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Strategic Organization of Innovation: A Case-Based Introduction to Designing Innovative Companies

Archive StampProseminar Communication Economics

Nils Stieglitz

Course Overview

In today's fast-changing economy, conventional wisdom in management claims that companies need to be innovative to survive and prosper. What has proven critical for successful companies is the design of its organizational structure. The organizational structure largely determines how firms sense and seize innovative profit opportunities, benefit from the creative potential of their business environment and turn good ideas into value-creating products and services. The goal of this one-week intensive course is to offer a problem-driven introduction into the main challenges of the strategic organization of innovations.

Business cases will be used extensively to introduce relevant managerial problems, to provide empirical background for class room discussions and to allow students to practice their problem-solving skills. Cases will be drawn from the information and communication technology industries (ICT) and might include companies like Apple, Google, Intel, Kodak, Microsoft, Nintendo, Nokia, Tata Consultancy Services or Vodafone. Possible topics discussed in the course include closed and open innovation strategies, balancing the challenge of innovation (exploration) and efficiency (exploitation), strategic positioning, the design of incentive systems, managing new product development and real options and the evaluation of innovation projects.

Course Structure

Each session starts out with the presentation and discussion of a business case which highlights one or two major challenges in the management of innovations. The lecture material extends and broadens the lessons learned from the case discussion. In the afternoon, students (in groups) prepare the case study for the next session. Sessions are designed to be highly interactive, so it is important that all students are prepared for each session. The course is rounded off with a written, case-based examination.

Organizational Issues


  • This is a one-week intensive course
  • The course is taught in English
  • Attendance to all lectures of the course is mandatory


A more detailed course syllabus will be made available a few weeks before the course.

A broad introduction to some of the topics discussed in the course is provided by Schilling, M. (2010): Strategic Management of Innovation, 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill, Irwin.


  • Wednesday, 02.03.2011, 02:30-04.00 pm, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307
  • Thursday, 03.03.2011, 09:00 am-04:00 pm, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307
  • Friday, 04.03.2011, 09:00 am-04:00 pm, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307
  • Monday, 07.03.2011, 09:00 am-04:00 pm, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307
  • Tuesday, 08.03.2011, 10:00 am-12:00 pm, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307


  • 60 minutes closed book exam (Wednesday, 09.03.2011, 10:00 am-11:00 am, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307)
  • 3 ECTS in modules V or VII (PO 06) respectively M-BWL (PO 08), the credit points count for the winter term 2010/2011


Students are expected to have taken at least one introductory course in microeconomics, strategic management, organizational design or technology & information management that would have familiarized them with core problems and issues related to strategy and organization design.

  • Max. number of participants: 20
  • Application deadline: 30.01.2011
  • To apply for the course, please send a short e-Mail including a recent transcript of records to Christina Finsterwalder (E-Mail schicken an