This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

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. However, while innovation represents a progressive force, it can also cause negative consequences for employment and growth in firms and regions through disruptive innovations. This recognition has lead to an increased attention to responsible research and innovation highlighting questions of ethics and sustainability. In this context, knowledge and understanding of innovation, seen in an international perspective, 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. To embed this in actual practices in firms and governmental agencies, guest lecturers from business and public administration will be brought in. 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
  • how to pursue responsible research and innovation on the firm level highlighting ethical questions and sustainability
  • why innovation is becoming increasingly more important in an international economy
  • how firms may work to promote innovation based on concrete cases of innovation management and strategies in corporation
  • how societal context affects firm innovation strategies, and how innovation policy may be viewed in this light using actual examples of public innovation policy nationally and internationally
  • 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 in firms and society
  • conduct an analysis of the drivers and/or outcomes of innovation in corporations and society
  • discuss different strategies for promoting innovation in a firm and an economy
  • give informed policy recommendations in the field of innovation


The course will cover the following topics:
  1. Evolution of regional and national economies
  2. Creation and diffusion of knowledge
  3. Innovation management and strategies in firms of different sizes
  4. Innovation networks and innovation systems in an international economy
  5. The sociology and geography of innovation
  6. Innovation policy emphasising how to promote responsible research and innovation

Required prerequisite knowledge



Individual written assignment and oral exam
Weight Duration Marks Aid
Individual written assignment55/1001 A - FAll.
Oral Exam45/10030 minutesA - FAll.
The final grade will be based on:
• The essay, which will count for 55 percent of the final grade (individual).
• A 30 minute oral exam which will count for 45 percent of the final grade.
The oral exam will start with a presentation of 15 minutes. The topic can be freely chosen by students but has to relate to the content of the course. The presentation must be on a topic different from that of the assessed essay. It may be based on students’ seminar presentation. This will be followed by a question and answer session, testing students’ completion of the learning outcomes of the course.
For all the topics, students should demonstrate that they have completed the core learning outcomes (listed under "all students will be able to…" and covered in the set text). In addition, students will report three topics (between week 2 and week 11), which they have chosen. For these topics, students should also demonstrate that they have completed the additional learning outcomes (listed under "students specialising in this topic will be able to…" and covered in the additional readings). The three specialist topics selected may include the topics covered by a student’s presentation and their assessed essays. Part of the oral exam will also be used to discuss students’ presentations and assessed essays.

Coursework requirements

Presentation, Presentation discussant, Structure outline of final essay, 500-1,000 words , Essay of 5000 words, Presence on 2/3 of all lectures
There are five mandatory requirements for this course:
1. Each student will prepare a 15 minute presentation for the class on an assigned topic. The presentation should cover the additional readings for this topic and should aim to raise some topics for discussion during the seminar. Students must upload their presentation (power points or speaker points) to Canvas at least three days before the seminar.
2. Each student will act as a discussant on another student’s presentation and will prepare a 5 minute comment on the presentation. The comment should open up to a general discussion in the group.
3. Students will write an extended abstract of 500-1,000 words outlining the structure of their final essay. It has to be uploaded on Canvas as a PDF file.
4. Students will write an essay of 5,000 words on a topic of their choice. It should be based on a research question. The essay may be based on (some of) the additional readings in the course, but should also incorporate additional literature found as part of your research and which is relevant to addressing the research question discussed in the essay. The essay has to be on another topic than a student’s seminar presentation. It is to be submitted on Inspera as a PDF file.
5. Presence on 2/3 of all lectures (regular and guest lectures) and seminars.

Course teacher(s)

Course teacher
Marte Cecilie Wilhelmsen Solheim , Tom Brökel
Course coordinator
Jason Deegan

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

Students will have the opportunity to give feedback on the course first in an early dialogue, and then in a written course evaluation at the end of the course.


Literatur will be published as soon as it has been prepared by the course coordinator/teacher

This is the study programme for 2020/2021.

Sist oppdatert: 06.08.2020