Policies for Transformation (MSB335)

In the green and digital transition, policy-makers, firms and stakeholders are looking for answers to questions such as: How can we grow and transform the economy? How can we change from one specialisation to another? How do we use our skills and competences in new ways?

This course introduces you to different approaches to answering these questions through public policies and strategies. The course will prepare you to advise on innovation and development policy, contribute to transformative strategies and lead transformation processes. This is relevant for work as an economic developer, innovation consultant, strategist, advisor or in other roles where knowledge of economic development and innovation policy is useful.

Throughout the course, you will work on real-life practical policy problems and development strategies and gain knowledge on providing research-based policy recommendations to decision-makers. The cases will be drawn from policies in various contexts, such as by local, regional and national governments, international organisations, funding agencies and business clusters. You will prepare policy briefs, write position papers and participate in debates on innovation and development policy.

This course is a component of the minor titled "Economic Development" and is also accessible to students from all tracks interested in policy approaches for economic development and transformation.

NB! This is an elective course and may be cancelled if fewer than 10 students are enrolled by August 20th for the autumn semester.

Offered next time fall 2025.

Course description for study year 2024-2025


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Language of instruction



The course will cover different policy approaches to economic development and transformation, including:

  • Market failure approaches
  • System failure approaches
  • Evolutionary approaches
  • Place-based economic policy
  • Innovation policy
  • Mission-oriented policy
  • Smart specialisation
  • Transition policy

Learning outcome

On completion of this course, you will be familiar with a wide range of approaches to economic development and transformation policy, as well as the theories underlying them. Specifically, the course will have the following learning outcomes:


On completion of the course, students will:

  • have specialized insight in the economic theories and rationales for different policy approaches to economic transformation
  • have advanced knowledge of central debates in the research literature on innovation policy
  • be able to analyze policies used by cities, regions, countries and international organisations to promote innovation and economic transformation
  • be able to analyze pitfalls and weaknesses of different policy approaches


On completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • provide advice to decision-makers on how to design policies and strategies to promote innovation and economic transformation by applying knowledge from the field
  • critically analyze the conditions for transformation in an economy and develop appropriate policy suggestions
  • present and discuss policy recommendations in written and oral form using language and terminology of the field.

Required prerequisite knowledge



Portfolio, weight 45%. 1 semester, Letter grades.Oral defense, weight 55%. Letter grades.The final grade will be made up of a 45% portfolio of cases and a 55% oral defense of the portfolio. The portfolio consists of policy briefs and position papers that students will analyze and discuss throughout the semester. Students will present and defend their recommendations in the oral defense. No re-sit.

Coursework requirements

Presentation of policy brief.

Presentation of position paper.

Participation in policy debate.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Kwadwo Atta-Owusu

Course teacher:

Kwadwo Atta-Owusu

Course coordinator:

Rune Dahl Fitjar

Study Program Director:

Yuko Onozaka

Method of work

The course will be based on a combination of lectures, seminars and individual and group assignments, as well as independent study. The lectures will introduce students to core concepts and theories in the field. Students will work on real-life policy problems and provide recommendations and advice to policy-makers. Students will present, discuss and debate different policy positions in the seminars.

Expected workload: 300 hours

Lectures and seminars: 50 hours

Assignments: 100 hours

Independent study: 150 hours

Open for

Admission to Single Courses at UiS Business School
Master of Science in Accounting and Auditing Business Administration - Master of Science
Exchange programmes at UIS Business School

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


Search for literature in Leganto