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

Archive StampProseminar Communication Economics

Dr. 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 primarily drawn from the information and communication technology industries (ICT) and might include companies like Apple, Facebook, 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, 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.



  • This is a one-week intensive course in English
  • Attendance to all lectures of the course is mandatory
  • The seminar does not qualify for a Bachelor thesis according to the examination regulations
  • Max. number of participants: 20
  • 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
  • To apply, please send your CV and a recent transcript to Leon Zucchini (E-Mail schicken an


  • 60 minutes closed book exam
  • 3 ECTS in modules V or VII (PO 06) respectively MM&I (PO 08), the credit points count for the winter term 2011/2012
  • By attending the kickoff session, you are bindingly enrolled for the seminar; please note the remarks of the examination board (Prüfungsausschuss)


  • 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, Melissa A. (2010): Strategic Management of Technological Innovation, McGraw-Hill, Irwin.
Venues: Monday, 12.03.2012, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307
Tuesday, 13.03.2012, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307
Wednesday, 14.03.2012, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307
Thursday, 15.03.2012, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307
Friday, 16.03.2012, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307

Exam: Monday, 19.03.2012, 9:00-10:00, Schackstr. 4/III, Room 307

Deadlines: Wednesday, 29.02.2012 (Application)