Strategic Innovation (“Strategy 2.01”)

Winter Term ONLY: 040034 Master Level


Important: This course is not suitable for Exchange students, since it builds on knowledge gained through various prerequisite courses at our subject area.

Strategic innovation (or the strategy of “breaking the rules”) is the discovery of radical new business models in existing industries that grow the market by attracting new consumers. They are usually discovered and introduced into an industry by new entrants or entrepreneurs. They are not only different but often conflict with the business models of the established competitors—as a result, they are especially difficult to respond to. Through this course, we will try to understand how a company can discover a new business model and how it can successfully migrate from its current position to the new. We will also explore why established companies find it so difficult to strategically innovate, and what they can do to improve the odds of success. We will explore the circumstances under which it makes sense for established companies to strategically innovate and we will study how companies could respond to the introduction of one in their industries.

The Strategic Innovation elective addresses the following questions:

  • What is Strategic Innovation?
  • How to enhance corporate creativity
  • How to enhance an organization’s innovation potential
  • How to experiment with a new business model idea?
  • How to commercialize a new business model?
  • How to respond to competitors’ strategic innovation?
  • How to win employees’ emotional commitment to a new strategy

Class objectives:

  • What exactly is strategic innovation and why would I engage in it?
  • If I want to strategically innovate in my business, how can I do it?
  • I have come up with an idea – how do I know it works?
  • How do I know that my new business model not only works but will be profitable, too?
  • If somebody else discovers a new model in my industry, how should I respond to it?
  • How can I convince my organization (and win emotional commitment) for embarking on such a journey?


2016 curriculum: Successful completion of the Minor.

Format and teaching methods:

Lectures, cases, class discussions, in-class exercises

Language: The course is held in English


Class participation: 30%

Individual written exam (in-class, open book): 40%

Group project: 30%

You need to achieve a total of at least 50% in order to pass the class.

Please note further that missing more than 20% of classes will result in failing the whole course.

Envisaged streams:

1 class in Winter term 2018/19, 5 sessions (the 6th session showing on u:find is a fall-back session only)

Please note (and plan accordingly) that the deadline for handing in the group project will be approximately one week after the course sessions end.


As part of the course grade, your class participation will be assessed every session. Keep in mind that participation is more than just attendance. Points will be subtracted for systematic absences (NOTE that you will automatically fail the class if you miss more than 20% of classes), but in grading participation the quality of your comments will count.
Please note, for all students who want to attend the course it is absolutely essential that you attend the first session as failure to do so will result in your exclusion from the course. This is to ensure that students on the waiting list have the opportunity to move up!

Compulsory literature Winter 2019/20:

Please note: further information on compulsory literature will be announced as soon as possible! This literature will contain teaching cases for which licensing fees must be paid - details to follow.