NIFK14032U Business Development and Innovation

Volume 2014/2015
MSc Programme in Agricultural Economics
MSc Programme in Forest and Nature Management

The course has a managerial perspective and integrates an overview of general strategic management, organisational theory, innovation project management and business model development. Participants will acquire skills for understanding and analysing the business strategy, innovation strategy and organisational setting. Participants will acquire skills necessary to design and manage an innovation process aimed at commercializing an invention through innovation and diffusion. The development of a business model is the main element of the commercialization process and students will acquire skills to analyze business model elements, including: a) the competitive position of the company; b) connected activities; c) competitive and macro-environment forces; d) critical industry values drivers; e) capabilities and resources in the organisation; f) market changes and sustainability issues; and g) production costs. Finally, participants will be capable of identifying central aspects of project implementation, including designing and organising activities, leadership and management of people, and information and knowledge sharing.

Learning Outcome


The purpose of the course is to provide participants an understanding of business development processes. Being able to identify new business opportunities, manage, contribute to and support innovation processes, and continuously develop new and adjust existing business models is a key competence for managers as well as for many professionals in today’s complex business environment. The course introduces the strategic management process and its relation to innovation processes in the organisation. The course focuses on business development in agribusiness and other natural resource-based enterprises and organisations. The course aims to provide the students with the competencies needed to lead and manage an innovation project in private firms, public organisations and NGOs. This includes designing the innovation process and leading multidisciplinary team work necessary for developing a business model.

On completion of the course the student will be able to:

• Identify and describe the phases and intermediate outputs in a business strategy development processes
• Identify and describe the main elements and concepts in project management of innovation projects
• Identify and describe the main elements of a business model and the corresponding business plan
• Identify and reflect on the relationship between business strategy, innovation management and the business model
• Identify and reflect on the social dynamics of innovation practices in multidisciplinary teams

• Apply and integrate methods and techniques from strategic management, entrepreneurship, innovation and organisational behaviour theory to describe, analyse and explain an innovation process and a business model
• Design, plan and communicate an innovation project in a private firm, a public organisation or an NGO
• Design, plan and implement relevant analyses for developing a business model for a new product or service based on an overall business strategy and a specific organisational context

• Apply the theoretical foundation of the course to design a company type specific innovation process in a private firm, a public organisation or an NGO
• Develop a business plan in collaboration with external partners, subject experts, for example in R&D, finance, production and sales departments
• Discuss the leadership and management dimension of innovation project implementation
• Reflect critically on ethical issues in relation to innovation and business development


The course is designed to give students from a broad range of educations an introduction to business development and no prior economic or managerial knowledge is required.
The course aims at presenting participants to an overview of strategic management and business model issues and provides opportunities for reflecting on how project management theory can be applied in innovation processes. The course will be based on a mix of class lectures, guest lectures, workshops, and case study and article discussions. During the course, the students will, in groups of 4-5, develop a case analysis of a company’s innovation process and business model. The course is designed to give students from a broad range of educations a basic introduction to business development and no prior economic or managerial knowledge is required.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • E-Learning
  • 10
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • Practical exercises
  • 40
  • Preparation
  • 20
  • Project work
  • 65
  • Theory exercises
  • 40
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 20 min
Oral examination will partly be based on the individual case study report. Students will be asked to reflect on and discuss the case study, integrating the general theories presented during the course.
50% oral examination in curriculum based on case study report; 50% case study report.
Exam registration requirements
The individual case study report has to be graded as 'passed' or higher.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assesment

Fullfilment of Learning Outcome is required to obtain the grade 12