performance to change: 5 minute, 20 minute and extended briefings; Creative tools for problem solving; Hundreds of checklists and interactive scenarios to aid self-directed learning; Self-Assessments and automatic CPD recording/reporting; Document templates and best practice guides.


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