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Managing International Innovation (19CBA40051)

General information






S semester

ECTS Credits:


Teaching Staff:

Group Teacher Department Language
Elena Bou Alameda Operaciones, Innovación y Data Sciences ENG


We are constantly being told that the 21st century is the age of "global innovation" but, what does it mean? Leading away from the academic discourse, GE's global development of wind turbines is a good example: the design and integration was done in New York, the microprocessor to control the pitch of the blades was designed in Shanghai, Bangalore was responsible for mathematical models to maximize materials efficiency, while a team in Munich designed a system to deliver optimal blade pitch to produce maximum electricity.

The increasing diversity and dispersion of knowledge, the growth of new markets, and the emergence of new competitors require a different way how firms innovate. They need to transform themselves into global innovators.

This course provides a holistic framework to approach the global innovation challenge, going from the most strategic aspects involved in the design of a global innovative perspective to the most managerial ones implicit in managing global innovation projects. Real-world examples and experiences of leading organizations will help us to pursue such objectives.

Course Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

1. To understand the challenge of global innovation
2. To know how to design a global innovative strategy and implement it through processes and new capabilities
3. To know how to build an innovation network and how to access new knowledge globally
4. To know strategies and tactics for managing global projects from inception to delivery, including through collaboration with external partners


1. Global Innovation: Introduction and challenges: "Yes, we can or Yes, we must??"

Key takeaways: a) Understanding the meaning of ¿Innovation¿; b) How to design Innovation Strategy? Identifying the key components of the strategic decision making; c) Recognizing the specific challenges when an organization opt for a global innovation strategy

2. Global Innovation for Multinational Corporations (MNC): "Concentration vs. dispersion, that is the dilemma..."

Key takeaways: a) Understanding the strategic global innovation challenges faced by MNCs; b) Identifying different strategic options to implement global innovation in this context; c) Identifying the existence and influence of innovation ecosystems national Innovation systems (NIS) in MNC innovation strategy and d) Knowing key aspects related to the multicultural challenge embedded in global innovation projects

3. Global Innovation Collaboration: ¿When innovation escapes from the corporate boundaries¿. ¿

Key takeaways: a) how to design an innovation network; b) how to design a global innovation portfolio integrating different strategies

4. Global Innovation Collaboration: ¿Out there, there are 1.5 million people in the world who know my business. I want all of them in my team¿

Key takeaways: a) Identifying key management stages and challenges when innovation is disperse; b) how to design a good innovation team across different countries or partners and c) how to design an Open Innovation Strategy

5. MNC, Start-ups and Corporate Venturing

Key takeaways: a) knowing the role of start-ups and how to structure a good collaboration between corporates and start-ups b) Designing a CV strategy and key elements

Relation between Activities and Contents

1 2 3 4 5
Class participation          
Group cases and activities          
Final written essay          


The course will be taught in 5 sessions. In each session, real-world examples and experiences of leading organizations will lead us to identify conceptual frameworks. This means an inductive methodology: from practice to theory. There will be different activities to foster the participation of the students. Some of these activities include: analysis of real case studies, discussions of selected readings, exercises, videos, guest speakers presentations and if possible, an insite visit to one company. The participants will be exposed to different innovation contexts: multinational companies, SMEs and start-ups.

Students will be expected to attend class, complete the required readings and prepare for and participate in the in-class exercises.



Description %
Class participation 10
Group cases and activities 40
Final written essay 50

Assessment criteria

- Final essay: 50%
- Individual class participation: 10%
- Group cases and activities: 40%


Readings and materials will be uploaded to the moodle of the course

Timetable and sections

Group Teacher Department
Elena Bou Alameda Operaciones, Innovación y Data Sciences