English   Danish

2017/2018  KAN-CCBLV1704U  Shoes for the Cobblers Children; Designing Innovative Business Models for emerging economies

English Title
Shoes for the Cobblers Children; Designing Innovative Business Models for emerging economies

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn, Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Min. participants 40
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc og MSc in Business, Language and Culture, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Sudhanshu Rai - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
Last updated on 23-02-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Demonstrate how to prototype a business model
  • Demonstrate an understanding of identifying the components of a business model
  • Demonstrate how to build a business model
  • Demonstrate how to deploy a business model
Course prerequisites
Students wanting to take this elective should have basic knowledge of economics, innovation theory and an elementary understanding of accounting principles. While economic and innovation theories are strongly desirable, understanding accounting principles will be useful but not mandatory.

In addition; the students should also bring to class a box of discarded items from their home to be used in class. This box and its items are important for the progression of the class. It is important to note that students should keep the items small, easy to work with, easy to disassemble into components for reconstruction purposes. This box of discarded domestic items will be used as prop to engage with the practice of first conceptualizing a product and then building a business model to support the product in the market.

Each student will bring this box of discarded objects to the first class where they will be divided into groups. All the students will them merge their boxes and then will be asked to create an innovative products with the waste from the collection of boxes. The group work will focus on hands on experience for engaging with innovation while the literature will form the reflective scaffold designed to create meaning and understanding of innovation through experiencing it firsthand.
Shoes for the Cobblers Children; Designing Innovative Business Models for Emerging Economies:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 3-5
Size of written product Max. 30 pages
Assignment type Report
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
At the reexam, the group report must be revised
Course content and structure

Assuming the cobbler has many children, with each of them diverse in their mannerisms and habits, lifestyles, world views, all needing shoes that fit their current disposition. How should the cobbler address making the shoes for his children? He needs to be sensitive to not only the physical design of the shoe, the making of it and the materials for the shoe. He also needs to be sensitive to the nature of his children, the season of the year and when do they need and use the shoe most. In effect besides the practical innovative challenge which is to develop a customized shoe for his unique children, he also has to incorporate the softer aspects of the nature, habits and preferences of his children regarding the kind of shoe they want and when they intend to use it; in which case the practical and tangible innovativeness of the cobbler needs to be combined with a good understanding of his children’s convenience, hopes and aspirations.


In a similar manner when we develop innovative products or services we need to look at the nature of the business model, its design should not be generic but specific to the product or services being developed. The question then is How to design products and services for the emerging economy that can help create new markets. The course explores the role of the business model in customizing and leveraging the innovation for the market so that customers are open to consuming the innovative product because the business models supports the product and is flexible enough to be customized to the needs of the consumer. Business models are critical to the success of innovation that is meant for the market therefore designing the business model becomes complex and critical if it is focused on customization allowing for agility and flexibility.


The courses primary focus will be on the components of the business model, how these components can be combined and in what way and for what purpose. Furthermore, how to design a customizable business model that can be deployed in support of the innovation. During the course we will also explore the diverse nature and types of business models so that students can get a perspective on the different types of business models that can be created to support the product or services, the context in which this course will be delivered will be the emerging economy.


The themes are as follows;

  • What is a business model, its purpose and utility during the innovation process
  • What is meant by designing a business model?
  • Identifying and understanding the components of the business model
  • Aligning the model with the product or services
  • What is customized business model, how is it different from agility
  • Prototyping business models
  • How close does the product design and the business model design be in their creation.
  • When and how to deploy the business model
Teaching methods
The teaching methodology will take the format of workshop and seminars and is designed to be interactive, reflective and engaging. Contact hours will primarily focus on reflective thinking, critical appreciation and hands on experiential understanding of the business model design and development process through dialogue and analysis of learning by doing.

The process of the seminars, workshops will develop along two parallel trajectories; the first: the theoretical work where evaluation and analysis of the business model literature will be engaged with. The second aspect of this course is the practice or the experience element. Here the student will get their hands dirty by engaging with innovation from the scratch. This experience will be simulated across the entire course work, while this is proceeding students will start identifying the diverse components of the business model, testing its efficacy in relation to the product or services they are conceptualizing during class workshops and seminars.

The literature will be divided into themes related to business model design and development, in line with the learning objectives. These themes will target the specific stage of the experience where the student is at. Issues of business model developmentfrom an emerging economy will be addressed in a dynamic manner
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback will be given in real time during workshops, seminars during the class. Students are also welcome to contact me at any time during office hours subject to appointments.

Student workload
Preparation 128 hours
Teaching 30 hours
Examination 48 hours
Expected literature

Here are some indicative references, a fuller more comprehensive list will be provided one month prior to the course.


Indicative references


Christensen, C. M. & Bower, J. L. (1995): Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave. Harvard Busi-ness Review 73, no. 1 (January–February 1995): 43–53.


Clausen, T.H. and Rasmussen, E. J. Parallel business models and the innovativeness of researchbased spin-off ventures . The Journal of Technology Transfer. December 2013, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 836–849.


Elliot, J. E. (1980). Marx and Schumpeter on Capitalism’s Creative Destruction: A Comparative Restatement. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 95 (1), pp. 45-68


Berman, S and J., Kesterson-Townes, Lyn, Marshall, Anthony and Srivathsa, Rohini. The Power of Cloud. Driving Business Models Innovation. IBM Institute for Business Value. Strategy and Transformation. IBM Global Business Service, Executive report. February 2012, USA.

Shafer, Scott M, Smith, H. Jeff, Linder, Jane C. (2005)  The power of business models. Indiana University. Kelly School of business. Elsevier Business Horizons 48, 199-207.


Hart, S. L., & Milstein, M. B. (1999). Global sustainability and the creative destruction of industries. Sloan Management Review , 41 (1), 23-33


Govindarajan, Vijay and Trimble, Chris. The CEO’s Role in BusinessModel Reinvention. Harvard Business Review. Innovation. From the January-February 2011 Issue

Last updated on 23-02-2017