Curriculum

Curriculum

The RSM MSc in Management of Innovation programme is one academic year’s duration. Core courses are compulsory and will be offered during the autumn semester (22 ECTS). Master electives (18 ECTS) are offered during the spring semester, of which one elective can be chosen from another MSc programme. It is also possible to replace one elective with an internship or business project. During the year, students work on a master thesis project (20 ECTS).

Please note that certain electives may be very popular. Although we can place most students in the elective(s) of their choice, there are no guaranteed places.

    • The purpose of this short course is twofold: First, you will be able to participate in the introductory days of the master that contain company visits and a social program in which you get to know your fellow students. Second, we will provide you with the necessary skills to help you through the master program by explaining to you how to analyse teaching cases and how to read academic articles.

      Skills acquired in this course:

      • How to read academic papers  
      • How to analyse a case

      Review the course guide for more details.

    • This course focuses on the strategy of innovation. It deals with the content of innovation strategy as well as the process of developing a strategy. The goal of this course is to provide insight into the dilemmas between the innovating firm and its environment – which includes competitors – and to translate them into viable actions for management.

      Students will prepare and write academic articles, assignments focused on management principles, and a business case accompanied by an assignment.

      This course differs from general strategy courses in its focus on theories of innovation strategy combined with real techniques used by business, such as methods for managing innovation portfolios. In addition, business strategy is translated into a series of real targets for achieving specific innovation objectives. These innovation objectives – such as objectives about new products, intellectual property or alliances – form the basis for discussing innovation theories and real techniques, using business cases, teaching cases or guest lectures as examples.

      Skills acquired in this course:

      • Choice of proper evaluation methods   
      • Innovation focused market analysis
      • Technology and product roadmaps
      • Patent searches

      Review the course guide for more details.

    • What’s the best way to organise radical innovation projects – and how does that differ from organising incremental projects? What makes a successful innovation in projects or services for emerging economies – sometimes called ‘frugal’ or ‘bottom of the pyramid’ innovations? This course addresses these questions, based on the central premise of organising the innovation process to deliver high-quality products efficiently and within a short time-to-market. Contradicting orientations, such as creativity and flexibility versus effective implementation, must be managed. Technological and market uncertainties in these processes are often high. We look at the processes of idea generation, development and commercialisation, market learning and design-driven innovation, as well as the organisation in teams and units. We also address innovation at the firm level, in particular in multinational product and service firms.

      Skills acquired in this course:

      • Persuasion/overcoming resistance 
      • Organisational design for innovation

      Review the course guide for more details.

       

       

    • Creation and realisation of innovations now relies more on collaboration between the various parts of different organisations – because of increasing specialisations, technological developments, and the growing number of links between technologies. This course takes an in-depth look at how innovation can be managed across organisational borders, and develops the issues of usefulness and necessity of co-operation studied in the first core course. It focuses in particular on co-operation for innovation between firms, and with customers, suppliers, and competitors. Questions addressed incorporate strategic, tactical, and operational aspects of collaborative innovation. Sessions will be constructed around case discussions and related literature. The course aims to develop students’ knowledge, insights and skills with respect to the design and governance of chains and networks of companies.

      Skills acquired in this course:

      • How to identify the most important partners in an ecosystem
      • How to negotiate and collaborate with partners

      Review the course guide for more details.

    • This course is devoted to the theories and skills needed to manage innovation projects. While several theories and tools are explained in other core courses, here the emphasis is on the student’s behaviour in working from idea to business case. Working in groups, students develop a business case that focuses on a big company’s particular challenge; in the past, challenges have included frugal products for Unilever and innovative ideas for the Port of Rotterdam. Students implement the theories and methods they have learned for managing innovation projects in this course (but also from other core courses), and consider how their own behaviour affects group performance. This self-reflection is supported by RSM staff, consultants specialising in team behaviour and alumni. Students are expected to sign an agreement specifying the intellectual property of new product ideas, which the company may want to develop further.

      Skills acquired in this course:

      • Project management skills
      • Leading creativity sessions
      • Teamwork skills
      • Financial evaluation of projects

      Review the course guide for more details.

    • Organisations that pay attention to creativity traditionally focus on the selection and training of creative individuals. But creativity also depends on how the individual perceives the organisational context around them. A creatively stimulating environment is essential, and a good interaction between organisational and physical work environments and the individual’s characteristics will affect creative efforts at work, and will help the organisation to become more innovative. 

      After this course you will understand why certain organisations are more creative than others when it comes to innovative products, services, processes, and procedures. You will also learn how to analyse organisations in order to make them more creative.

      Review the course guide for more details.

    • Most products and services are interrelated with other products and services, or are part of complex systems. Innovation for products and services here requires managing all of those interfaces – usually with the co-operation of other stakeholders. Learning how to manage this is of utmost importance for most innovation processes.

      The elective provides you with basic knowledge about interface management and subsequently its integration in innovation management. This enables you to develop and employ a strategy for an individual company, a supply chain or a branch of business. This elective’s multidisciplinary scientific basis is complemented by business input in the form of business cases, company visits, guest lectures and assignments related to business cases.

      Review the course guide for more details.

    • This course gives master students a practical and rigorous understanding of the role, the analytics, and the process of business planning that leads to the successful creation of new business for established firms. Students learn feasibility analysis, business modelling, market research, financial planning, and organisational implementation. In the past, actionable new business plans have been developed by students for – and in close collaboration with – a variety of multinationals and SME firms including Philips, Heijmans, TNO, Airborne, StudentEvents, Ubiqu, Synthesis and Surefas.

      Students choose from a wide range of new business opportunities from sponsor firms, and teams with a common preference are formed. Each team researches and develops a business plan for a new opportunity for their firm. Grading is based on interim reports, the final business plan, individual progress presentations, and team peer feedback.

      Review the course guide for more details.

    • “But why can’t I patent in Europe just because I talked about the invention at a conference?” “But I thought the claims in my patent would stop my competitor marketing that!” “I invented an improvement! So why do I have to get a licence from them before I can market my own invention?” “So I would have been better off just keeping this process secret rather than patenting it?”

      Intellectual property is a vital asset for firms today, and patent portfolios can be extremely valuable. Yet all too often managers know little about patent law and patent strategies. This ignorance can be costly, because a naïve manager is like a lamb going to the slaughter-house. Skilful competitors will slice and dice a poorly worded patent that is in their way, or use a variety of other patent strategies to hinder the goals of their less knowledgeable and less experienced counterparts.

      The aim of this elective is to make sure students are prepared for invention management by knowing the basics of patent law, the problems of patent claim interpretation and how patent strategies are used as a tool of competition.

      Review the course guide for more details.

    • Did you ever wonder how to make a business case for a company that is depending on resources that are becoming scarce? Or did you think of the effect of the (bad) indoor air quality on your work and the effects on the productivity within companies? This master elective by Michael Braungart’s Chair Cradle to Cradle for Innovation and Quality offers you to learn more about Cradle to Cradle and the added value of this approach for our economy, ecology and the social and cultural aspects.

      The Cradle to Cradle design paradigm offers a positive approach for the environmental challenges that we are facing today. The Cradle to Cradle approach has proven that it is possible to produce products that do not harm the people and the planet, but support their health while generating profit at the same time.  During the lessons you will learn about the Cradle to Cradle principles, how this approach can be implemented within a (existing) company, and we will provide a rich overview of practical solutions and real life applications.

      Complimenting study of the theoretical base, teaching will utilise practical examples that can be found in the case studies, illustrated by products in the class room, and through guest lectures by managers who have been working with the implementation of Cradle to Cradle in their companies.

      In our Cradle to Cradle teaching we take a multidisciplinary approach integrating several RSM master programs. This elective is strongly connected to the MSc Supply Chain Management (including the Closed Loop Supply Chain elective) and the MSc Global Business & Stakeholder Management programme, but can also be selected as a free elective for students who are interested in the added value of Cradle to Cradle in their own discipline. This elective will be evaluated through an assignment.

      Review the course guide for more details.

    • Social networks and relationships play a key role in the generation, implementation, and diffusion of innovations. They are not only critical to access and exchange information and resources but also imperative to organize support and to market innovative ideas. In this elective, you will learn where to source good ideas in online and offline social networks and how to take advantage of the relationships and interactions that spur breakthrough innovations.

      You will get equipped with the latest insights and theories on the drivers and consequences of social networks as well as with state-of-the-art tools to analyse and visualize social networks. In a project that is run in co-operation with an organization, you will apply these insights and tools and learn to craft a strategy that utilizes the power of social networks for innovation.

      The learnings of this elective are especially relevant for prospective consultants and innovation managers who need to analyse and shape change processes and intra- or inter-organizational collaboration projects. For students interested in examining, understanding, and optimizing their network position and structure, the learnings are of equal use.

      Review the course guide for more details.

    • The Business Project replaces an elective, but is shorter than an ordinary internship so it can be completed during one of the three elective blocks. You propose a business project at a company of your choice, or choose a project from a list that includes well-known innovative companies such as Philips, Unilever, SHELL, ASML, Friesland-Campina, RaboBank, ING and others. The Business Project is assessed separately from your master thesis, and should have a different business focus. The project is selected after consultation with the thesis coach.

      Review the course guide for more details.

    • This course supports your thesis projects by exploring the research methodologies and practical skills used – most importantly, researching case studies, surveys and experiments. Practical issues address formal administrative procedures, including how to manage the project with your thesis coach and co-reader, and how to scan and review literature.

      The course concludes with a one-day workshop. Each student researches the methodology for their own thesis project, and students are divided into sub-groups for each methodology. Please see under ‘Thesis’  for more information.

    • Your master thesis is an opportunity to show your capabilities and your potential as a future manager. During this part of your studies, you will interact with internationally-recognised companies and well-known researchers in the innovation industry.

      Your master thesis takes you through a structured trajectory which starts in September during the core courses. You will familiarise yourself with research into innovation taking place at RSM, and the relevant academic literature and topics available. You’ll be offered a list of potential thesis topics by staff involved in this MSc. Suggestions will include a general research question and core literature research. In October you will meet staff at a thesis ‘bazaar’ to discuss topics that interest you. You will make a final decision on your topic before the end of the year and be assigned a coach who is an expert in your chosen subject area. Early in January you will study research methodology so you are up to date with best practice in research, and have the foundation for successful completion of your thesis. In early spring you will deliver your final research proposal, before implementing your research question. Your thesis will be finished before the summer. RSM staff and researchers will assist with coaching you through the entire master thesis process.

      Most students choose a master thesis on the subject of innovation management, but you are free to write a master thesis research project in any complementary discipline.

Note regarding taking courses if you are not an RSM master student: RSM does not offer the possibility for non-RSM students (master or otherwise) to take RSM courses outside of official exchange partnerships or other inter-faculty agreements.