Project Module: Innovation Management (8015367)

Content

Digital innovations, e.g. in the context of Industry 4.0, offer companies many opportunities today, as processes can be implemented more efficiently, conserve resources and thus be more cost-effective, or new products can be offered. Through improved communication and automation between value creation steps, there are opportunities to increase product quality, reduce production time and prevent downtime. In addition, there are also opportunities for established companies to make profound changes such as adapting existing business models or building new ones.
At the same time, companies face many challenges: New companies with an innovative business model or previous competitors with an adapted business model threaten to displace established companies. The successful implementation of business model innovations in the environment of digitization thus has disruptive potential that can lead to major competitive advantages.
Likewise, in our time, sustainability plays an increasingly important role for individuals, but also for companies, be it to meet certain legal requirements, to also save costs through ecologically sustainable resource consumption, or to establish a certain brand or corporate image. Digitalization also has an impact on different aspects of sustainability, for example through digital production systems, additive manufacturing processes, individual smart products, etc.

Objectives

The seminar will examine the extent to which companies take sustainability aspects into account in their digitization activities or whether these are perhaps even a trigger for digital innovations in companies. It will also examine the extent to which companies are prepared to adapt their business model or are already doing so in order to achieve sustainability goals.
However, many companies lack the core competencies to steer digitization or business model innovation efforts in the right direction. They therefore have to cooperate with other, in part previously unknown partners, whereby various potential conflicts also exist in the cooperation.
In this project module, students will use expert interviews to analyze how companies take sustainability and business models designed with this in mind into account in the context of digital innovations (e.g. in digitization and Industrie 4.0 projects). A special focus will be placed on data-driven technologies and business models that have a positive impact on sustainability.

Prerequisites

Language of instruction: English (lectures and texts, homework as well as presentations in English).
Prior knowledge: For successful participation in the project module, an interest in technology and innovation management, sustainability, Industry 4.0 as well as current issues of digitalization, a basic understanding of qualitative research as well as the willingness to familiarize oneself with various complex and current topics are particularly important. Special thematic prior knowledge is not required.

Literature

Lecturer

Univ.-Prof. Dr.rer.pol. Frank Thomas Piller