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The University of Southampton

MANG3072 Technological Innovation

Module Overview

Technological innovation is increasingly recognised as one of the most important sources of sustainable competitive advantage for businesses around the world. However, building an organization which can successfully and repeatedly create technological innovation for markets is a daunting managerial challenge, with many businesses failing to deliver. This module looks at the practices and processes of successful technological innovation management. This module will be of interest to students seeking to develop their own business, or who plan on working in dynamic, technology-driven businesses. Over the duration of the module, five main aspects will be covered: the general aspects of technological innovation, the process of diffusion of innovation, strategies to effectively protect technological innovations, barriers to innovation activity and innovation failure. The focus will be on new and established companies, in addition to firms that have been successful and unsuccessful in the introduction and diffusion of new technological innovations.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the circumstances and reasons why companies are interested in technological innovation;
  • the strategies and organisational practices used by businesses to develop, diffuse and protect technological innovation;
  • national and global opportunities for technology-driven innovation and the unique characteristics of different economies and societies;
  • the internal and external barriers that can act as obstacles, and eventually failure.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • understand appropriate theoretical concepts, models, tools and techniques which explain technological innovation;
  • recognise potential challenges to the development and commercialisation of technological innovation;
  • evaluate appropriate actions to successfully manage the innovation process;
  • identify the roles of key internal and external stakeholders in facilitating innovation.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • use a wide range of information sources requiring the development of bibliographic skills;
  • self-manage the development of learning and study skills, both individually and as part of a collaborative learning group;
  • plan and control effectively for successful completion of a personal and group workload;
  • communicate effectively, in both oral and written form, using and justifying argument within reports, presentations and debates.


The topics covered in this module will include: • How technological innovation is defined, measured and its importance to the business, stakeholders and the wider economy and society; • How to identify and respond to key innovation dilemmas, such as placing emphasis on technologies or markets, products or processes, radical or incremental innovations, and the impact on broader business model; • The recognition and exploitation of relevant sources of information for innovation; • Key features and models in the analysis of innovation diffusion; • Identifying relevant strategies to protect an organisation’s inventions, such as patents, trademark, secrecy; • The recognition, planning and evaluation of appropriate strategies which support technological innovation; • Internal and external obstacles to innovation activity, e.g. lack of trained personnel, financial constraints and market barriers; • Strategies and practices to manage the risks associated with barriers to innovation; • How different characteristics of businesses affect the failure or success of innovation projects.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • Lectures • Interactive case studies • Problem-solving activities • Directed reading • Private/guided study Learning activities include: • Introductory lectures • An assignment (individual written coursework to deepen learning in a specific topic of the module chosen by you) • Case study / problem solving activities • In class debate and discussion • Private study • Use of video and online materials

Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Completion of assessment task24
Follow-up work20
Wider reading or practice40
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Swann, P. (2009). The Economics of Innovation. 

Other. There are limited academic texts available which cover properly management of technological innovation. Students will be directed to relevant journal papers and case studies. Additional up to date supporting texts, articles and video resources will be provided as applicable.

Periodicals. Most of these journals and many other are now available in electronic format. Research Policy Academy of Management Organisation Science Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice British Journal of Management Journal of Business Venturing Journal of Economic Geography Journal of Management Studies Journal of Small Business Management Small Business Economics R&D management

Guellec, D. and van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie (2007). The Economics of the European Patent System: IP Policy for Innovation and Competition. 

Granstrand, O. (1999). The Economics and Management of Intellectual Property: Towards Intellectual Capitalism. 



In-class activities


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: ENTR2004


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

There will be additional costs for printing and binding your dissertation.


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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