Syllabus 2016-17

See the Syllabus (syllabus-faraci-innovation-2016-17)


Competencies (according to EQF standard of  the European Union). Students will be able to develop and boost at least four of the 8 key competencies for lifelong learning provide by the EU. Specifically, the four competencies are: (a) communication in foreign language; (b) digital competence; (c) learning to learn; (d) sense of initiative and entrepreneurship. Indeed, the course is entirely taught in English and attending students will become more familiar with English as a second language (a). The use of social media to discuss posted articles or news in a small dedicated group on Facebook and the utilization of Power Point (or similar applications) for presentations in class will enhance the existing digital competencies of students (b). Case studies to be analyzed in class or at home through short assignments and presentations/discussions in class will boost both the learning to learn and the sense of initiative and entrepreneurship (c and d)

Knowledge and skills (according to the Descriptors of Dublin).

  • Knowledge and understanding. Students will be able to learn the most important theoretical and conceptual categories which illustrate a strategic management approach to technological innovation: industry dynamics of technological innovation, formulation of technological innovation strategy, and implementation of technological innovation strategy. In addition, they will be able to learn the concept of business model and that of business model canvas
  • Applying knowledge and understanding. Student will be able to apply what they have learned using examples and cases which illustrate the strategic management approach to technological innovation. In addition, they will be able to use business model canvas as a visual thinking method to illustrate how firms create, distribute and get back value generated for customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders
  • Making judgements. By means of presentations in class, contributions to class discussions and home/class assignments, students will be able to understand whether firms use innovation or not to create value for customers and other stakeholders; how innovation is used to increase competitiveness at a firm-level; which are the innovation areas within the business model of a firm represented through the business model canvas.
  • Communication skills. Thanks to presentations and discussions in class, students will be able to boost their oral communication skills, also in a non-native language
  • Learning skills. Students will be able to learn how to learn, since innovation is by definition a topic that continuosly changes and evolves.


  1. Introduction: A Strategic Management Approach to Technological Innovation (from the textbook)
  2. Source of Innovation (from the textbook)
  3. Types and Patterns of Innovation (from the textbook)
  4. Standards Battles and Design Dominance (from the textbook)
  5. Timing of Entry (from the textbook)
  6. Definining the Organization’s Strategic Decision (from the textbook)
  7. Choosing Innovation Projects (from the textbook)
  8. Collaboration Strategies (from the textbook)
  9. Protecting Innovation (from the textbook)
  10. Organizing for Innovation (from the textbook)
  11. Managing the New Product Development Process (from the textbook)
  12. Managing New Product Development Teams (from the textbook)
  13. Crafting a Deployment Strategy (from the textbook)
  14. Business Models and Business Model Canvas (from the on line readings)



For those students attending regularly the course, the final grade will be the result of Class Participation and Group Activities (60%) and Final Exam (40%). Class Participation will be evaluated on the basis of a regular attendance in class and an active and smart contribution to class discussions. Occasional home/class assignments will be considered as well. Group Activities will be evaluated according to the quality of working projects; such projects cover the contents of the book that will be presented and/or discussed in class. Students will be organized in small teams that will present in class a chapter drawn from the textbook  and will discuss another chapter presented by a different group. The Final Exam will consist of an oral conversation about the topics of the class and the contents of the textbook and the assigned readings.

For the other students, the Exam will consist of an oral conversation about the contents of the textbook and the assigned readings. The fluency in English will be considered as a part of the final grade in addition to the quality, the effectiveness and the technicalities of the discussion. Students are expected to answer “discussion questions” posted at the end of each chapter of the textbook and to debate on the contents of the assigned readings.


A sample of Discussion Questions posted at the end of each chapter

  1. Why innovation is so important for firms to compete in many industries? (from Chapter 1)
  2. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of (a) individuals as innovators, (b) firms as innovators, (c) universities as innovators, (d) government institutions as innovators, (e) non profit organizations as innovators? (from Chapter 2)
  3. Are well-established firms or new entrants more likely to (a) develop and/or (b) adopt new technologies? Why? (from Chapter 3)
  4. Are dominant designs good for consumers? Competitors? Complementors? Suppliers? (from Chapter 4)
  5. What are some advantages of entering a market early? Are there any advantages to entering a market late? (from Chapter 5)
  6. What makes an ability (or set of abilities) a core competency? (from Chapter 6)
  7. Why might a firm use both qualitative and quantitative assessment of a project? (from Chapter 7)
  8. What are some advantages and disadvantages of collaborating on a development project? (from Chapter 8)
  9. What are the differences between patents, copyrights, and trademarks? (from Chapter 9)
  10. Are there particular types of innovation activities for which large firms are likely to outperform small firms? Are there types for which small firms are likely to outperform large firms? (from Chapter 10)
  11. What are the benefits and costs of involving customers and suppliers in the development process? (from Chapter 11)
  12. What are the trade-offs in choosing a team’s size and level of diversity? (from Chapter 12)
  13. What factors will (or should) influence a firm’s pricing strategy? (from Chapter 13)

Questions about open business models, business models as models and the business model canvas of Osterwalder