MG418      Half Unit
Open Innovation

This information is for the 2021/22 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 project 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 project stream (roughly the last 5 weeks of the course) students work on a real live OI project developing solutions via the implementation of one or more open innovation tools. These last five weeks will also involve guidance from our Innovation partners (which in the past included companies like Google, Ludic Group, KPMG, Eidos) and in the final week of the term students will present their final solution.


30 hours of lectures in the LT.

40 contact hours

30 hours of lectures in the LT.

In addition, in lieu of 10 hours of seminars,  students will also be expected to attend

• Three 30-minute group sessions to help refine the scope of the project and develop the innovative solution

• An introduction to your project session which lasts approximately 2 hours after class. This is usually held after class in the 4th week of the semester and refreshments are provided.but further details will be provided

-A dress rehearsal at the end of the term where the student teams will exhibit their progress and will get feedback from the faculty team

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

Students will be allocated to teams to undertake an Open Innovation consulting project. Whilst some class time is allocated to help teams progress their projects, as with any group project, student teams are expected to work independently beyond class times on their projects. 

COVID-19 protocol- students who are not in London and therefore  unable to attend class, are expected to view the  lectures online and will have a weekly 1-hour Q&A zoom session with the Lecturer to briefly review the material and answer any pending questions

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 or 8.

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), group project (45%) and class participation (10%) in the LT.

The project assessment comprises an oral presentation and submission of PowerPoint slides with detailed appendices which provide evidence in support of your presentation.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 56

Average class size 2020/21: 56

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

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