Innovation Management Master
The Innovation Management two-year master program teaches quantitative and qualitative theories, tools, and techniques to make businesses and entrepreneurs more innovative as well as more successful in their innovation activities. ITEM has a large stake in this program.
Innovation is essential for the competitive position of companies. Through the development of desirable new products and services, innovation helps to win new customers and strengthens the loyalty of existing ones. Through the courage and perseverance of entrepreneurs, start-ups help address customer needs in entirely new ways. However, many new products and businesses fail or do not deliver the expected results because the competitive environment is dynamic and unstructured, which magnifies wrong managerial choices.
Developing successful innovations involves many challenges, and hence, the innovation management discipline is multi-faceted. For example, many companies struggle to select high-opportunity projects at an early stage and prevent heavy investments in poor innovations. Others face the dilemma that exploiting current technology may prevent them from simultaneously developing new technology, whereas focusing on exploring new technologies may cause firms to falter in exploiting current capabilities. Another example is the "open innovation" approach, where firms collaborate extensively in their innovation process with many partners. It helps them to control costs and provides them access to important complementary knowledge. However, this "open innovation" approach is complex. It has created many new challenges such as finding suitable partners, developing relational capabilities, and protecting and dividing property rights. Launching the new product to the right target group also remains a challenge, while managing the information feedback loop from the service frontline back into the organization to enable continuous learning and improvement is complex, too.
The Innovation Management Master's program thus combines an exciting variety of disciplines, which are spread over core courses and electives. ITEM provides the following core courses:
- Management of Product Development: the very core of things, building an in-depth understanding of the key frameworks, concepts, models, and paradigms that collectively form the foundation for research on management of product development.
- Marketing & Innovation: complements the New Product Development course (that focuses on the organization's internal side of innovation) by focusing on customers' role in the process. Specific topics include lead user identification, market adoption of innovations, and product launch strategies.
- Multivariate Statistics: extends and deepens prior knowledge of methodology, both for explanatory and applied business research. Univariate/bivariate analysis techniques are extended to multivariate techniques, which are related to relevant research designs and data collection methods.
- Design Science Methodology: offers insight in design processes in the field of management and offers concepts and methods to organize and reflect on design-science research and science-based design processes.
- ITEM also offers the Design Project a course that provides students a unique integrative perspective on all topics, techniques, and theories learned. In interactive workshops, this course trains students to (re)design innovation business processes by creatively using knowledge from different domains.
To aid students in creating a specialization on top of these core courses, electives are structured along two tracks:
- The first track, Business and Product Creation, emphasizes the front-end of the innovation process, where individuals think about setting up their own business, and where established companies start the development of new and innovative products. The track teaches students the essence of creative idea generation, opportunity identification, entrepreneurial actions, and initiating breakthrough projects. Special attention is given to radically new products, exploring new contexts, and being successful in new and emerging markets. The track Business and Process Creation involves product and service innovations and offers structured models and validated techniques to aid decision-making. ITEM courses in this track include, among others, Technology Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Finance, and Open Innovation
- The second track, Managing Innovation Processes, focusses on the planning and optimization of the innovation process, business strategy, continuous improvement, analyzing the market, managing supporting processes such as IT and human capital, securing efficiency and milestones. It focuses on larger innovation projects (in terms of budget) and emphasizes the decisions that managers have to make to move new products through the development stages and finally launch it on the market. Good decisions require a combination of hard data and clever interpretation, which is why courses in this track teach in-depth knowledge on marketing research, process management, product lifecycle management, big data intelligence, sales management, after-sales service management, and product and process quality and reliability. ITEM courses in this track include, among others, Strategy and Technology Management, Service Engineering and Marketing, Selling New Products, and System Dynamics.
For more information about the Innovation Management Master click here for the promotion film