MG4C3      Half Unit
Information Technology and Service Innovation

This information is for the 2020/21 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), 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.

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 and cryptoassets. 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

• 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

• 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.

• Harari, Y. N. (2018): 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. Vintage Digital. 1473545374.

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

•  Herbert, L. (2017): Digital Transformation: Build Your Organization's Future for the Innovation Age. Bloomsbury Publishing.

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

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

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

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

• Lacity, M. C. (2018): A Manager’s Guide to Blockchains for Business: From Knowing What to Knowing How. Stratford-upon-Avon, UK: SB Publishing.

• 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.

• DuPont, Q. (2019): Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains. John Wiley & Sons.

• 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

• 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.

• Zuboff, S. (2019): The age of surveillance capitalism: The fight for a human future at the new frontier of power.


Project (70%) and essay (30%, 1500 words).

The course has two summative elements: an individual theoretcial essay (30%), and from the group design project, a technical report (50%) and a separate submission of an individual essay reflecting on the group work and on group participation (20%), which jointly comprise one summative component (70%).


Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2019/20: 45

Average class size 2019/20: 15

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

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