Strategic Innovation Management

Module description

In a world increasingly characterised as VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous – few things are assured. We can be relatively certain that an insatiable demand for high quality 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. To support individuals with either limited or extensive business experience seeking to develop a new innovation mindset and toolkit, the Strategic Innovation Management module focuses on developing the dynamic capabilities that entrepreneurs need to innovate in demanding global and technology driven environments.

Full module specification

Module title:Strategic Innovation Management
Module code:BEMM118
Module level:M
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Bill Russell - Convenor
  • Professor John Bessant - Lecturer
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






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


Module aims

The aim is to provide an understanding of how entrepreneurs and managers can deal with ongoing innovation in service and manufacturing settings. It will explore the enablers and blockers to the innovation process within a number of different contexts including start-ups, scale-up enterprises, established organisations 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 process and to equip both aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs to deal with them. The course will explore how organisations 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.


The module will explore the challenges in establishing and sustaining innovation across a spectrum of novelty and risk. We will deep dive into do better, do 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 both established and early stage organisations in the digital era.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Critically discuss the significance of innovation and how it links to wider strategic issues within the firm
  • 2. Evaluate how process innovations alter the ways of transforming a range of inputs into products and services for customers and end users
  • 3. Have insights into contingency factors of firm size, technological complexity and environmental uncertainty which influence the precise choice of processes

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Understand how firms are able to develop new products and services that are differentiated from their competitors, and how firms can out-perform their competitors, whether measured in terms of market share, profitability, and growth or market capitalisation
  • 5. Assess the factors that increase the likely success of new products and service, the use of formal development processes and tools, and proven strategies for development and commercialisation, including licensing

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Demonstrate written and oral communication skills
  • 7. Demonstrate independent and group study skills
  • 8. Demonstrate the ability to independently research issues

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
Flipped Learning33The module embraces the “flipped classroom”, which means that students are guided to prepare independently for lectures through engaging with content outside the lecture theatre, so that we can explore faster and deeper in class
Classroom Learning22A mixture of lectures, in class exercises, case studies, student presentations and videos
Guided Independent Study95Assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In-class presentations as part of the experiential learning approach10 minute presentation per class1-8Verbal feedback

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
Group Work30Infographic with a maximum of 1000 words1-8Written
Individual Essay702000 words1-8Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group WorkIndividual infographic (30%)1-8August reassessment period
Individual EssayIndividual report (70%)1-8August reassessment period

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. Where you have been referred/ deferred for the paper review, you will be required to resubmit it. This will constitute 15% of the module
Where you have been referred for the Group project, you will have the opportunity to resubmit it This will constitute 85% of the module

Syllabus plan

1. Innovation as a Core Business process (or “Building the Innovation Ship”)

  • What is innovation and why does it matter?
  • Exploring the technology enabled innovation space
  • Innovation as a journey
  • The inter-relationship between Entrepreneurship and Innovation

2. Managing the Agile Innovation Process (or “Sailing and Exploring in the Innovation Ship)

  • Where and how to search
  • Selecting and building opportunities
  • Implementation
  • Capturing value

3. Building Dynamic Capabilities (or “Unloading and Re-fitting the Innovation Ship”)

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

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading: Ahead of each class, students will be expected to engage with a mix of video material and book chapters from Strategic Innovation Management, Tidd, J and Bessant, J (2014).


ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages


Web based and electronic resources: Business Source Complete, Proquest Business Premium and Emerald Insight, along with extensive use of video material.


Recommended texts:

  1. Tidd, J and Bessant, J (2014). Strategic Innovation Management, Wiley. ISBN 978-1-118-45723-8
  2. Tidd, J and Bessant, J (2018). Managing Innovation, Wiley. ISBN 978-1-119-37945-4


Other resources:

  1. Dodgson, M, Gann, D and Phillips, N, (2014), The Oxford Handbook of Innovation Management, Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-969494-5
  2. Bessant, J. (2018), Riding the Innovation Wave, Emerald. ISBN 978-1-78714-570-2
  3. Radjou, N and Prabhu, J,(2015), Frugal Innovation, Profile. ISBN 978-1-78125-375-5
  1. Rao, H and Sutton, Robert I. (2014) Scaling up Excellence, Random House. ISBN 978-1-84794-099-5
  2. Osterwalder, A, Pigneur, Y, Bernarda, G, and Smith, A. (2014) Value Proposition Design, Wiley ISBN 978-1-118-96805-5
  3. Viki, T, Toma D, and Gons, E (2017) The Corporate Startup, vakmedianet ISBN 978-9-46276-150-6

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