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FTMBA 2019_II Innovation Management

Innovations are a prerequisite for survival and sustained growth in most industries.The course covers strategic, organizational and procedural aspects of managingproduct, process and business model innovation in different industrial andcompetitive environments. It is designed to help students understand why innovationis critical for achieving sustainable competitive advantage. It further illustrates whatinnovation strategies firms can pursue as part of their business strategy. Based onthe fundamental understanding of the strategic importance of innovation, the coursewill contrast the experience made by firms which successfully anticipated and drovechange proactively to gain competitive advantage with those firms that failed to reactto disruptive changes in the competitive environment and hence fell behind. Multiplereal life examples from firms across multiple industries will be used. Based on theseexamples and latest research, best management practices will be outlined thatshould be understood and implemented by managers who seek to profit fromdisruptive change in their competitive environment. In this context, the course puts aspecial emphasis on the role of leaders during the process of innovation andstrategic change. Multiple examples are used to illustrate what effective leadershiprequires for successful innovation and corporate renewal. In addition, this course willaddress relevant emerging and strategic innovation themes such as open innovation,frugal innovation, reverse innovation and innovation for and from emerging markets.
Course code
Course type
FT MBA Course
Weekly Hours
FS 2019
Prof. Dr. Holger Ernst
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

In detail, the course will address the following topics:

- The importance of innovation for achieving sustainable competitive advantage
- Characteristics and impact of different innovation strategies
- Multiple dimensions of innovation such as product, process and business model
- Characteristics of disruptive technologies and their impact on competitiveness

- Real life examples of companies from multiple industries that successfully
anticipated and drove change to increase competitive advantage and business
- Typical pitfalls that explain why firms fail to react to disruptive challenges from
established and new competitors
- Best practices from firms that have successfully reinvented themselves and
managed to stay ahead of their competitors
- Characteristics and behaviors of effective leaders driving strategic renewal in
dynamic and uncertain environments
- Market-driven innovation, customer integration and cross-functional integration
- Open innovation and co-creation
- Strategic innovation portfolio management
- Innovation process management, effective organizational structures for
implementing innovation and cross-functional teams
- Corporate venturing
- Innovation assessment and metrics
- Frugal and reverse innovation, innovation for and from emerging markets.

Date Time
Wednesday, 20.03.2019 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday, 21.03.2019 09:00 - 17:00
Friday, 22.03.2019 09:00 - 17:00
The core objective of this course is to get the most critical aspects of innovation
management - at a sufficient level of depth - across to the students. The main “takeaways”
from this course have - to varying degrees - implications for all major
industries including services. The course has a strong focus on applying multiple
innovation management tools and concepts in practice. It also emphasizes which
leadership skills are required to effectively drive innovation, strategic initiatives and
radical change in organizations. Finally, students will learn what it takes to build
lasting competitive advantage and prosperity by means of innovation as opposed to
short-term optimization strategies.
Course Pack
Lecture, case work, group work, in-class presentation
Group assignments, final take home exam.
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