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2023/2024  KAN-CINTO4001U  Innovation in a Digital World

English Title
Innovation in a Digital World

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory (also offered as elective)
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Ben Eaton - Department of Digitalisation (DIGI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Innovation
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 31-01-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: After completing the course students should demonstrate:
  • Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts and frameworks concerning digital innovation and innovation strategy
  • Knowledge and understanding concerning the relationship between innovation and information systems, at organizational and societal levels
  • Ability to identify key challenges of digital innovation in a global economy
  • Ability to analyze and critique cases concerning digital innovation in business and public sector, using appropriate course frameworks
  • Ability to discuss theoretical issues of digital innovation
  • Critical evaluation of state-of-the-art theory concerning digital innovation and innovation strategy
Course prerequisites
Basic understanding about business and strategy
Basic understanding about digital technology
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 1
Compulsory home assignments
Students must complete a group project over the course of the module. They will work in teams of maximum 6 individuals. Groups will develop a case study describing and explaining the digital innovation strategy of a Danish or an international organization using concepts from the course. Oral feedback, with the intention of helping students develop their case studies, will be given to groups on a continuous basis in group discussions as they work on their projects in workshops throughout the module.

The compulsory assignment concerns a group presentation (max 10 PowerPoint slides). Each group must develop this presentation at the end of the course and it will summarize their case study. They will upload and submit this presentation as well as presenting their case in class. The presentation will be given by the whole group, and will provide material for their individual exam assignment. This activity is compulsory and must be approved in order for individuals to participate in the exam. Written feedback on each group presentation will then be provided one week after the presentation is given.

If a student cannot participate due to documented illness, or if a student does not get the activity approved in spite of making a real attempt, then the student will be given one extra attempt before the ordinary exam. The extra attempt will require handing in a written report of 10 pages on a topic assigned by the course instructor.
Innovation in a Digital World:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Case based assignment
Release of assignment Subject chosen by students themselves, see guidelines if any
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
The re-take exam will be similar to the ordinary exam: Individual home based assignment, open book, based on writing up the students interpretation of their group's case study of a Danish or International organisation's strategic approach to digital innovation.
Description of the exam procedure

Individual home based assignment based on writing up the students interpretation of their group's case study of a Danish or International organisation's strategic approach to digital innovation.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Digitalization is disrupting whole industries, changing the nature of our work and the way we live our lives. At the heart of this is digitality, or the characteristics of digital technology, which profoundly change our capacity for innovation. The ambition of this course is to help us understand why this is the case, the changing role of traditional innovation theory in the context of digitality and the importance of new digitally focussed theory in explaining innovation. The course broadly divides into three areas which considers 1) digital innovation at the level of an industry; 2) the formulation of digital innovation strategy at the level of the company; 3) the implementation of digital strategy at the level of the company. The course aims to help students advance their careers by enabling them understand, critique and positively influence organisational digital innovation strategy.


The course will consist of twelve 4-hour sessions employing a blended approach to learning. Some aspects will be online and other aspects will be carried out physically in class. Learning will conisist of lectures, exercises and workshops. The first 10 sessions will be split into two equal parts. The first part consists of a two hour pre-recorded online lecture. The second part consists of an in person two hour workshop for teams to develop case studies as group projects, when all parties will be physically present. The final 2 sessions will be used for teams to present their group projects in person physically as a class.


In the 10 lectures, a combination of pre-recorded online lecture-mode instruction and case exercises will be used to enable students to identify and describe characteristics, concepts, theoretical frameworks, and principles of digital innovation and innovation strategy.


In the 10 in person physical workshops, students will work in teams developing case studies of digital innovation in Danish and international organisations. The group project enables students to develop knowledge and skills in describing opportunities, challenges and consequences for digital innovation in organisations.

Description of the teaching methods
The first 10 sessions will be split into two equal parts. The first part will consist of a two hour online pre-recorded lecture. The second part will consist of a two hour workshop for teams to develop case studies as group projects, where individuals will be present physically in person. The final 2 sessions will be used for teams to present their group projects in person in class.

Students are expected to take active part in the development of workshops, in order to capture the most current trends and developments in the area. Developing, in groups, suitable exercises and content for one workshop is mandatory for course completion.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will be working with their case studies throughout the course and will get continuous feedback on their work during the workshop sessions. Feedback on case studies, with the intention of helping students improve their projects, will be given collectively and to groups during these sessions. A key point for the feedback is the possibility to write a broad proposal outlining the case study the group wish to develop. This would encompass a plan outlining the company they intend to study, the RQ, their plan for data collection and an outline idea of what parts of the course they intend to use to address the project.

Specific questions will be addressed during time set aside during class, and at the office hours.
Student workload
Preparation for class 86 hours
Lectures 28 hours
Exercises 20 hours
Exam and preparation 72 hours
Total hours 206 hours
Expected literature

The literature can be changed before the semester starts. Students are advised to find the final literature on Canvas before they buy the books.

  • Baldwin, C.Y. and Clark, K.B. 2000. Design rules: The power of modularity (Vol. 1). MIT press.
  • Baldwin, C.Y. and Clark, K.B., 1997. Managing in an age of modularity. Harvard business review, 75(5), pp.84-93
  • Cusumano, M.A., Yoffie, D.B. and Gawer, A., 2019. The Business of Platforms: Strategy in the Age of Digital Competition, Innovation, and Power. HarperCollins Publishers.
  • Drnevich , P.L. and Croson, D.C. 2013. Information Technology and Business-Level Strategy:  Towards an Integrated Theoretical Perspective. MIS Quarterly, 37(2)
  • Eaton, B., 2016. The Dynamics of Digital Platform Innovation: Apple's Strategy to Control Modular and Architectural Innovation in iOS. 49th Hawaii International Conference on (pp. 1287-1296). IEEE.
  • Eaton, B.D., Elaluf-Calderwood, S.M. and Sørensen, C., 2010. A methodology for analysing business model dynamics for mobile services using control points and triggers. 14th International Conference on Intelligence in Next Generation Networks (pp. 1-8). IEEE.
  • Hanseth, O. and Lyytinen, K., 2010. Design theory for dynamic complexity in information infrastructures: the case of building internet. Journal of information technology, 25(1), pp.1-19.
  • Henfridsson, O. and Bygstad, B., 2013. The generative mechanisms of digital infrastructure evolution. MIS quarterly, pp.907-931.
  • Henfridsson, O., Nandhakumar, J., Scarbrough, H. and Panourgias, N., 2018. Recombination in the open-ended value landscape of digital innovation. Information and Organization, 28(2), pp.89-100.
  • Schiling, M.A., 2018. Strategic management of technological innovation. McGraw-Hill Education; 6th edition
  • Tidd, J. and Bessant, J.R., 2005. Managing innovation: integrating technological, market and organizational change. John Wiley & Sons; 3rd edition
  • Tilson, D., Lyytinen, K. and Sørensen, C., 2010. Research commentary—Digital infrastructures: The missing IS research agenda. Information systems research, 21(4), pp.748-759.
  • Ulrich, K., 1995. The role of product architecture in the manufacturing firm. Research policy, 24(3), pp.419-440.
  • Yoo, Y., Henfridsson, O. and Lyytinen, K., 2010. Research commentary—the new organizing logic of digital innovation: an agenda for information systems research. Information systems research, 21(4), pp.724-735.
  • Yoo, Youngjin & Lyytinen, Kalle & Boland, Richard. (2010). The Next Wave of Digital Innovation: Opportunities and Challenges: A Report on the Research Workshop 'Digital Challenges in Innovation Research'. SSRN Electronic Journal. 10.2139/ssrn.1622170.
  • Zittrain, J.L., 2006. The generative internet. Harvard Law Review, pp.1974-2040.


Last updated on 31-01-2023