IS470      Half Unit
Innovation and Information Systems: Concepts and Perspectives

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Chrisanthi Avgerou NAB3.22 and Dr Shirin Madon CON8.13


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Management, Information Systems and Innovation. This course is available on the MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance) and MSc in Media and Communications (Research). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course explores the theoretical foundations for the study of organizational and social innovation and the particular role of information systems in such change. It integrates concepts and perspectives of innovation from a range of disciplines. In completing this course students should be able to draw critically from existing theories in order to address issues of technology-based innovation, organizational change and information systems management. The lectures cover literature related to three broad themes: innovation and organizational change; information technology and organizational change; and information technology innovation and socio-economic change. For each of these themes we identify and discuss relevant theoretical concepts and perspectives. The discussion of theories is structured in terms of technical/rational and socially embedded approaches. In addition we provide five formative sessions on essay preparation.


16 hours and 30 minutes of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

Classes are based around reading and discussing selected journal articles from the course study pack. Formative feedback is provided on class participation. In addition, students will complete a formative essay of 2000 words on which feedback will be provided. A mock examination, with questions from IS470, IS471 and IS472 is held in January.

Indicative reading

Brynjolfsson E (2010), Wired for innovation; The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA; Ciborra, C (1993) Teams, markets, and systems: business innovation and information technology Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Ciborra, C. (2000) From control to drift: the dynamics of corporate information infastructures Oxford, OUP. Conway, S. and Steward, F. (2009) Managing and Shaping innovation Oxford OUP. Currie, W., and Galliers, R. (1999) Rethinking management information systems: an interdisciplinary perspective Oxford, OUP. Fagerberg, J. Mowery,D.C., and Nelson, R. (2005) The Oxford Handbook of Innovation Oxford, OUP. Flichy, F. (2007) Understanding Technological Innovation: A socio-technical approach Cheltenham, Edward Elgar. Howcroft, D., and Trauth, E.M. (2005) Handbook of critical information systems research: theory and application Cheltenham, Edward Elgar. Latour, B. (2005) Reassembling the social: an introduction to actor-network-theory Oxford, OUP. Lloyd-Jones, R., Coakes, E., and Willis, D. (2000) The new SocioTech: graffiti on the long wall London, Springer. Mansell, R., Avgerou,C. Quah, D., Silverstone, R. (2007) The Oxford Handbook of Information and Communication Technologies Oxford, OUP. Walsham, G. (1993) Interpreting information systems in organizations Chichester, Wiley. Weick, K. E. (2001) Making sense of the organization Oxford, Blackwell. Willcocks, L., and Mingers, J. (2004) Social theory and philosophy for information systems Chichester, Wiley.


Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (50%, 3000 words) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Information Systems and Innovation Group

Total students 2012/13: 102

Average class size 2012/13: 17

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness

Course survey results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 73.6%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)