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University of Exeter Business School

Strategic Innovation Management

Module titleStrategic Innovation Management
Module codeBEMM118
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Bill Russell (Convenor)

Dr Abdullah Gok (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


9 - Jan start

Number students taking module (anticipated)


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. Organizations 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.

Module aims - intentions of the module

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.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Critically evaluate the significance of innovation and how it links to broader strategic and operational issues in the digital era. Explain how organization type and size, technological complexity, environmental uncertainty, and sustainability concerns influence innovation processes.
  • 2. Appraise the capabilities and routines needed to establish new commercial or social ventures.
  • 3. Assess how inclusivity and diversity build innovation capabilities within organizations, increasing the opportunity space for social and commercial innovation and change.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Explain 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.
  • 5. Critically engage with a range of tools to diagnose barriers to innovation in a company setting. We will use analytical tools to recommend appropriate strategies for the development of innovation projects.
  • 6. Apply a range of innovation models and tools to generate product, process, positional or paradigm improvements and breakthroughs.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

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

Syllabus plan

1. Innovation as a Core Business process 

  • 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 

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

3. Building Dynamic Capabilities 

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

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
Scheduled learning and teaching activities22A mixture of lectures, in class exercises, case studies, student presentations and videos
Guided independent study33Flipped learning: The 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.
Guided independent study95Assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In-class presentation10 minutes per class1-9Verbal

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
Individual Report 1: Focusing on one core innovation management theme301,000 words1-9Written
Individual Report 2: Fitness Test Report702,000 words1-9Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual Report 11,000 word report (30%)1-9August reassessment period
Individual Report 22,000 word report (70%)1-9August reassessment period

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 – 

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
  4. Rao, H and Sutton, Robert I. (2014) Scaling up Excellence, Random House. ISBN 978-1-84794-099-5
  5. Osterwalder, A, Pigneur, Y, Bernarda, G, and Smith, A. (2014) Value Proposition Design, Wiley ISBN 978-1-118-96805-5
  6. Viki, T, Toma D, and Gons, E (2017) The Corporate Startup, vakmedianet ISBN 978-9-46276-150-6

Key words search

Innovation, Digital, Agile, Start-up, Scale up, Disruption, Business Model Innovation

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date