Business Development and Innovation: Introduction MSB305
No firm or organization operates in isolation. Rather the contrary is true. Via a multitude of complex relations to other agents and organizations, they are embedded in diverse sets of networks and socio-economic systems. This embeddedness thereby greatly matters for their business success. For instance, it influences their access to critical inputs, such as human and financial capital as well as knowledge. Their embeddedness in local socio-economic systems takes center stage in this. In the end, most job hiring are local, the majority of production inputs are provided by nearby suppliers and marketing as well as distribution channels are strongly shaped by access to transportation infrastructure and the activities of (local) branding initiatives as well as trade associations.
The course presents students with the scientific underpinnings of the beyond-the-individual-firm perspective that are at the heart of modern approaches to business development. Drawing on core concepts and insights from the fields of Regional Science and Economic Geography, as well as Complex System Theories, students will learn about and discuss the roles that locations, networks, and system embeddedness play for businesses and their development. The course thereby forms the basis for the subsequent courses: BDI: The firm perspective and BDI: The policy perspective.
Classical theories of regional development (e.g., agglomeration, urbanization, polarization)
Modern theories of regional development (e.g., human capital, evolutionary, institutions, cluster, complexity)
Interfirm linkages and spillovers
Networks and (social) relations
Knowledge- and innovation-based economic development
Upon completion of the course, students will have learned:About different ways that firms are embedded in regional and inter-regional networks of production and learningHow and why economic activities locate in various ways in spaceHow and why externalities arise from agglomeration, urbanization and learning networksAbout the importance of knowledge and innovation for firm and regional developmentHow and why a system- and network-based perspective is crucial to understanding the development of firms, technologies, and territories
Students will acquire skills in:
Applying multilevel, network, and evolutionary thinking to economic problems
Working with contemporary academic literature
Summarising academic arguments and studies
Leading a discussion on an academic topic
Writing a literature review
Required prerequisite knowledge
Appropriate bachelor background in core business fields.
Form of assessment
The course has a folder/portfolio assessment.
• 66 % of the grade from an individual written assignment
• 34 % of the grade from group assignments or presentations.
Presence in all classes with group work, Written critical literature review
Presence in all classes in which the student or the group he/she is assigned to plays an active roleComplete an assignment, which is to be submitted through Inspera before the deadline.
In this course, you will learn through the mixture of lectures, seminars, group work and individual study. Lectures provide the basic knowledge. The seminars are based on group work and are topic focused. They require active preparation and participation.
Each student will be assigned to a group. These groups will play different roles during the semester. Each student has to contribute equally to these roles. The roles include:
Reading scientific papers
Preparing and sharing written questions and statements about the papers on time
Responding to questions during the seminar and actively engaging in it
Organizing and contributing to discussions
Lectures: 25 hours
Seminars: 25 hours
Self-study, including assignments: 200-250 hours
All master's study programs at the University of Stavanger.
Students will have the opportunity to give feedback on the course first in an early dialogue, and in multiple course evaluations.