Managing Innovation

This module is an introduction to the building-blocks of innovation management for organisations. It looks at the nature of innovation and examines different types of innovation. It explores the innovation management process from start to finish. The module covers topics such as: sources of new ideas, effective selection and portfolio processes, and the challenge of implementation. These innovation processes operate in a context defined through the interaction of people, technology and organisational goals, or more concisely, the innovation strategy of the company.

As part of your learning, you will consider some of the key contemporary issues in innovation management such as the increasing trend towards accessing ideas and expertise from outside the organisation, and the need for organisations to develop capabilities in managing alliances and open innovation mechanisms. The module discusses the growing importance of innovation in services; the role of leadership in supporting innovation performance and the use of formal knowledge management systems to capture and leverage learning.

On completion of this module you should be able to put innovation to work in any organisation through being able to:

  • Identify different kinds of innovation and innovation strategy
  • Manage the innovation process from generation to selection and implementation
  • Motivate and organise people for innovation and learning
  • Apply new organisational forms for innovation

Managing Technology Projects

  • To gain an understanding of the systems approach to management and balance traditional problem solving with systemic thinking.
  • To understand project management through handling technology-related work as project work.
  • To apply the tools and techniques of project management to maximise the successful delivery of technology.

Product Design and Development

  • To provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of process and product development from concept to implementation or market introduction in the case of new products. This understanding should be based on knowledge of the various methodologies and tools used by product or process development teams. The methodologies and tools will be presented in the context of various models of the overall process and will be illustrated with industrial case studies.
  • To provide an overview of today’s process and product development environment, including consideration of Extended Enterprise, Virtual Enterprise, Vendor-Customer co-design and co-makership issues. The nature and operation of shared design and manufacturing partnerships.

Innovation and Technology Transfer

  • To provide the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to forecast the future technological needs of their organisations, to evaluate the possible sources of new technology, and to manage the transfer of new products and processes, into or out of their organisations.
    Participants will develop the ability to identify new technology platforms of potential strategic importance and to successfully assimilate such platforms into their firms.
  • The module will also address the different mechanisms through which firms can gain the maximum return from technologies that they have developed. These include patents, licensing, and trading in technical know-how.

Marketing Technology Products

  • To provide an understanding of the key marketing concepts in business generally and technology in particular.
  • To be capable of analysing markets for technology products/services.
  • To produce a marketing plan for a technology company (their own or another actual company).
  • To provide the participant with an understanding of the selling process.

Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Present a curriculum in the area of Technology Innovation &, Entrepreneurship that reflects the needs of the user.
  • Provide easy to access, state of the art reference material in the area of Technology Innovation &, Entrepreneurship to help learners to understand the essential fundamental concepts involved in the discipline.
  • Equip participants with the values, best practices, skills and supporting tools necessary to effectively design, develop and deploy technical projects in their organisations and to empower users to autonomously apply these concepts and tools.
  • To provide information on project managing an innovative idea.

Business Process Improvement

  • Have an awareness of the tools and methods available for process modelling.
  • Appreciate the important role business process modelling and improvement plays in the design and development of integrated business, service and manufacturing systems.
  • Apply modelling tools and techniques in analysing business processes in their organisation.
  • Pursue independent research in the development and / or application of business process improvement tools and methodolgies.
  • Discuss a number of case studies that look at improving business processes in various industry sector.

Technology Finance and Capital

  • To ensure that participants understand how investment decisions are made in large corporations and in SMEs. This is a key issue for executives seeking to persuade their superiors or Boards of Directors of the efficacy of particular investments in equipment and other assets. It is also a key issue for producers of equipment and other assets since these tools are generally used to guide investment (and hence purchasing) decisions.
  • To ensure that participants understand how financial assets (debt and equity claims) are priced in order to build credible proposals for bank and venture capital investment.
  • To develop an appreciation of the relation between new manufacturing technologies and cost structures. New manufacturing technologies result in a radical realignment of cost structures and hence impact upon many operational and strategic decisions.

Strategy & Management of Technology

  • To introduce participants to the basic theoretical and empirical contributions of management theory and practice, including operations management. To provide participants with an overview of the strategy process from conceptual and applied perspectives, introducing the concepts, theories and techniques of strategic management;
  • To investigate the main components of strategic management, product life cycles and new technological developments. To provide insight into the impacts of value chain analysis, supply chain management and first mover advantages on the competitive dynamics of an industry. To highlight the impact of strategic alliances, licensing agreements and corporate venturing on technology leadership.
  • To introduce participants to the nature, functioning and evolution of manufacturing, communications, information and emergent technologies in today’s global society, allowing participants to assess the impact of technological change.
  • To outline the importance of national and international technology policy in the pursuance of a technology driven core competence, including the impact of innovation systems on national and regional groupings.
    To equip participants to contribute effectively to the strategy process and operations function from a direct line or staff position.

People Management for Technology Organisations

  • To understand the human resource contribution to organisational effectiveness and culture management.
  • To evaluate the range of internal and external factors shaping group dynamics, management choice and organisational development. To understand the dimensions of the psychological contract and its implications for organisational effectiveness.
  • To create awareness of the relationship between quality systems and the development of world-class competitive capabilities: speed, cost, dependability, quality and innovation.
  • To develop understanding of HRM problems associated with delayering, team working, re-engineering, downsizing and the introduction of technical change.
  • To provide a range of tools and techniques useful to diagnose, audit and resolve human resource problems associated with technology management initiatives.
  • To equip participants with an understanding of the complexity of mobilising change initiatives within organisations.
  • To equip participants in understanding and utilising the political and power bases within organisations and the role of leadership in managing innovation and implementing change.

Information System & Software Management

  • To consider the role of information technology in actual product development. The material covered here would include prototyping, product data management systems, workflow systems and case-based reasoning (CBR).
  • To develop a knowledge about electronic commerce and electronic work and discuss its application to supply chain management
  • To consider how information technology might support the actual management of product development. The material covered would include knowledge management systems, computer-mediated communication, intranets, groupware, and issues to do with knowledge creation, storage, transfer and reuse
  • The objective of this module is: to consider the role of information technology in organisational development; to consider how information technology might support the actual management of continuous improvement in a process/service life cycle; to consider how IT can support the development of the organisation.