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2023/2024  KAN-CCMVV2612U  Managing product development and innovation

English Title
Managing product development and innovation

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for cand.merc. and GMA (CM)
Course coordinator
  • Claus Varnes - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Please find contact information for Student Hub, student Guidiance Services etc. on My.cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation
  • Management
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 15-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The objective of the course is to provide the student with a deeper understanding of challenges and opportunities in managing development and innovation processes. The student will develop competences in analysing the complexity in product, service and process development, through a structured approach. Many decision-making situations in the student’s future career relates to uncertainty and risk, which is specifically the case within product, service and process innovation. This will challenge the evaluation of what might be relevant and/or irrelevant. The course seek to advance the students understanding and competences with a focus on managing innovation that contains strategic business challenges in innovation processes and work in a cross-disciplinary context. To be awarded with the highest grade (12), must the student without significant shortcomings, fulfil the following objectives:
  • Be able to apply relevant models, concepts and theories from the curriculum to an innovation and development case of interest.
  • Identify and analyse the relationships between models, concepts and theories mutually in relation to the management of product, service or process development and innovation case challenges.
  • Critically assess the value of the models, concepts and theories for management of product, service or process development and innovation.
  • Reflect on the value of the models, concepts and theories for management of product, service or process development and innovation in the context of sustainability and scarce resources
Managing Product Development and Innovation:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Definition of number of pages:
Groups of
2 students 5 pages max.
3-4 students 10 pages max

Note that the exam is a group exam. If you are not able to find a group yourself, you have to address the course teacher who will place you in a group.

Students who wish to have an individual exam might be able to write a term paper in the course. Please see the cand.merc. rules for term papers for more information.
Assignment type Synopsis
Release of assignment Subject chosen by students themselves, see guidelines if any
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Re-take is to be based on the same reports as the ordinary exam:

* if a student is absent from the oral exam due to documented illness but has handed in the written group product she/he does not have to submit a new product for the re-take.

* if a whole group fails oral exam they must hand in a revised product for the re-take.

* if one student in the group fails the oral exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have the oral exam on the basis of the same product or if she/he has to hand in a revised product for the re-take.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The purpose of the course is twofold. First, to get an understanding of different aspects related to managing product development and innovation. The course will provide the student with insights to the dimensions of innovation processes and related tools to analyse and manage effective decision-making under uncertainty. Generally, the success rate is 50 percent for both new products and a bit lower for new services. The problem with success rates constitutes a challenge as many resources are allocated to non-profitable activities. Managing uncertainty and risk is therefore of high relevance in development and innovation processes. Hence, tools to improve portfolio management and decision-making, knowledge dissemination, quality assessment and the complexity of managing teams vs. individuals will be addressed.


Secondly, will the course introduce a framework for future product development and innovation given that resources become more and more scarce (e.g. more costly). Climate change and pollution related to current production and consumption patterns display a threat to businesses future competitive advantage. Hence, businesses will need to address these challenges through product development and innovation. Business models and value propositions that will meet the needs of the future are therefore different than current solutions – demanding new competencies in managing innovation and development. A range of actors propose circular economy as the economic system for future competitive businesses. The course will therefore, as the second leg, provide the student with insights to designing circular economy businesses for future possibilities of sustainable development and innovation. 


The course take a practical approach to managing innovation and development. We will employ a textbook that is solutions oriented and use journal articles to problematize. The title of the course indicates that the turning point is new products and services, but we will also address business models as another innovation types together with process innovation. Specifically taking point of departure in future challenges in the business environment, instead of looking back into obsolete solutions. Seeking to provide an understanding of how to utilise managerial tools that mitigates uncertainty and risk. Moreover, also how to create incentives that support effective performance in research and development, throughout the company and related to the dynamics in the market.

Key topics will include the following related to managing product, service and process innovation:


  • The Pentathlon Framework as basic structure for innovation and development
  • Managerial approaches to ideation, selection and implementation
  • The role of strategy and organisational culture in innovation processes
  • Business model design and innovation
  • Circular economy design principles for innovation under resource constraints
  • Performance evaluation and portfolio management
  • Market inertia and socio-technical system transition


Please be aware that this course is also part of a minor in Process and Innovation Management

Description of the teaching methods
Teaching is a combination of lecturing, group work and presentations, plus student and teacher driven discussions. The teaching style is very informal to accelerate learning.

We will use two textbooks and paper based teaching. This represents a good opportunity to follow a structure based on the textbooks and detailed more in-depth learnings from journal papers, which will give the student a good general overview and more specific knowledge within the field.

As it is a quarter semester course will the lecturers be compressed and the pace of the course high. This creates an opportunity to have a very focused progress, but does also demand the student to have a high level of work to be well prepared for the lecturers. During the course it is the plan to have visiting high level managers from corporate life, to give the students insights into how managing product development and innovation processes is undertaken in operating businesses.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback is provided during the course at class in general. Meaning that all questions will be taken seriously and answered properly.

Group feedback, which is the main feedback event, will take place as a midt term evaluation and be given as part of the student groups presentation of chosen exam case. The groups will present what they perceive is a fine case for exams and the related theories that are envisioned to apply in order to understand the problem at stake. The teacher will on this background provide feedback on choice of case and the related proposed theories, in order to either adjust the approach or approve to work on.
Student workload
Teaching 33 hours
Preparation 147 hours
Exams and exam preparation 26 hours
Further Information

This course is part of the minor in Process Management and Innovation, but students can choose this course independently.


Expected literature


Goffin, K. and Mitchell, R. (2017). Innovation Management – Effective Strategy & Implementation, Palgrave, Third Edition, Red Global Press; UK.



Tentative list of journal papers:


  • Cooper, R.G. and Sommer, A.F. (2016). Agile-Stage-Gate: New idea-to-launch method for manufactured new products faster, more responsive, Industrial Marketing Management, 59, 167-170. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1016/​j.indmarman.2016.10.006
  • Christiansen, J.K. and Varnes, C.J. (2009). Formal rules in Product Development: Sensemaking of Structured Approaches, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 26, 502-519. DOI: 10.1111/​j.1540-5885.2009.00677.x
  • Cennamo, C. and Gawer, A. (2016). Towards a theory of ecosystems, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 39, pp. 2255-2276. DOI: 10.1002/smj.2904
  • Dattée, B., Alexy, O. and Autio, E. (2018). Maneuvering in poor visibility: How firms play the ecosystem game when uncertainty is high, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 61, No. 2, pp. 466-498. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.5465/​amj.2015.0869Bentzen, E., Christiansen, J.K. and Varnes, C.J. (2011). What attracts decision makers´ attention? Managerial allocation of time at product development portfolio meetings, Management Decisions, 49, (3), 330-349. DOI 10.1108/​00251741111120734
  • Christiansen, J.K. and Varnes, C.L. (2008). From models to practice: Decision making in portfolio meetings, International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, 25, (1), 87-101. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1108/​02656710810843603
  • Borland, H. and Lindgreen, A. (2013). Sustainability, Epistemology; Ecocentric Business, and Marketing Strategy: Ideology, Reality, and Vision, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 117, pp. 173-187. DOI 10.1007/​s10551-012-1519-8
  • Bocken et al. (2016). Product design and business model strategies for a circular economy, Journal of Industrial and Production Engineering, Vol. 33, Issue 5, pp. 308-320. http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1080/​21681015.2016.1172124
  • Cooper, R.G. and Dreher, A. (2010). Voice-of-customer Methods – What is the best source of new-product ideas?, Marketing Management, 38-43. https:/​/​www.stage-gate.com/​wp-content/​uploads/​2018/​06/​wp_40.pdf
  • Goffin, K., Varnes, C.J., van der Hoven, C. and Koners, U. (2012). Beyond the Voice of the Customer – Ethnographic Market Research, Research-Technology Management, 45-53, DOI: 10.5437/08956308X5504063Steffen et al. (2015). ´Planetary Boundaries: Guiding Human Development on a Changing Planet´, Science, Vol. 347, issue 6223, pp. 736-745.  DOI: 10.1126/science.1259855
  • Kaplan, R.S. and Norton, D.P. (2001). Transforming the balanced scorecard from performance measurement to strategic management, Accounting Horizons, 15, (2), 147-167. 
  • Rajala, R. et al. (2018). How does Intelligent Goods Shape Closed-Loop Systems?, California Management Review, Vol. 60, Issue 3, pp. 20-44. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1177/​0008125618759
  • Braungart, M., McDonough, W. and Bollinger, A. (2007). Cradle-to-cradle design: creating healthy emissions – a strategy for eco-effective product and system design, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 15, pp. 1337-1348. doi:10.1016/​j.jclepro.2006.08.003
  • Lewandowski, M. (2015). Designing the Business Models for Circular Economy – Towards the Conceptual Framework, Sustainability, Vol. 8, Issue 43, pp. 1-28. doi:10.3390/su8010043
  • Brown, S.L. and Eisenhardt, K.M. (1995). Product development: Past research, present findings, and future directions, Academy of Management Review, 20, (2), 343-378. https:/​/​www.jstor.org/​stable/​258850
  • Borland, H., Ambrosini, V., Lindgreen, A. and Vanhamme, J. (2016). Building Theory at the Intersection of Ecological Sustainability and Strategic Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 135, pp. 293-307. DOI 10.1007/​s10551-014-2471-6
  • Lieder, M., Asif, F.M.A., Rashid, A., Mihelic, A. and Kotnik, S. (2017). Towards circular economy implementation in manufacturing systems using a multi-method simulation approach to link design and business strategy, International Journal on Advanced Manufacturing Technology, Vol 93, pp. 1953-1970. DOI 10.1007/​s00170-017-0610-9 
  • Lieder, M., Asif, F.M.A., Rashid, A., Mihelic, A. and Kotnik, S. (2018). A conjoint analysis of circular economy value propositions for consumers: Using “washing machines in Stockholm” as a case study, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 172, pp. 264-273. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1016/​j.jclepro.2017.10.147
  • Hernes, T. (2010). Actor-Network Theory, Callon´s Scallops, and Process-Based Organization Studies, in Process, Sensemaking, and Organizing, United Press Scholarship Online. DOI:10.1093/​acprof:oso/​9780199594566.003.0009Frishammar, J. and Parida, V. (2019). Circular Business Model Transformation: A Roadmap for incumbent firms, California Management Review, 61 (2), 5-29. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1177%2F0008125618811926Abdelkafi, N. and Taüscher, K. (2016). Business Models for Sustainability From a System Dynamics Perspective, Organization and Environment, Vol. 29, Issue 1, pp. 74-96. DOI: 10.1177/1086026615592930
  • Spring, M. and Araujo, L. (2017). Product biographies in servitization and the circular economy, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 60, pp. 126-137. http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1016/​j.indmarman.2016.07.001
  • Heyes, G., Sharmina, M., Mendoza, J.M.F., Gallego-Schmid, A. and Azapagic, A. (2018). Developing and implementing circular economy business models in service-oriented technology companies, Journal of Cleaner Production, 177, 621-632. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1016/​j.jclepro.2017.12.168
  • Tukker, A. (2004). Eight types of product-service systems: Eight ways to sustainability? Experiences from Suspronet, Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 13, pp. 246-260. DOI: 10.1002/bse.414
  • Vezzoli, C., Ceschin, F., Diehl, J.C. and Kohtala, C. (2015). New design challenges to widely implement Sustainable Products-Service Systems, Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 97, pp. 1-12. http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1016/​j.jclepro.2015.02.061
  • Tukker, A. (2015). Product services for a resource-efficient and circular economy – a review, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 97, pp. 76-91. http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1016/​j.jclepro.2013.11.049
  • Geels, F.W. (2002). Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case study, Research Policy, 1257-1274. PII: S0048-7333(02)00062-8
  • Göpel, M. (2016). What Political Economy Adds to Transformation Research, Chapter 2, The Great Mindshift, The Anthroposcene: Politik, Economics, Society, Science, pp. 13-51. DOI 10.1007/​978-3-319-43766-8_2
  • Unruh, G.C. (2000). Understanding carbon lock-in, Energy Policy, Vol. 28, pp. 817-830.
  • Unruh, G.C. (2002). Escaping carbon lock-in, Energy Policy, Vol. 30, pp. 317-325.
  • Linder, M. and Williander, M. (2017). Circular Business Model Innovation: Inherent Uncertainties, Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 26, pp. 182-196. DOI: 10.1002/bse.1906
  • Grönross, C. (2011). Value co-creation in service logic: A critical analysis, Marketing Theory, 11, (3), 279-301. DOI: 10.1177/1470593111408177
  • Roome, N. (2011). Looking Back, Thinking Forward: Distinguishing Between Weak and Strong Sustainability, The Oxford Handbook of Business and the Natural Environment. DOI: 10.1093/​oxfordhb/​9780199584451.003.0034
  • IDEO circular design guide - https:/​/​www.circulardesignguide.com/​
  • O´Brien, K. and Sygna, L. (2013). Responding to Climate Change: The Three Spheres of Transformation, Proceedings of Transformation in a Changing Climate, 19-21 June 2013, Oslo Norway, pp. 16-23.
  • Gyrd-Jones, R. and Kornum, N. (2013). Managing the co-created brand: Value and cultural complementarity in online and offline multi-stakeholder ecosystems, Journal of Business Research, 66, 1484-1493. http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1016/​j.jbusres.2012.02.045
  • Ritzén, S. and Sandström, G. Ö. (2017). Barriers to the Circular Economy – integration of perspectives and domains, Procedia CIRP 64, pp. 7-12. doi: 10.1016/​j.procir.2017.03.005
  • Guyader, H. and Piscielli, L. (2019). Business model diversification in the sharing economy: The case of GoMore, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 215, pp. 1059-1069. https:/​/​doi.org/​10.1016/​j.jclepro.2019.01.114
Last updated on 15-02-2023