DRE 5016 Innovation in Projects and Networks

Responsible for the course
Jonas Söderlund

Department of Strategy

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

Please note that this course will be revised before it is offered again.

This course seeks to uncover other organizational elements as factors and contexts for innovation than what is traditionally covered in literature and research. The course centers on networks and projects, 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. As a response to this development, the course will cover several streams of research to locate the contexts and institutional embeddedness of innovation, the network and inter-organizational dimensions of innovation. The course also elaborates on the role of projects and new organizational forms to drive innovation, especially innovation in the project-based organization. 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.

The course consists of two modules. The first module – network for innovation - centers on network approaches to business and innovation. The second module – projects for innovation - focuses on projects and innovation, and project-based organizations as innovation contexts.

Learning outcome
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 processes of innovation. The course also aims at providing theoretical perspectives on project-based firms as contexts for innovation in a range of industries. In sum, this course aims at giving the participants:
· A good understanding of classic and recent literature on networks with a particular focus on innovation.
· A good understanding of classic and recent literature on projects with a particular focus on innovation.
· A good understanding of the role that various kinds of inter-organizational networks have for the development of innovation.
· A good understanding of the role that projects have for the development of innovation.
· A good understanding of different kinds of inter-organizational networks in an innovation context.
· A good understanding of different kinds of innovation projects.

Admission to a PhD Programme is a general requirement for participation in PhD courses at BI Norwegian Business School.

External candidates are kindly asked to attach confirmation of admission to a PhD programme when signing up for a course with the doctoral administration. Candidates can be allowed to sit in on courses by approval of the course leader. Sitting in on courses does not permit registration for courses, handing in exams or gaining credits for the course. Course certificates or conformation letters will not be issued for sitting in on courses

Compulsory reading
Håkansson, Håkan ... [et al.]. 2009. Business in networks. Wiley

Selection of articles: Compendium of articles and book chapters

Recommended reading

Course outline
Topics covered:
Network perspectives on innovation
Innovation networks and inter-organizational collaboration
Institutional embeddedness of innovation
The nature and dynamics of innovation projects
Innovation in projects
Innovation in project based firms

Computer-based tools
Not applicable

Learning process and workload
The course is divided into two parts, and consists of 36 hours of teaching and discussion.

Form of assessment and weighting:
50% Term paper.
50% Class participation

The termpaper should be of 15 to 25 pages.
The termpaper should be original work, and be written specifically for this course.

The grade is pass/fail

Examination code(s)
DRE50161 continuous assessment which accounts for 100 % of the final grade in the course DRE 5016.

Examination support materials
Not applicable.

Re-sit examination
Re-takes are only possible at the next time a course will be held. When the course evaluation has a separate exam code for each part of the evaluation it is possible to retake parts of the evaluation. Otherwise, the whole course must be re-evaluated when a student wants to retake an exam.

Additional information
Honour Code
Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honour code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honour code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed.

Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honor code and academic integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask.