Course description

Innovation in Projects and Networks

Introduction

Projects and networks are central features of innovation. They constitute contemporary and critical contexts for much of innovation activities in a range of industries and sectors. This course centers on networks and projects and their role for innovation, and more particularly the balance, interaction, and dynamics between the permanent and temporary features of innovation.

 

The underlying argument is the significant role of networks and projects for innovation, which contrasts to much conventional writings on innovation that typically has focused on the single firm as the primary locus for innovation. However, modern economies to a greater extent rely on inter-organizational relations, collaborative networks, and various kinds of inter-organizational projects to create and diffuse innovation. In particular, networks play a pivotal role in explicating the propensity to innovate, the diffusion of innovation and ultimately the market success of innovation. As a response to this development, this course will cover several streams of research to locate the contexts and institutional and network embeddedness of innovation, the network and inter-organizational dimensions of innovation. Through the study of state-of-the-art network research, this course addresses the link between social structure and several central properties of innovation. The course also elaborates on the role of projects to drive innovation and new organizational forms to drive innovation, especially innovation in project-based organizations. In that respect, the course seeks to combine recent research within the area of networks and projects to offer an alternative to the conventional firm-centric view on innovation.

 

Course content

  • The nature and dynamics of innovation projects

  • Innovation in projects

  • Innovation in project-based firms

  • Network perspectives on innovation

  • Innovation networks and inter-organizational collaboration

  • Network embeddedness of innovation and projects

 

Learning outcome knowledge

The course will give the participants understanding of the classic and recent literatures on innovation networks and innovation projects. The participants will gain knowledge about the classic and recent literatures on networks and projects, especially the part of this literature that is relevant for the understanding of innovation. The course aims at clarifying the role of the network and the role of the project in the process of innovation. The course also aims to provide theoretical perspectives on project-based firms as contexts for innovation in a range of empirical settings. In sum, this course aims at giving the participants:

  • A good understanding of classic and recent literature on projects with a particular focus on innovation.
  • A good understanding of classic and recent literature on networks with a particular focus on innovation.
  • A good understanding of the role that projects have for the development of innovation.
  • A good understanding of the role that various kinds of inter-organizational networks have for the development of innovation.
  • A good understanding of different kinds of innovation projects.
  • A good understanding of different kinds of inter-organizational networks in an innovation context.

 

 

Exam organisation

  • Written assignment: 100%