This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

Innovation is increasingly important for the development and competitiveness of firms and economies. Today's most successful firms compete mainly through innovation, whether in the form of continuous development of new products, improvement of processes or organizational forms, or identification of new markets. In order to survive in the knowledge economy, firms need strategies for what kind of innovations to pursue and how to promote innovation by designing the necessary preconditions. Equally, economies develop mainly through innovation, by moving their workforces into new and more productive industries in the economy. To promote development, regions and countries need policies for innovation. In this context, knowledge and understanding of innovation is an important asset. Through this course, students will develop their understanding of innovation and its role in the broader economy, as well as the factors contributing to innovation in firms. The course provides a broad introduction to the literature in innovation studies, drawing on contributions and perspectives from a variety of academic disciplines, including economics, management studies, geography, sociology, and other social sciences. It will cover current debates in the scholarly literature related to the role of innovation in the economy, different models of innovation, and perspectives on how to promote innovation both from the perspective of individual firms and policy-makers.

Learning outcome

On completion of the course, students will have a broad overview of the scholarly literature on innovation, including theories of
  • what innovation is
  • why innovation is important in the economy
  • how firms may work to promote innovation
  • how societal context affects firm innovation strategies, and how innovation policy may be viewed in this light
  • the effects of innovation on firms and on the overall economy

Students will be able to
  • present and critically assess different scholarly theories and hypotheses, as well as strategy and/or policy statements, related to innovation
  • conduct an analysis of the drivers and/or outcomes of innovation
  • discuss different strategies for promoting innovation in a firm and an economy
  • give informed policy recommendations in the field of innovation

General competence
This course will contribute to students' general competence in
  • academic writing
  • search and review of relevant literature
  • case analysis
  • presentation and academic discussion
  • understanding of policy and of the role of context in firm strategy


The course will cover the following topics:
  1. Evolution of regional and national economies
  2. Creation and diffusion of knowledge
  3. Innovation networks and innovation systems
  4. The sociology and geography of innovation
  5. Innovation policy

Required prerequisite knowledge



Individual Written Assignment and oral exam
Weight Duration Marks Aid
Individual Written Assignment55/1001 A - FAll.
Oral Exam45/10030 minutesA - FAll.
Assessment will be based on two components:
1. An individual essay of around 3000 words counting 55% of the final mark.
2. An oral exam of 30 mins, containing a student presentation and a question and answer session pertaining to the course literature. This will count for 45% of the final mark.
The essay and the presentation should cover two different topics.

Coursework requirements

Five mandatory coursework assignments
There are five mandatory coursework assignments:
1. A formative essay of around 3000 words on a self-selected topic. The topic covered in the formative essay cannot be used in the assessed essay or in the oral exam presentation.
2. A 10-15 minute seminar presentation on an assigned topic. Students must upload their presentation (Powerpoint or speaker notes) to Canvas.
3. A 5 minute discussion of a seminar presentation given by another student. Students must submit written and oral feedback on the presentation.
4. A written reflection of around 2000 words on the cases presented by guest lecturers, using theoretical perspectives from the innovation studies literature.
5. Participation in guest lectures.

Course teacher(s)

Course teacher
Marte Cecilie Wilhelmsen Solheim , Tatiana Aleksandrovna Iakovleva
Course coordinator
Bjørn Terje Asheim , Rune Dahl Fitjar

Method of work

The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures, guest lectures and seminars. The seminars will be based on student presentations and discussions. Each student will be required to give one seminar presentation and to act as a discussant for another student's presentation. All students are expected to read the required literature ahead of the seminars and to participate actively in the discussions. Students will also have two written assignments (a formative essay and a case reflection) in addition to the final essay.
Workload elements:
Lectures: 30 hours
Seminars: 20 hours
Self-study, including assignments: 200-250 hours

Open to

All master study programs at the University of Stavanger.

Course assessment

Student evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the UiS Business School's evaluation system.


Jan Fagerberg, David C. Mowery and Richard R. Nelson (2005): The Oxford Handbook of Innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Selected chapters, which will be announced at the start of the course.
In addition, the reading will include a number of journal articles and book chapters, which will also be announced at the start of the course.

This is the study programme for 2019/2020. It is subject to change.

Sist oppdatert: 18.09.2019