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Study information

Social and Technological Innovation

Module titleSocial and Technological Innovation
Module codeBEP3010
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Allen Alexander (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

‘Innovation’ is one of the buzz words of current management thinking, but what does it mean? We are living in an age where everyone is looking for the ‘next big thing’, that’s what innovation is, it is about having an idea, making it work and doing things differently. This module will examine different ways in which social and technological innovations have revolutionised how we do business and in turn how society operates. We will look at the theory behind innovation and apply it to current business case studies enabling you to analyse how certain businesses and organisations have used innovative practices to do things differently, for the benefit of society, the environment and in the process - their own competitive advantage. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will equip you with the theory behind innovation management, setting it in the context of the Circular Economy. We will focus on a live case study of your own design and focus on practical worksheets and canvasses that enable your innovations to be planned and evaluated. On completion of this module you will be able to identify organisations that are using social and technological innovations to ensure their competitive advantage in the marketplace and you will be knowledgeable about how to contribute to their innovation portfolios.  From an employability perspective employers strive to create entrepreneurial employees who can  identify opportunities for further innovations, that may in turn develop into business opportunities for you in the future – this model will equip you with these skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. engage critically with debates surrounding the need to innovate;
  • 2. evaluate the differences between social and technological innovations in service or product design or product management;
  • 3. critically analyse case studies of businesses and organisations that have adopted social or technological innovations in order to do business differently;
  • 4. investigate potential opportunities for the future of business and society using social and technological innovations.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. synthesise the various theories that describe innovation “hot topics”;
  • 6. identify and design innovation management processes that will enhance the successful adoption of innovations by companies or organisations;
  • 7. debate the role that corporate and social responsibility plays in innovation within organisations;
  • 8. critically discuss the extent to which innovation enhances a society.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. demonstrate written and oral skills in order to use the language of innovation to inform and enthuse in both academic and applied contexts;
  • 10. practice research skills in order to identify innovation opportunities of the future;
  • 11. illustrate independent and group skills in order to present an in depth case study on either social or technological innovation.

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to Innovation – what is it? How does innovation it fit with the Circular Economy?
  • Innovation’s role in strategic management and competitive advantage Models of Innovation – the key models used to describe innovation Processes of Innovation – how does it happen? external and internal stimuli
  • Value in a Social Context - The extent to which innovation enhances a society’s capacity to act, and in particular the notion of an ‘Innovation Union’ as means of articulating a shift from a conceptual idea to action, focused on creating knowledge and also creating jobs.
  • Business Model Innovation – Both commercial and public service organisations, and co-operatives engaging with social and using technological innovations
  • Innovation and People – within and outside of the organization
  • Structural Models and Portfolio Management


Practical Skills Sessions

3 half-day hackathon-style, agile development sessions will take place during the course to guide students through their self-designed, group case study. Optional innovation clinics will also be available to support group projects.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2211 x 2 hour lectures Taught formal lectures, with input from module lead, visiting speakers and students
Scheduled learning and teaching activities123 x 4 hour agile hackathon workshops
Guided independent study118You will be expected to manage your time accordingly in order to work as a group member and on your own to produce the various assignments.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Innovation Workshops4 hours x 3 session1, 2, 3Verbal and via notes
Innovation Clinics2 x 10 minutes 1, 2 & 6Verbal and via notes

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual paper on the application of the theory of innovation management to practice501500 words1, 2, 3, 5-8, 9 & 11Written and verbal
Pitch Back – 5 minute live pitch session255 minute pitch session on a future innovation opportunity. 4, 9Written and verbal
Workshop Canvasses report - determining your Innovation Offering257 x A4 worksheets with short (max. 500 words) accompanying report4,6, 9 &10Written and verbal

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual Paper (50%)Individual paper 2,000 words (50%)1, 2, 3, 5-8, 9 & 11July/August
Group pitch session (25%) Individual paper setting out the project selection rationale. (500 words) (25%) 4 & 9July/August
Group pitch session (25%) A 500 word report including 7 x A3 worksheets demonstrating the potential of an innovation, included in a (25%)4,6, 9 &10July/August

Re-assessment notes

A student if deferred in a single component will be reassessed in that component only.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener.


Text Book for the module:

Kokshagina & Alexander (2020) The Radical Innovation Playbook, De Gruyter


Other recommended texts include:

Bessant, J., and Tidd, J. (2011) Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Wiley

Gijs van Wulfen (2018) The Fourth Innovation Method, 

Tidd, J., Bessant, J. and Pavitt, K. (2009) Managing Innovation (4th edition) Wiley

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

As provided or recommended during classes

Key words search

Innovation, Social and Technological Innovation, Business Management, Business BSc

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date