Digital Business Models
The module seeks to explain the emerging business models that are enabled by information technologies in the internet age. It provides a way of thinking and crafting strategy that transforms digital opportunities into sustainable competitive advantages. You will be equipped with critical theories and concepts to analyse and differentiate the strategic values of emerging technologies (cloud computing, social media, big data, the internet of things etc.), and evaluate different methods of aligning technological opportunities with business strategy. By examining the business models and strategies of a wide range of internet business, you will be capable of not only identifying the patterns and explaining the mechanisms by which internet business evolves, but also, more importantly, critically evaluating the strategic choices to effectively convert digital opportunities into competitiveness.
In this module, you will work on a number of case studies of internet start-ups from different countries – Uber and AirBnB from the US, Spotify from Sweden, WeChat and Tabao from China, and Line from South Korea/Japan. Through these case studies you will learn how geographic context of different countries contribute to the success/failure of internet firms, and how the success of digital business in one country can be leverage to achieve global advantages by the Internet networks.
Guest speakers, from the digital innovation sectors (such as Google, Huawei, Cisco, Open Data Initiatives, Smart Cities Catapult, TechCities of London), will contribute to the seminars and evening events.
You will be able to critically understand the opportunities of digital economy and effectively convert opportunities into viable business models. You will also develop important transferrable skills including strategy presentation to the investors/board level, team-working, evaluating new business ideas/start-ups, research, and consulting report writing.
Ethics and Corporate Responsibility
The module provide theories and concepts to encourage you to reflect upon impacts of the internet and digital innovations, the roles of technological innovation in society, and explores the possibilities of developing successful innovation for not only sustainable business enterprises, but also for the social welfare of wider society.
Research in Teaching
Much of the workshop input, lecture notes, and key readings are based on the lecturer’s own research (digital business management, platform strategy and open innovation). Students are encouraged to base their own research upon existing research literature, in preparation for the final essay assessment.
Full module specification
|Module title:||Digital Business Models|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 2: |
This module aims to provide the necessary knowledge and skills to think about business opportunities in context of digital economy. It encourages you to evaluate the trajectory of technology and the patterns of digital business models, and use your creative insights to develop innovative business models. Specifically, the module introduces the theories of digital innovations (strategic information systems, the internet and new media studies, STS etc.), and will enable you to understand the process of transforming technological opportunities to strategic values – social media, big data, cloud computing, the internet of things (IoTs). You will learn how to develop digital business models by having deep understandings of how technology generates management impacts.
The module invites you to critically reflect upon the roles of digital innovation in strategy-making, and to develop practical skills to make sense of the technological possibilities, as well as the practical skills to develop sustainable business models. These skills have been highly valued by those employers of management consultancy, financial institutions, international organizations, and governments.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. critically compare and analyse different digital innovations
- 2. critically evaluate digital business strategies
- 3. critically evaluate the business and managerial impacts of emerging technologies
- 4. demonstrate the skills to develop and pitch innovative business models based on digital innovations
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 5. critically analyse and evaluate general strategic issues of high-growth and innovative firms
- 6. apply the knowledge of business models innovation and entrepreneurial skills into real context
- 7. demonstrate an ability to lead positive social change through digital innovations.
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 8. analyse complex business situations by synthesising a variety of sources and pitch solutions
- 9. apply strategic thinking to develop enterprise and to generate positive impacts in professional ways.
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||22||Formal lectures (11x2 hours)The lectures provide an overview of theoretical frameworks for the course in ten lecturers (ILOs 1, 2, 3, 4)|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching||10||Seminars (10x1 hour) A series of seminars will focus on the case study, and give the students the opportunity to engage with concepts and frameworks learned in lectures (ILOs 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Summary of theories and debates, case study, teamwork, group presentation of business ideas (pitching) (ILOs 8, 9).|
|Guided Independent Study||118|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
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|
|Individual Essay||100||2500 words||1-9||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|
|Individual Essay||Individual Essay (2500 words)||1-9||July/August|
A student will be referred in all components if the student fails the module with a mark of below 50% overall.
A student if deferred in a single component will be reassessed in that component only .
- Disruptive Innovations: the Trajectory of the Net Economy
- From Place to Space: Brick-and-Mortar Models vs. Click-and-Mortar Models
- Who controls the content? On the Logic of Social Media
- What constitutes User Experience? And why it matters?
- The Business of Data Streaming: From Service to “Science”
- The Wealth of Networks: Digital Commons vs. Digital Property Rights
- Platform Strategy: How to Govern an Ecosystem? (two lectures)
- Modularity and Organizational Change: Toward Cloud Corporation?
- Incubator, Community, and M&As: Why Cluster Matters?
- Conclusion: Key Principles of Business Models in Digital Age
Each component sheds light on a specific dimension of digital business management, which is combined with case studies of internet start-ups both in lectures and workshops.
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Brynjolfsson, E., & McAfee, A. (2014). The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies: WW Norton & Company.
Benkler, Y. (2006). The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom: Yale University Press.
Van Dijck, J. (2013). The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media: Oxford University Press.
Module has an active ELE page?
Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources
Web based and electronic resources:
- McKinsey Quarterly: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights
- The Economist. (2010). Special Report on Managing Information: Data, Data Everywhere. http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15557443\nhttp://www.economist.com/opinion/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=15557443\nhttp://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=15557421
- The UK Government: UK. (2015). Digital Economy Strategy 2015-18. London. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/404743/Digital_Economy_Strategy_2015-18_Web_Final2.pdf
- Digital Agenda for Europe, European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/digital-europe
- TechCity UK: http://www.techcityuk.com/
- Catapult UK: https://www.catapult.org.uk/
- NEMODE: http://www.nemode.ac.uk/
- TechCrunch.com: http://techcrunch.com/startups/
Indicative learning resources - Other resources
Avgerou, C., & Li, B. (2013). Relational and institutional embeddedness of Web-enabled entrepreneurial networks: Case studies of netrepreneurs in China. Information Systems Journal, 23, 329–350. doi:10.1111/isj.12012
Baldwin, C. Y., & Clark, K. B. (1997). Managing in an age of modularity. Harvard Business Review, 75, 84–93. doi:10.2139/ssrn.270292
Chesbrough, H. (2007). Business model innovation: it’s not just about technology anymore. Strategy & Leadership. doi:10.1108/10878570710833714
Chesbrough, H. W., & Appleyard, M. M. (2007). Open Innovation and Strategy. California Management Review, 50, 57–77. doi:10.1002/smll.201000755
Gawer, A. (2009). Platforms, markets and innovation. Vasa. doi:10.4337/9781849803311
Gawer, A., & Cusumano, M. A. (2013). Industry Platforms and Ecosystem Innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management. doi:10.1111/jpim.12105
Lessig, L. (2008). Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy: Penguin.
Sako, M. (2012). Business models for strategy and innovation. Communications of the ACM. doi:10.1145/2209249.2209259
Suarez, F. F., & Cusumano, M. a. (2009). The role of services in platform markets. Platforms, Markets and Innovation, 77–98.
Von Hippel, E., & Hippel, E. von. (2001). Innovation by User Communitiesâ?¯: Learning from Open-Source Software. MIT Sloan Management Review, 2001, 82–86. doi:Article
Van Dijck, J. (2009). Users like you? Theorizing agency in user-generated content. Media, Culture & Society. doi:10.1177/0163443708098245
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