MG4C3      Half Unit
Information Technology and Service Innovation

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Carsten Sorensen


This course is available on the Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MiM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MRes/PhD in Management (Information Systems and Innovation), MSc in Management (1 Year Programme) and MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is limited to 60 students.

Course content

The course aims to give the students theoretical and practical insights into the key issues informing the design of contemporary digital technology (IT). The course relates the diversity of the design challenges facing contemporary IT development. It embraces the shifting conditions for small teams of developers to design significant services in the context of technology-based startups, or as part of entrepreneurship within an existing enterprise or public institution. The design challenges relate to constantly shifting possibilities, for example, for the capture and processing of digital data previously beyond reach, the ability to leverage existing boundary resources (APIs, SDKs etc), and the expanding possibilities for reaching end-users in new ways. The course is constructed as the meeting of theory and practice. The former is constituted by the presentation and discussion of theoretical themes aimed at sharpening the student's ability to reason fundamentally about contemporary design challenges and opportunities. This aspect is also examined through an individual essay. The practical design skills are primarily honed through a group design project running throughout the course. Conducting this group design project will engage students in highly detailed and constructive design discussions leading to the submission of a designed IT artifact. The practical design skills sought practiced in the course are related to but largely independent from skills solely aimed at setting and analysing requirements on the one hand, and expressing the design through programming, on the other. The course, therefore neither requires, nor teaches detailed programming techniques, but instead focuses on teaching design skills through practices and to sensitise these design skills through the discussion of pertinent theoretical themes. These themes take their outset in the increasing complexity of designing IT artifacts as the granularity of technology and data capture is decreasing to enable increasing tracking of more and more granular aspects of human activities. These relate to a variety of personal-, local-, and global communications infrastructures, as well as a variety of possible multi-sided platforms, and software middleware layers enabling rapid prototyping of complex designs. Topics addressed will be: Digital infrastructure innovation; Digital platform strategies; Designing technology affordance diversity; Understanding technology performances; Individual interaction intimacy; Amplified teams; The technological organisation; Global crowd innovation with IT; Global technology innovation tussles; Business innovation with information technology; and decentralised consensus arrangements through blockchains. The weekly seminars will consist of presentations and discussions offering students opportunity to critically reflect on theoretical and pragmatic issues related to the subject matter of the course, such as; the IT artifact and ecosystem, the role of IT in business innovation, understanding the paradoxes of technology performances, intimate technology experiences, IT mediated team-working, the IT-enabled organisation, innovating global IT mediated crowds, innovation as organisational tussles, and the role of IT-based innovation for business development.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

A reading week will take place in W6. There will be no teaching during this week.

Formative coursework

Classes are based around both the design group projects, as well as reading and discussing selected journal articles. Formative feedback is provided on class participation.

Indicative reading

• Arthur, B. (2009): The Nature of Technology. Free Press

• Baldwin, C. Y. and K. B. Clark (2000): Design Rules. MIT Press; Beniger, J. R. (1986): The Control Revolution. Harvard University Press

• Benkler, Y. (2006): The Wealth of Networks. Yale University Press

• Braa, K, C. Sørensen, and B. Dahlbom, ed. (2000): Planet Internet. Studentlitteratur

• Carr, N. G. (2014): The Glass Cage. W. W. Norton & Co

• Ciborra, C. (2002): The Labyrinths of Information. OUP

• Dourish, P. (2001): Where the Action Is. MIT Press

• Elliott, A. and J. Urry (2010): Mobile Lives. Routledge

• Evans, D. S. & R. Schmalensee (2016): The Matchmakers. Harvard Business Review Press.

• Felstead, A., N. Jewson, & S. Walters (2005): Changing Places of Work. Palgrave Macmillan

• Frischmann, B. M. (2012): Infrastructure. OUP; Garud, R., Kumaraswamy, A., & Langlois, R., ed. (2003) Managing in the Modular Age. Blackwell

• Gawer (2009): Platforms, Markets and Innovation. Edward Elgar

• Goffman, E. (1959): The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Bantam

• Gratton, L. (2011): The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here. Collins

• Greenfield, A. (2006): Radical Technologies, Verso

• Harari, Y. N. (2016): Homo Deus. Random House.

•  Harper, R. (2010): Texture: Human Expression in the Age of Communications Overload. The MIT Press

• Hislop, D., ed. (2008): Mobility and Technology in the Workplace. Routledge

• Hodder, I. (2012): Entangled. John Wiley & Sons

• Mayer-Schonberger, V. (2009): Delete. Princeton University Press

• Mansell, R. (2012): Imagining the Internet

• McAfee, A. & E. Brynjolfsson (2017): Machine, Platform, Crowd. WW Norton & Company.

• Mindell, D. A. (2015): Our Robots, Ourselves

• Kallinikos, J. (2006): The Consequences of Information. Edward Elgar

• Kallinikos (2011): Governing Through Technology. Palgrave

• Ling, R. (2008): New Tech, New Ties. The MIT Press

• Norman, D. (1988): The Psychology of Everyday Things. USA: Basic Books

• Norman, D. (2010): Living with Complexity. MIT Press

• Parker, G. G., M. W. Van Alstyne, & S. P. Choudary (2016): Platform Revolution: WW Norton & Co.

• Simon (1969): The Sciences of the Artificial. MIT Press

• Sørensen, C. (2011): Enterprise Mobility. Palgrave

• Suchman, L. A. (2006): Human and Machine Reconfigurations. Cambridge University Press

• Tiwana, A. (2014): Platform Ecosystems

• Van De Ven, A. H., D. Polley, R. Garud, & S. Venkataraman (2008): The Innovation Journey. Oxford University Press

• Weinberger, D. (2008): Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder. Henry Holt

• Weizenbaum, J. (1976): Computer Power and Human Reason. Penguin Books

• Yates, J. (1989): Control through Communication. Johns Hopkins University Press

• Zittrain, J. (2008): The Future of the Internet. Allen Lane

• Zuboff, S. (1987): In the Age of the Smart Machine. Basic Books

• Zuboff, S. & J. Maxmin (2002): The Support Economy. Penguin.


Project (50%) and coursework (50%).

The course has two summative elements: an individual essay (50%), and from the group design project, a technical report and a separate submission of a designed artefact jointly comprise one summative component (50%).

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2017/18: 54

Average class size 2017/18: 14

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Lecture capture used 2017/18: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills