Course description

Innovation Strategy and Technological Change


How do companies like Apple and Google manage to continually come up with new products and services? How did a company like Nokia go from being the world’s number one vendor of smartphones to the tenth largest within four years? Why is the development and adoption of (hybrid) electric vehicles so slow? How did a company like Kodak end up having to declare bankruptcy while owning highly valuable technology assets and being a pioneer in the digital camera market? What is at the basis of the Apple-Samsung legal battle?

This course explores technological change and innovation from an economic/business standpoint. Technological change affects individual firms or entrepreneurs, industries and economies. We study how firms and entrepreneurs react and contribute to technological change; how they make decisions to both come up with innovations and appropriate their benefits; how they finance innovation.

A variety of companies’ examples will illustrate strategic approaches to innovation. We will look at both established firms and new firms.

Course content


  • Introduction. What is innovation and technological change. Definitions and basic concepts. Broad discussion and statistics on effects of technological change on productivity and growth.
  • Technology evolution. How does a new innovation/technology reach the market and evolve in the industry? How does it affect existing firms and entrepreneurial activity.
  • Technology diffusion and adoption. What factors influence an innovation/technology diffusion. Why forecasting demand is important and how can we do it.
  • Measuring Innovation. How can we measure innovation performance?


  • The value of innovation and the appropriation of its benefits. Intellectual property rights and other mechanisms to derive and appropriate value from innovation
  • Sources of Innovation. Innovation Process.
  • Organization structure for innovation. How can a firm facilitate innovation?
  • Selection of innovation projects and financing of innovation.

Learning outcome knowledge

After completed course students shall have:

  • Established an understanding of how technological change impacts on innovation.
  • Learned about technological diffusion and adoption.
  • Gained understanding of organisation structures for innovation.
  • Developed the knowledge about the key elements of innovation and technology strategy.


Exam organisation

  • Written exam: 100%