Open Innovation


Open innovation course prepares students for innovation management in the world where innovation is democratized: developed by producers, and increasingly more by single-user individuals or firms, and in communities and innovation ecosystems. It equips students with an understanding of open and user innovation, and how new and emerging models of innovation impact the value creation and value appropriation in the face of technological changes. We will explore how organizations interact with the internal and external sources of knowledge, and the challenges in structuring internal processes to systematically benefit from these interactions. The course will facilitate the generation of insights on different approaches to organizing and facilitating open and user innovation, using real-world examples and experiences. The aim is for the students to have tools to identify which open innovation approaches are likely to succeed in markets, and how to best profit from the open innovation in entrepreneurial and established firms.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Leid Zejnilovic


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


Recommended books for this course:

1. von Hippel, Eric. Free Innovation. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2016. [Free Online from November 2016]

2. von Hippel, Eric. Democratizing Innovation. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2016. [Free Online from November 2016]

3. Chesbrough, H., Vanhaverbeke, W., West, J. New Frontiers in Open Innovation. Oxford University Press, 2015

Teaching method

The course follows a seminar format, with sessions being highly interactive, centering around discussions of the assigned cases and readings. The students will need to prepare the sessions by analyzing the case and the assigned readings, and when required do a homework. We will also host up to three guest lectures, to reinforce the learning from practical experiences – the guests will be announced during the course.

Evaluation method

1.    Class participation (15%)
Active contribution is encouraged and expected, and it directly influences the learning outcomes. It is essential that all students study the assigned material, complete any other assignment before class, and participate in discussions during class offering original and thoughtful analysis supported by evidence and logic. Students may proactively participate in the discussion, or the lecturer may call upon any student to provide their interpretation.
2.    Case analyses and a project (35%)
Students are required to write analyses of two cases of their choosing. Your case analyses should each be 4-5 pages long, plus appendices, and are due at the beginning of class on the day the chosen case is to be discussed. These cases should be written in groups; group sizes will be determined in the first class of the course.
The students may also choose to work on an open innovation project in companies. This activity would substitute the second and third case study. You will need to provide the project proposal and the plan of the execution in the first week of the course.
3. Exam (50%)
There will be a final examination (open book, open notes) covering the entire course. The grade in the exam must be higher or equal to 7,5/20 to pass the course.

The final grade is calculated according the following formula:
Final grade = 50% Final Exam + 35% Case studies (project) + 15% Class Participation

Subject matter

This course is organized in two components.

  • Component 1: Open innovation Methods.

    In this first three weeks, we will review the state of the art in open and user innovation, theoretical concepts (week 1) and the methods for finding innovations and organizing for open innovation.

    Among other topics, we will consider the lead-user method, Innovation toolkits, Crowdsourcing, and User Communities.

  • Component 2: Open Innovation Applications and Challenges.

    In the last three weeks, we will focus on the applications of open and user innovation, examples, and the associated challenges. We will review different domains of practice of open innovation, the user communities, the interactions between firms and users, and the interactions among organizations. We will also review the challenges related to the intellectual property in open innovation, and the tensions between commercial and community interests.