Strategy of Innovation (Fall 2023/2024)

Master in Management Program at HEC Lausanne

Course overview

Innovation increasingly plays a critical role in generating both economic growth and sources of competitive advantage. This course focuses on how firms (both startups and incumbents) can create and capture value from product, process, and service innovations. To do so, this course will introduce students to new tools and frameworks for examining both new and old problems related to innovation and technological change. This course consists of a mix between lectures, discussion of pre-assignment material and practical applications. By the end of the course, you will be able to:

Conceptualize and identify opportunities for creating value through innovation

Develop an understanding of how to capture the value of innovation through a variety of techniques

Coherently integrate these principles with competitive and corporate strategies

A mastery of the tools and frameworks developed in this course will be useful to executives, consultants, entrepreneurs, government officials, investors, and any manager responsible for the introduction and implementation of new products or services.

Course structure


Active contribution (40%)

Active contributions are important for lively and interesting class discussions, so reading and thinking before class, and debating during class is important. The goal is for you to contribute to everybody’s learning by providing new insights to the discussion, or by asking good questions, or by reacting to comments from other students or guest speakers. To be prepared for class, students need to have read the assigned material and completed any other assignments for that day.
Every week, students are required to engage in a written online discussion. You need to post comments, for example, as anticipation of the next class, or as a reflection of the last class, on the online discussion board. This is to be done every week by every student.

Group presentations (60%)

Small teams will present an analysis of a firm using the concepts discussed in class and beyond. While students have broad latitude to choose a specific subtopic, all case analyses must follow a tight structure that includes an evaluation of the demand, costs and revenue for the firm and a summary of strategic challenges. Each group presentation should run for no more than 30 minutes, including questions and answers from the class. Groups are expected to lead the discussion, which means that they need to prepare at least three questions to start the discussion. Teams must hand in a two page summary report, a list of source materials, and a video recording of their presentation. The written summary should be concise, complete, and written in professional prose.

Re-examination procedure: Students are required to redo failed assessments. The resits will be during the official resit examination period. A student who fails to deliver the required individual assignments can be re-evaluated in short oral exam; the readings will be the same. Failed group assignments can be redone in the same format as the initial assessments, albeit in a new group or individually. The final exam can be redone in the same format as the initial assessment. The grade will be calculated on the assessments that are not redone along with the assessments that are redone as per weighting scheme of original syllabus.

Required materials

1.Book: Strategic Management of Technological Innovation, Melissa A. Schilling, McGraw Hill
2. Other materials (papers, case studies, videos): Will be posted on Moodle.