MG418      Half Unit
Open Innovation

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Nadia Millington MAR 5.37


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.

(5) Learn about solutions to OI challenges like ambidexterity and business model innovation

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, Sunrise, Credit Suisse, Mastercard).


30 hours of lectures in the WT.

Total of 40 contact hours in the LT

30 hours of lectures

There are no seminars for this course, the additional 10 hours will comprise: 

• 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 1 hour. This is usually held after class in the 4th week of the semester. But further details will be provided

• An extended 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.

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 (30%, 2000 words) and in-class assessment (10%) in the WT.
Group project (60%) in the ST.

The project assessment comprises a pre-recorded oral presentation and submission of PowerPoint slides with detailed appendices which provide evidence in support of your presentation. Student teams will also be exprected to present to the cleints/project sponsors.


Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2022/23: 48

Average class size 2022/23: 48

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

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