MAN 5024 Digitization, Innovation, and Business Models

MAN 5024 Digitization, Innovation, and Business Models

Course code: 
MAN 5024
Communication and Culture
Course coordinator: 
Peder Inge Furseth
Course name in Norwegian: 
Digitalisering, innovasjon og forretningsmodeller
Product category: 
Executive Master of Management
2023 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
Associate course
Course codes for multi- or associated courses
Course codeSemester
MAN 5025
2022 Autumn
MAN 5026
2023 Spring

To succeed with innovation businesses must implement a digital transformation, establish a culture for change, and develop new business models. These topics have increased in important just the last two-three years. This program gives you the tools needed and demonstrate how to use them. 

There are two mega-trends: Exponential technologies, and service innovation. With background in the understanding of these trends we focus on digital transformation, innovation culture, and new business models and platforms. 

Technologies develop in exponential speed, whether we talk about Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, or Elastic Cloud Computing. Futhermore, most profits in our economies are made from services, not tangible products. This leads to a transformation in Norwegian businesses and organizations. 

The new is what we will base future national income on. This requires understanding of current and future markets. The objective of the programme is that participants shall become better able to manage business development of new products, processes, concepts and services, and thereby creating extra value for their own performance unit and company. The programme provides a thorough and concrete review of theory and practice about the iinnovation process, and how to apply this for companies and institutions in new, demanding, and changing environments.

The programme focuses on understanding current, future, and non-existing markets, and solving the varied and complex managerial challenges in the work of developing and realising new business areas and business models. Such areas include the use of new technology, new marketing channels, new organisational forms and communication media, and, not least, the development of new products, processes and services.

Business development is also about restructuring an activity in such a way that the development work will yield a sufficient financial return.
Each participant must develop a project paper that applies insights from the programme to the development or business development of an innovation that is expected to give increased profitability for one’s own company, performance unit or for a customer/client.

The program normally arranges one of its modules in the San Francisco Bay Area including the University of California at Berkeley. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic the upcoming version of the program may not have such a module - please contact BI to get updated information about this. 

Target group
The program is primarily aimed at managers and middle managers who work with strategy, business development, marketing, organizational development or IT and who want to expand their knowledge and management competence in innovation. The program is also relevant for public sector employees who work with innovation, commercialization and value creation at national, regional, or local level or who are engaged in the development of public services to the public.

The key questions in the program

The program looks into a wide range of questions about digital transformation, innovation, and business models. However, the program addresses 10 questions and the key questions in the program. The reading material in the program is assembled for each of the 10 questions, to give a simple structure for the program. The 10 key questions, which may be slightly adjusted over time, are: 

1 How to move innovation and digital transformation higher on the agenda?

2 What types of innovation and business models may organizations use to create more value?

3 How do digitization and digital platforms create value?

4 How to create new value via new digital technologies such as artificial intelligence? And via blockchain, Internet of Things, and quantum computing?

5 How to apply models for service innovation, design thinking, and open innovation in the innovation process?

6 How may circular economy and sustainable business models increase the creation of value?

7 Which businesses and organizations become most successful, and why?

8 How can disruptive innovation create possibilities and problems for organizations?

9 How create a strong culture for change, innovation, and digital transformation?

10 How to lead responsible digital transformations?


Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • To have advanced knowledge about and insight into core concepts and perspectives within innovation management from idea generation to commercialization and value creation, as well as insights into responsible digital transformation. 
  • To have deep insight into the most central tools that are being used to implement innovation processes, in particular when it comes to new, sustainable business models.
  • To have knowledge and insight into how to carry out product- and serviceinnovation, as well as develop insights into what may promote and hinder such processes.
  • To have knowledge about some of the most innovative enterprises in Norway and beyond, in particular in Europe, the United States, and Asia.
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • To be able to analyze and develop a business potential for a new idea.
  • To be able to make a concrete strategy for both innovation and value creation, and to implement this strategy for any organization, new as well as established ones. It is also central to make a strategy for responsible digital transformation.
  • To develop and renew one's own understanding of innovative work.
  • To be able to develop and commercialize products, services, processes and business concepts.
  • To create a culture of innovation in a company or organization, whether in the private or public sectors.
  • To be able to complete one's own report underguidance, and in understanding of norms of ethical research. 
General Competence
  • The participants shall be able to see their own experiences in a professional light.
  • The participants shall develop a critical understanding of core models in the field of innovation. They shall be able to apply their insights in new areas and to implement advanced tasks and projects when it comes to new value creation. 
  • The participants shall be able to communicate and discuss insights about innovation in contact with businesses and organizations internationally, and in Silicon Valley in particular.
Course content

Course module 1: Introduction to the fields of digital transformation, innovation, and business models
Course module 2: Development of new products, processes and services.
Course module 3: Innovation and new business models.    Course module 4: Best practice and emerging trends in digital transformation, new business models, innovation culture and new trends in Silicon Valley
Course module 5: Implementation of an adjusted business model for one's own company or performance unit

Teaching and learning activities

The programme is conducted through five course modules over two semesters, a total of approx. 150 lecturing hours.

Project tutorials differ in each Executive Master of Management programme. It will consist of personal tutorials and tutorials given in class. Generally the students may expect consulting tutorials, not evaluating tutorials. The total hours of tutorials offered is estimated to 4 hours per term paper.

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in this program, it is the student's own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/ itslearning or other course materials.

The students are evaluated through a term paper, counting 60% of the total grade and a 72 hours individual take home exam counting 40%. The term paper may be written individually or in groups of maximum three persons. All evaluations must be passed to obtain a certificate for the programme. 

The term paper is included in the degree’s independent work of degree, cf national regulation on requirements for master’s degree, equivalent to 18 ECTS credits per. programme. For the Executive Master of Management degree, the independent work of degree represents the sum of term papers from three programmes.

In all BI Executive courses and programs, there is a mutual requirement  
for the student and the course responsible regarding the involvement of the student's experience in the planning and implementation of courses, modules and programmes. This means that the student has the right and duty to get involved with their own knowledge and practice relevance, through the active sharing of their relevant experience and knowledge.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

The programme structure and framework  

The programme is structured as a process-oriented course that comprises about 150 lecture hours distributed over six course modules of 25-30 hours each, all in one academic year. There will also be 2-hour classes a number of weeks between the modules. The modules are organised in the following three sub-programmes: 

1) Theory and preparation for overseas studies (modules 1, 2 and 3) 

2) Studies overseas (San Francisco, University of California at Berkeley & Silicon Valley) (module 4) 

3) Follow-up work and project reporting (module 5) 

Throughout the course, the participants will be working on a business development project which will be submitted in the form of a project paper. Some of this work will take place in groups. 

Part 1: Preparation and theory 

Preparation for the overseas studies (in California) consists of three ordinary course modules of 25 hours’ teaching each. About 80 per cent of the literature will be covered in lectures during modules 1-3. There will be a subject-matter progression through the first three modules. Module 1 will be an introduction to the disciplines of entrepreneurship and innovation theory. Module 2, which focuses on the development of new products, processes and services, represents the core topics of the course. The third module, which has business development as its main topic, also emphasises more elaborative literature that helps problematise key approaches, concepts and issues.  

During this period the participants must have carried out an active sifting of the literature and have applied parts of it to their work on the project paper, and they must prepare for their studies in California by selecting relevant companies to be visited, so that the necessary appointments can be made. They must also clarify their expectations and ambitions for their overseas studies by preparing questions and investigations based on whatever might be most relevant for their own project work as well as for their understanding of the wider contexts in which the work of innovation, business development and value creation takes place in California. 

The participants must develop their project paper through presentations and discussion in smaller groups during the course modules, and through improvements made as they encounter new relevant literature during the programme.  

The participants must undertake a simple self-evaluation which focuses on charting their leadership qualities and skills. Tasks, responsibilities and challenges will be determined on the basis of this throughout the course, which involves carrying out and being trained in management-related activities.  

Part 2: Studies in the San Francisco Bay Area: 

The programme has a key focus on studies/investigations taking place in a location where there is much to learn and where BI has established an extensive professional and practical collaboration on implementing the course with local partners. In module 4 the participants will come into close contact with one of the world’s most innovative environments, study this at close quarters and apply insights derived from it in their project paper. These two modules will take place in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Berkeley in northern California, and will take place in the course of one week.  

Our Academic Directors at the Department of Innovation and Economic Organisation and Department of Communication and Culture has built up a company network and contact network with partners in this region, e.g. with researchers at Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.  

The study/investigation period in California will comprise about a total of 35 hours and will be take place over one week. The course module will consist of 2/3 lectures (by American guest speakers) and 1/3 company visits, field studies and group work with a focus on developing the participants’ project papers and provide insights into innovation and business development. Some of the company visits will be for all the participants, while others may be for smaller groups with a more specialised interest.  

Part 3: Follow-up and project reporting 

Follow-up after the study period in San Francisco consists of one course module (module 5) which focuses on a summing up, presentations and discussions of the knowledge which the participants have acquired during the programme. The literature, the study tour, experiences and the continuing work on the project paper will provide a new insight and understanding of what difficulties and challenges are entailed in the work of innovation, business development and value creation in a company. This programme will point to solutions to such challenges.  

Part of the follow-up work will be to complete the project paper.  

Educational approach 

From a teaching point of view, the goal of the programme is to stimulate to process learning. Process learning has been defined as a definite goal partly because the programme participants are adults and competent people whose knowledge should be utilised during the learning process, and partly because the (Norwegian government’s) quality reform as well as education research underlines that process learning promotes a deeper and thus more useful and lasting type of knowledge. The focus of the programme will therefore shift from teaching to learning.  

Although theory is central to the first three modules of the programme, the participants will be expected to participate actively right from the start, sharing their experiences and reflections related to the project work. The participants must choose whether to work on a specific project from their own work situation or on a project unrelated to their own daily work. If they choose the latter, the course director will be able to suggest topics for them to work on. The topic chosen is likely to direct the attention of each participant. In order to stimulate to as much reflection as possible, the academic director therefore needs to make sure that the topics are formulated with a relatively wide scope. During the last two modules, the participants will be given plenty of time to apply and investigate the theoretical basis that was presented and discussed in the first modules of the programme.  

The programme is structured in such a way that goals, the practical framework, contents, students, course structure and evaluation are related to each other. The teaching goals for the programme, to promote learning as a process, has for instance resulted in teaching methods that allow for student activity. Specifically, each participant must for example write a brief reflection memo on what is most important from the module with regard to their own company. 

Participants will work in groups to discuss the relevance of the module content for their own project paper. 

Management development 

Management development will be at the core of modules 1 and 5, but the topic will be inherent in the other modules as well.  

Products from the programme 

The programme participants will complete a project paper which is relevant for the development of new business areas or business models in their own company, performance unit or department. As an alternative the challenge can be related to other activities where the person is involved in the capacity of consultant, supplier, customer, etc.  

Academic resources 

The academic resources come primarily from the Department of Communication and Culture at BI Norwegian Business School: Professor Peder Inge Furseth and Professor Heidi Wiig.


Bachelor degree, corresponding to 180 credits from an accredited university, university college or similar educational institution. The applicant must be at least 25 years of age and at least four years of work experience. For applicants who have already completed a master’s degree, three years of work experience are required.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this. 

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
2 Semester(s)
Term paper, counting 60% of the total grade.
Exam code: 
MAN 50241
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
72 Hour(s)
Individual 72 hours take home exam, counting 40% of the total grade.
Exam code: 
MAN 50242
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
All exams must be passed to get a grade in this course.
Total weight: 
Student workload
150 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
150 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
500 Hour(s)
Self study, term paper and exam
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 30 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 800 hours.