Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology



BA in Economics and Business



Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology


Convenor Andrea Prencipe
Office hours after each class and/or by appointment


Tutor Dajana D’Andrea
Office hours after each class and/or by appointment


Aim of the course

The aim of this course is to provide students with theoretical and applied knowledge on the economics and organizational dimensions of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The key learning objectives are:

  • identifying sources, rate, and direction of technological change;
  • understanding the role and challenges of innovation across sectors, countries, and organizations;
  • exploring entrepreneurship as a manageable process.


Rules of the game

The course is organized in sessions. It mixes theory with practice, and students will be challenged to apply principles, concepts and frameworks to real world situations. Hence, each session contemplates two classes. During the first class, I provide an overview of the topic using traditional – though interactive – lectures. The second class is focused on the discussion of relevant studies or cases that highlight the topic. The discussion is going to be guided by the inputs provided by students through their active involvement, by which I mean that for each session (but the first one), students are expected to:

  1. Before each session, study the material – usually one paper and / or a case study – suggested in the reading list;
  2. During the session, actively discuss other students’ presentations and papers.

This teaching approach is due to two related factors: (a) it is hard to teach an applied subject since it requires a certain amount of contextualization to specific organizations, sectors, or countries; (b) I believe in the old saying “tell me and I will forget, show me and I will remember, involve me and I will understand” (Confucius).



The grade is based on a written exam (50%) and a group presentation (40%). Group presentations will be also assessed through a peer-evaluation system. Active involvement in each class – e.g. attendance, participation to discussion, and short presentations – will add up to 10% of the final grade.



Since the material in this course builds session by session, attendance at each session is important. Please notify me before class via email if you are unable to attend a session due to illness, family emergency, or an unavoidable conflict. No compensatory work will be given for an absence. Excused absences will not directly influence your grade. Unexcused absences will influence your grade. More than three unexcused absences will result in a failing grade for the course.

Those students who are unable to attend the entire course for substantial reasons should contact me before the start of the course.


Laptop and Mobile Phone Policy

All laptops and mobiles should be down unless instructed otherwise by the convenor.



  • Innovation sources and processes
  • Taxonomy of innovation
  • Sectoral patterns of innovation
  • Geography of innovation
  • Marketing innovation
  • Organizing innovation
  • Entrepreneur’s individual traits
  • Entrepreneurial opportunities
  • Entrepreneurship ecosystem





Session I Fundamentals of Economics of Innovation
September 17thSeptember 19th This session illustrates the aims of the course and the learning approach adopted throughout. It then (a) introduces the basic concepts of the course – i.e. types of innovation (b) starts exploring the economic interpretations of innovation; (c) analyses patterns of industrial innovation.
Required readings

  • Dosi, G. (1988) Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation, Journal of Economic Literature, 26, 3, 1120-71.
Session II Innovation and Industrial Evolution
September 24thSeptember 26th This session aims to investigate the relationships between innovation and industrial dynamics. It lays the foundations to understand the forces that drive industry evolution and industry life cycles. It then delves into the relationships between market structure and innovation.
Required readings

  • Malerba, F. and Orsenigo, L (1996) The Dynamics and Evolution of Industries, Industrial and Corporate Change, 5, 1, 51-87.


Seminar session: industrial dynamics


Session III Geography of Innovation: guest speaker: Francesca Masciarelli
October 1st October 3rd
  • This session focuses on the geographical dimensions of innovation. It analyzes the concepts of (a) knowledge spill-over, knowledge externalities, and geographical agglomeration of innovation activities; (b) the main actors and relationships of local and global innovation systems; (c) social capital and innovation processes.
Required readings

  • Audretsch, D. B. and Feldman, M. P. “R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production.” American Economic Review, 1996, 86(3), pp. 630-40.


Seminar session: discussion on geography of innovation


Session IV The Management of Innovation Processes
October 8th October 10th Interpretative models of innovation and their evolution.  The discussion session is centred on the open innovation paradigm as adopted across sectors.Seminar session: P&G case on Open Innovation
Required readings

  • Dodgson, M, Gann, D, Salter, A, (2008) Managing Technological Innovation, Oxford University Press, ch. 3
Session V Market & Innovation
October 15th October 17th This session analyzes the market/innovation interfaces. It deals with the types of market research that can be useful or misleading for different types of innovations. The class discussion focuses on two cases wherein the interface marketing/innovation was differently in totally different ways and led to different outcomes. It underlines the contingent nature of the innovation process in relation to the market dimension.Seminar session: Prestel & Minitel
Required reading

  • Learning from the market, ch. 7, Leonard-Burton, D. (1998), Wellsprings of Knowledge, Harvard Business School Press.
Session VI Market & Innovation: a rejoinder
October 22th October 24th The session deepens the market/innovation interface to highlight the limits of customer involvement.  It illustrates the concept of disruptive technology – where the pace of technological progress easily exceeds the rate of performance improvement that customers in a market demand.  The case discussion highlights the implications of such innovation on the firms’ strategy.Seminar session: Eli Lilly & Co
Required reading

  • Bower, J. and Christensen, C. (1995) ‘Disruptive Technology: Catching the Wave’, Harvard Business Review, 43-53
Session VII Organizing Innovation
October 29th October 31st This session deals with the management of new product development teams in terms of its composition and structure in order to identify the range of factors that impact the creative and innovative performance of teams.
Seminar session (October 29th): Fluentify – from idea to investment (Giacomo Moiso (CEO and co-funder of Fluentify)


Required reading

  • Managing New Product Development Teams, chapter 12 (abridged), Schilling M (2005) Strategic Management of Technological Innovation, McGraw-Hill.
Session VIII Defining Entrepreneurship
November 5thNovember 7th This session provides an understanding of entrepreneurial – sociological and psychological – characteristics to attempt to address the question ‘Who is the entrepreneur?’ The session focuses on successful entrepreneurs who have pursued new business opportunities in an innovative, path-breaking way to contribute to growth and employment generation.Seminar session: Luigi De Vito (SCM) on November 5th
Required reading

  • Shane, S & Venkataraman, V (2000). The Promise of Entrepreneurship as a Field of Research. The Academy of Management Review, 25


Session IX Entrepreneurial opportunity
November 12th November 14th This session focuses on the nature of entrepreneurial opportunity.This session focuses on the nature of entrepreneurial opportunity. To understand it, the session illustrates and delves into the ‘Effectuation Logic’ as put forward by Sara Sarasvathy and Stuart Read.


Seminar session: Better Place

Required readings

  • Sarasvathy, S.D. (2001). What makes entrepreneurs entrepreneurial? University of Whasington, mimeo.
  • Sarasvathy, S.D. (2001). “Causation and effectuation: Toward a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency”. Academy of Management Review, 26(2): 243-263.
Session X Entrepreneurship ecosystem
November 19th November 21st This session focuses on the role of institutional settings – in terms of actors and networks – to foster entrepreneurship. It attempts to address the following question ‘What is the role of situational factors networks for launching and running new businesses?
Required reading

  • TBC


Session XI Corporate entrepreneurship
November 26th November 28th This session illustrates the challenges of corporate entrepreneurship – also defined as intrapreneurship.Seminar session:
Required reading

  • TBC


Session XII Students presentations
December 3rd December 4th


Al fine di migliorare la tua esperienza di navigazione, questo sito utilizza i cookie di profilazione di terze parti. Chiudendo questo banner o accedendo ad un qualunque elemento sottostante acconsenti all’uso dei cookie.