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2013/2014  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
Changes in course schedule may occur
Thursday 10.45-14.15, 37 - 43
Thursday 10.45-15.10, Week 44
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 (INT)
Administration: Birgit Dahlgren - bgd.int@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 08-04-2014
Learning objectives
At the end of this course, the students are expected to have learned the state-of-the-art knowledge and skills concerning innovation management in the context of multinational enterprises.

To be awarded the highest mark (12), the student, with no or just a few insignificant shortcomings, must fulfill the following learning objectives.
• The student should be able to account for the theories related to the following issues;
• The student should be able to discuss the strength and weakness in those theories as applied to the following issues;
• The student should be able to apply the correct theories on the following issues;
• The student should be able to present argumentation that supports a given action oriented conclusion based on an analysis of a given case related to the following issues;
• The student should be able to reflect on the consequences of applying different theories on the following issues.
  • The unique strategic opportunities and challenges facing mutinational enterprises that seek to explore and exploit corporate innovation networks in the global context
  • The unique operational opportunities challenges facing multinational enterprises that seek to explore and exploit corporate innovation networks in the global context
  • The complex intersections between international business, innovation and technological change
  • The unique problems related to the generation, acquisition, and diffusion of knowledge in the process of innovation in the global context
  • The unique problems related to the organizational structure of multinational enterprises for innovation in the global context
Managing Innovation in the Multinational Enterprise:
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure

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 lectures, discussions, and group case study in class. 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.
Li, P.P. 2013. Disruptive innovation in Chinese and Indian businesses; The strategic implications for local entrepreneurs and global incumbents. London: Routledge. 
Osterwalder, A. and Pigneur, Y. 2010. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons. 
Westland, J.C. 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. 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 08-04-2014