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 counting 55% of the final grade.
2. A 30 minute oral exam which will count for 45% of the final grade.
The essay and the presentation should cover two different topics.

Coursework requirements

Five mandatory coursework assignments
There are four mandatory coursework requirements:
  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.

  1. 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.

  1. Students will write an extended abstract of 500-1,000 words outlining the structure of their final essay. The extended abstract is due 6th March, 2020. It has be submitted on Canvas as a PDF file.

  1. Students will write an essay of 5,000 words on a topic of your 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. The final essay is due on 15th May, 2020. It is to be submitted on Inspera as a PDF file.

Course teacher(s)

Course teacher
Marte Cecilie Wilhelmsen Solheim , Jason Deegan, 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.


Link to reading list

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

Sist oppdatert: 19.01.2020