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Digital Business & New Technology

Module description

We are living and working in a period of continual disruption, which we can define as major changes that unbalance and reorganize the ways that individuals, organizations, societies and their ecosystems connect and act. The 21st century is only 20 years old, and we have already experienced significant shocks and change following 9/11 attacks in 2001, the 2007-8 financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The same period has seen the rise of China as a global and economic power. Technology centred firms like Alibaba, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Tencent have harnessed the potential of the internet to create and dominate new markets in the digital era. Concerns over the future of our planet have risen to be central to the discussions of politicians, decision makers in business and society more broadly.

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, with the digital context enabled by the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.  We will consider how data-driven technologies and services, located in the Cloud, are radically disrupting traditional forms of social and economic value and exchange, presenting significant – perhaps unprecedented – opportunities for innovation. The module will focus on 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 module focuses on developing the dynamic capabilities that individuals need to innovate in demanding global and technology driven environments.

Full module specification

Module title:Digital Business & New Technology
Module code:BEM3016DA
Module level:3
Academic year:2021/2
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Bill Russell - Lecturer
Module credit:30
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

The aim is to provide an understanding of how individuals 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 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 process in the digital era and to equip them to deal with them. The module will explore how organizations can create value – social or commercial – through the application of ideas. 

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 innovation projects at a time when data-driven technologies and services are radically changing social and business contexts.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. evaluate the significance of innovation and how it links to wider strategic and operational issues.
  • 2. identify the variety of ways that “do better” and “do different” innovation can take place in the digitalized workplace.
  • 3. recognise how innovation is mobilised through self-organizing and cross-functional teams.
  • 4. apply a range of innovation tools to transform a range of inputs into differentiated offerings in the digital era.
  • 5. contrast how different digital technology factors influence the operationalization of the innovation process.
  • 6. diagnose barriers to innovation, and demonstrate the significance of dynamic capabilities.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. integrate innovation - creating value from ideas - and technology management – to develop the skills and ideas to make innovation happen in the digital era.
  • 8. assess the factors that increase the success of innovation projects.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. demonstrate effective written, visual and oral communication skills.
  • 10. demonstrate effective independent and group study research skills.

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
Masterclass21Faculty-led workshops and seminars
Webinars11Online action learning set facilitated by module lead
Professional development to underpin WBL project40Guided independent study through online learning activities. Reading, case studies, professional practice forums
Time at work228Time at work

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation: “Innovation as a Core, Digitally Enabled Process”15 minutes1-2, 7-10Verbal, in class
Group presentation: “Managing the Agile Innovation Process”15 minutes3-4, 7-10Verbal, in class
Group presentation: “Building Dynamic Capabilities”15 minutes5-6, 7-10Verbal, in class

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 report502,000 word report1-10Written
Individual report502,000 word report1-10Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual reportIndividual report, 2,000 words (50%)1-106 weeks after original marks given back to student.
Individual reportIndividual report, 2,000 words (50%)1-106 weeks after original marks given back to student.

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 40%

Syllabus plan

1.Core Concepts: Innovation in the digital era

  • 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?

2. Managing the Innovation Process

  • Exploring the digital innovation space
  • Searching for opportunities: The sources of innovation
  • Selecting and building opportunities
  • Agile 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

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).

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

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. 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
  4. Gassmann, O., Frankenberger, K., & Csik, M. (2014). The Business Model Navigator. Harlow: Pearson.
  5. Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Etiemble, F., & Smith, A. (2020). The Invincible Company. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.

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