MG418      Half Unit
Open Innovation

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Nadia Millington NAB 3.14


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

Course content

Open innovation is a fresh take on innovation whereby a firm looks beyond its boundaries to exploit the creative power of users, communities and customers to co-develop new products, services and processes. Whether it is the fortune 500 companies that have used open innovation to transform their businesses (e.g. Proctor and Gamble and IBM) or even start-ups (such as iStock Photo); Open Innovation, through tools like crowdsourcing or open sourcing is disrupting markets and altering the nature of industries.

This course is divided into 2, a lecture stream and a consulting stream.

During the lecture stream (roughly the first 5 weeks of the course) students will:

(1) Learn about the emergence of OI and how OI differs from other sources of external innovation.

(2) Learn to differentiate between the different types of OI tools (Crowdsourcing, Lead Users, Innovation Intermediaries, Design intermediaries, Innomediaries, Open Source) and to choose the right OI tool for different problem sets.

(3) Explore an emerging range of companies using open business models (e.g. Google, Facebook) in contrast to more traditional business approaches.

(4)Learn about the challenges of implementing OI and the drivers of success, not only based on practitioner sources but also in the context of organisational behaviour, innovation and network theory.

During the consulting stream (roughly the last 5 weeks of the course) students work on a real live OI project for a for-profit client ( eg PWC, KPMG, IBM, Barclays) or not-for- profit client ( e.g.  Barnados, Hope and Homes), developing solutions via the implementation of one or more open innovation tools. These last five weeks will be guided by our Innovation partners (from companies like Ludic Group/ KPMG) and in the final week of the term students will present their final solution to their clients and classmates.


30 hours of lectures in the LT.

In addition, students will also be expected to attend

• Two 30-minute group sessions to help them scope their project and develop their solutions

• A meet and greet session with their client partners which lasts approximately 2 hours after class. This is usually held after class in the 4th week of the semester and refreshments are provided.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be provided with a formative essay, either in week 3 or 4 of the semester and grades and comments will be provided during week 7.

Indicative reading

Chesbrough, H.W. (2003). Open Innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology. Boston: Harvard Business School Press  ( chapter 1-3)

Brabham, D. (2008). Moving the crowd at iStockphoto: The composition of the crowd and motivations for participation in a crowdsourcing application First Monday, 13.

Fredberg, T., Elmquist, M. & Ollila, S. (2008) Managing Open Innovation: Present Findings and Future Directions, Vinnova VR 2008:02

Raffi Amit, C. Zott (2012), Creating value through business model innovation, Sloan Management Review, 53 (3), 41 - 49.

Tushman, M. L. and O’Reilly, C. A. (1996) ‘Ambidextrous Organizations: Managing Evolutionary and Revolutionary Change’, California Management Review, vol. 38, no. 4, pp. 8-30


Essay (45%, 2000 words), project (45%, 5000 words) and class participation (10%) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2018/19: 42

Average class size 2018/19: 43

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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