MBA 2439 Digitalization in Practice: Digital Technology and Business Transformation

MBA 2439 Digitalization in Practice: Digital Technology and Business Transformation

Course code: 
MBA 2439
Department: 
Communication and Culture
Credits: 
4
Program of study: 
MBA BI-Fudan, Shanghai
Course coordinator: 
Sut I Wong
Product category: 
Executive
Portfolio: 
MBA China
Semester: 
2019 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

In 2018, eight of the top ten global brands were entirely or partially platform-oriented companies including Alibaba, Apple, Amazon, Google, etc according to the ranking provided by Brandz. Platform business models are fast becoming the gold child of the digital revolution that are profoundly transforming people, societies, and the business landscape. Given the growing presence of digital technologies, its rate of change, and its importance in business strategy, developing digital capabilities is essential for companies’ success. Successful companies like DiDi, Alibaba, Vipshop were born digital and are leading digital platform businesses in China, while others, like Suning, JD.com, adapted platform strategies and transformed their business model. In this course, students will learn about how digital platforms and how they transform business. Students will learn to analyze the opportunities and threats of digital platforms for their companies. Students will also learn about changes implied for organizations engaged the transformation process, to leading digital transformation, to designing and managing new ways of working for platform organizations.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

Students will learn about how digital platforms and their strategies transforming businesses. Specifically, students will gain a fundamental understanding of the platform economy and the digital workforce needed to succeed. Through case studies, students will learn about the common opportunities and obstacles in digital platform businesses and their transformation processes. Students will also learn about phases and activities of a digital transformation effort.

Learning outcomes - Skills

Students will be able to identify, diagnose, and address potential opportunities and obstacles in building or transforming digital business. They will be able to apply techniques and tools to develop concrete suggestions about digitally transforming their organizations. In addition, students will be able to build a common vision and plan for their transformation effort, as well as to facilitate organization agility in the process of transformation via agile project management methods and designing work in the platform economy.

General Competence

Students will develop the ability to understand and appreciate different types of platform management strategies, and will be able to decide what makes sense for their organization and platform. This will involve connecting digital platform strategy with the overall business strategy. Regardless of strategy, a platform manager must be able to integrate digital needs with organizational needs in managing for one overall vision.

Course content

Throughout the four consecutive days of class meetings, students will gain a fundamental understanding of digital transformation via platform strategies. On Day 1, students will learn about the current digital business landscape, what digital platform is about, the potential opportunities and threats a platform business model may come along. The students will analyze the feasibility to transform a case organization of their choice to a platform business model. On Day 2, students will base on the digital platform idea that they come up on Day 1 and design the platform vision and how the platform may look like using the Design Thinking method. On Day 3 and 4, students will learn about what capabilities (i.e., digital and leadership capabilities) it takes to transform an organization. Students will apply the digital platform idea and outline an agile organizational structure and an action plan for the transformation process.

Day 1:
The platform economy: Transiting to digital models
• Define platform businesses and their associated ecosystems
• Current common characteristics and success factors of digital platforms
• Emergence of platform management and its role in digitalization

Day 2:
Designing digital platforms: Design thinking methods
• Empathize: understanding processes to observe and engage with users to uncover their needs
• Define: reframing, mapping and designing user experiences
• Ideate: sketching out and prioritizing ideas
• Prototype: storyboards and fast fails
• Test: understand impediments and what works
• Building an app

Day 3:
The digital workforce: Designing work in the platform economy
• Understanding what capabilities it takes to transform an organization
• Building technology leadership capabilities and mobilize the organization
• Redesign jobs to align with change
• Trends of work and types of labor: traditional corporate, platform, aspirational
• Building agile project management teams

Day 4:
Defining a digital transformation roadmap
• Systemic changes needed to achieve digital maturity
• Connecting with other platforms
• Virtual teams as a means to recruit talents and enable organizational agility
As part of the course, students are required to build their own app based on the case organization they have chosen to analyze and to outline an action plan to transform.
 

Teaching and learning activities

This course will use software from www.appsbar.com.

The course is conducted through 4 days in a total of 32 hours of lectures and class room case discussions and group presentations. The group presentation is to analyze one real company for the idea and feasibility of transforming the current business to be a digital platform model. The students are asked to present the platform idea, the related opportunities and threats, and the transformation plan. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code.

Each exam component will be graded using points on a scale 0 -100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the course. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. Candidates may be called in for an oral hearing as a verification/control of written assignments)

Specific information regarding the points system and the mapping scale beyond the information given in the course description will be provided in class. This information may be relevant for requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several elements of the overall evaluation. The course is a part of a full MBA programme and examination in all courses must be passed in order to obtain a certificate.

Software tools
Software defined under the section "Teaching and learning activities".
Qualifications

Granted admission to the BI-Fudan MBA programme. Please consult our student regulations.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Activity
Form of assessment:
Class participation
Exam code:
MBA 24391
Grading scale:
China
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
20No -Individual Class participation, counts 20% of the final grade.
Exam category:
Activity
Form of assessment:
Presentation
Exam code:
MBA 24391
Grading scale:
China
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
30No -Group (2 - 8)Group presentation (oral presentation of a platform idea), counts 30% of the final grade.
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
MBA 24391
Grading scale:
China
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
50No4 Week(s)Group (3 - 8)Group assignment, counts 50% of the final grade. The group assignment constist of a written case study, analyzing a current company of their own choice for the possibilities in transforming the current business model to be a digital platform model.
Exams:
Exam category:Activity
Form of assessment:Class participation
Weight:20
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Individual
Duration: -
Comment:Class participation, counts 20% of the final grade.
Exam code:MBA 24391
Grading scale:China
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Activity
Form of assessment:Presentation
Weight:30
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (2-8)
Duration: -
Comment:Group presentation (oral presentation of a platform idea), counts 30% of the final grade.
Exam code:MBA 24391
Grading scale:China
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:50
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (3-8)
Duration:4 Week(s)
Comment:Group assignment, counts 50% of the final grade. The group assignment constist of a written case study, analyzing a current company of their own choice for the possibilities in transforming the current business model to be a digital platform model.
Exam code:MBA 24391
Grading scale:China
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Total weight: 
100
Workload activityDurationType of durationComment student effort
Teaching32Hour(s)Lectures, class room case studies, building an app, presentation, group discussion.
Self study38Hour(s)Reading and case preparation.
Submission(s)50Hour(s)Project work
Expected student effort:
Workload activity:Teaching
Duration:32 Hour(s)
Comment:Lectures, class room case studies, building an app, presentation, group discussion.
Workload activity:Self study
Duration:38 Hour(s)
Comment:Reading and case preparation.
Workload activity:Submission(s)
Duration:50 Hour(s)
Comment:Project work
Sum workload: 
120

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 4 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 110 hours.