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2012/2013  KAN-CM_U90  Managing Innovation in the Multinational Enterprise

English Title
Managing Innovation in the Multinational Enterprise

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Autumn, First Quarter
Changes in course schedule may occur
Thursday 12.35-14.15, week 36
Thursday 12.35-16.05, week 37-43
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Peter Ping Li - Department of International Economics and Management
Administration: Birgit Dahlgren - bgd.int@cbs.dk
Main Category of the Course
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 27-04-2012
Learning objectives
At the end of the course, students should:
  • Be able to identify, understand, analyze, and assess the strategic and operational challenges facing firms that seek to explore and exploit international corporate innovation networks
  • Know, understand, and be able to apply concepts, theories, models and frameworks in the intersection between international business, innovation and technological change
  • Be able to discuss, assess and combine these concepts, theories, models and frameworks
  • Be able to identify and select in specific cases of multinational enterprises problems related to international generation, acquisition and diffusion of knowledge and subject them to analysis and problem solving on the basis of theories and methods
  • Be able to assess and discuss the validity, reliability and scope of generalization for conclusions drawn on the basis of an analysis
Take Home Written Exam
Managing Innovation in the Multinational Enterprise:
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period Winter Term
Aids Please, see the detailed regulations below
Duration Please, see the detailed regulations below
15 pages home assignment.
Course content

This course aims to enable students to better identify, understand, analyze, and critically assess the strategic and operational challenges facing firms that seek to take advantage of global networks to build or maintain their competitive advantages via innovations. It will allow students to better engage in managerial and decision-making processes related to innovation in the context of international business so as to prepare for careers in a global environment where firms compete on innovative products/services and processes to be embodied in business model innovations.

Globalization and the growing economic importance of knowledge have led firms to increasingly internationalize their generation, acquisition and diffusion of knowledge. While multinational enterprises (MNEs) traditionally retained research and development close to their home base, their innovation processes are now becoming both geographically (internationally) and functionally (value chain) more open and dispersed. In addition to the traditional demands of global efficiency and local responsiveness, successful MNEs today are acquiring and building innovatory capacities on a worldwide basis. This course focuses on the range of strategic, organizational, and geographic challenges introduced in this process. One new phenomenon is the significance of emerging MNEs from the developing economies, such as China, India, and Brazil. These new MNEs tend to rely on disruptive innovations as latecomers to global competition.

The MNE depends on its technological and innovatory resources to achieve its objectives. The course considers the characteristics and determinants of corporate strategies for innovation management and the consequence of geographical location for international business. The course discusses technological change as a learning process, inter-firm alliances, and the capturing of returns to international innovation. It also examines the issues related to the design of international innovation networks, divisions of labor, building of local organizations, and headquarter-subsidiary dynamics that are introduced by distributed knowledge generation and application processes. Finally, the course will touch upon national innovation systems, innovation policy and the special circumstances of innovatory activities in emerging economies.

In particular, this course will highlight the balance between exploration and exploitation as a duality from the new perspective of transaction value in addition as well as in contrast to transaction cost.

The course´s development of personal competences:

The course facilitates students´ further development of analytical, theoretical, presentational and teamwork skills.

Teaching methods
The course will be based on a mix of cases, lectures, discussions, and group work in class. There will be two take home assignments with subsequent student presentations. The course literature is challenging and students are encouraged to form reading groups.
Further Information

Please note that Peter Ping Li will offer 2 other electives. Please make sure that the schedules do not overlap.
Expected literature

Recommended Textbooks:
Chesbrough, H. 2003. Open innovation: The new imperative from creating and profiting from technology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Osterwalder, A. and Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons. 
Westland, J. Christopher (2008), Global Innovation Management: A Strategic Approach, New York: Palgrave Macmillan
Li, P.P. 2012. Exploring the unique roles of trust and play in private creativity: From complexity-
ambiguity-metaphor link to trust-play-creativity link. Journal of Trust Research (in press) 
Li, P.P. 2011. Disruptive innovation at the bottom of the pyramid:Toward a theory oflatecomer
innovationto catch up and leapfrog. CBS Working Paper. 
Li, P.P. 2011. Exploration and exploitation reframed as the Yin-Yang Balancing: Toward a holistic, dynamic and duality theory of organizational learning. CBS Working Paper. 
Li, P.P. 2010. Toward a learning-based view of internationalization: The accelerated trajectories of cross-border learning. Journal of International Management (Special issue:50 Years of IB Research), 16: 43-59. 
Li, Y., Li, P.P., Liu, Y. & Yang, D.2010. Learning trajectory in offshore OEM cooperation:The transaction value for local suppliers in the emerging economies. Journal ofOperationsManagement, 28: 269-282. 
Zott, C., Amit, R. & Massa, L. 2011. The business model: Theoretical roots, recent developments and future research. Journal of Management, 37: 1019-1042.
Recommended Critical References: 
Cantwell, John & Molero, José. (2003). Multinational enterprises, innovative strategies and systems of innovation. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Gammeltoft, Peter (2006), ‘Internationalisation of R&D: Trends, drivers and managerial challenges’, International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, 2 (1-2): 177-199.
Håkanson, Lars (2005), ‘Knowledge Transfer in Multinational Corporations: An Evolving Research Agenda’, Management International Review, 45(2).
 Havila, Virpi, Mats Forsgren, and Håkan Håkansson (2002), Critical Perspectives on Internationalisation, Oxford: Elsevier Science.
 Pearce, Robert D., Julia Manea, Marina Papanastassiou, Gurkanwal Singh Pooni and Satwinder Singh (1997), Global competition and technology: essays in the creation and application of knowledge by multinationals, Basingstoke: Macmillan.
 Pearce, R.D. (1999), ‘Decentralised R&D and strategic competitiveness: globalised approaches to generation and use of technology in multinational enterprises (MNEs)’, Research Policy, vol. 28, nos. 2-3, pp. 157-178.
Tidd, Joe, John Bessant, and Keith Pavitt (2005), Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organisational Change, Chichester: John Wiley. 
Zander, I. (2002), ‘The formation of international innovation networks in the multinational corporation: an evolutionary perspective’, Industrial and Corporate Change, 11(2): 327-353.

Last updated on 27-04-2012