NIFK14032U Business Development and Innovation

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Agricultural Economics
MSc Programme in Biology
MSc Programme in Forest and Nature Management
MSc Programme in Molecular Biomedicine


Are you ready for a very different learning experience? – Join our course and become part of the management team in a corporate firm, lay out a competitive business strategy, and manage the firm for 10 year - find out if you are a successfully manager and whether you can beat the competitors.

In this course we use an on-line simulation game to learn the fundamentals of business management, development and innovation. You will get a good business understanding, including insight into strategy making, organization, business models, innovation management, marketing, and leadership among other topics.

The course is an introduction course, primarily designed for students from any type of study programmes and without prior business education. The course will bring you through the classic theories in business strategy and let you try them out in a realistic simulation game where you need to understand the complex relationships between your business environment, innovation management, production of goods, marketing and sales, and finance. In this way, you will understand how a private manufacturing-based company operates. The course introduces the strategic management process and its relation to innovation processes in the organization. You will learn about product and process innovation and how to manage an innovation process successfully. We will address corporate entrepreneurship and you will learn which aspects to consider when developing a new idea within an existing company. If you are ready for a dynamic combination of theory and practice – then this course is something for you. 

Learning Outcome

The purpose of this course is to give participants an understanding of business operations, management and development processes. On completion of the course the participants will be able to: 


  • Identify and describe the most important components in a business organization
  • Understand and explain how a company’s different components (internal value chain) such as innovation and development (R&D), production, marketing, sales, financial management interact with each other and the firm's external environment
  • Describe the elements, phases and intermediate outputs in a business strategy process 
  • Describe the elements and management of innovation projects 
  • Identify and describe the main elements of a business model and the corresponding business plan 



  • Apply mainstream management theories, methods and techniques to develop a business strategy in collaboration with a business management team 
  • Implement a business strategy through decision about product development, production, marketing, sales, financing, etc.   
  • Design, plan and implement relevant analyses for developing a business model for a new product, services or marketing based on an overall business strategy and a specific organizational context 
  • Communicate orally and in writing strategic plans and assessments 
  • Oral present and explain a real-life business case/story using the theories presented in the course



  • Identify, describe and reflect on the processes of change and development in an organization
  • Identify and reflect on the relationship between business strategy, innovation management and business models 
  • Develop and implement a strategic plan, evaluate process and progress, and communicate effectively plans and progress to the company's shareholders 
  • Discuss the management and leadership dimensions in strategic management and innovation processes
  • Reflect critically on ethical issues in relation to business management and leadership 

StratSimSimulation - The Strategic Management Simulation (access to the on-line platform will be provided by the coures responsible during the first week of the course)

StratSim simulation manual 

Johnson et al. Exploring Strategy: Text and Cases (latest ed.). Pearson, London. 

Scientific articles to be announced 

The course is designed to give students from a broad range of study programmes an introduction to business strategy and development and no prior economic or managerial knowledge is required.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
The course is based on a ‘flipped classroom’ approach combined with an on-line simulation game. A typical week consist of a) participants' own preparation before class (reading, videos, etc.), b) group work, discussions and lectures in class, c) team work around the strategic management simulation game (StratSimManagement), d) student presentations of self-chosen contemporary management topics, e) guest lectures by practitioners from private and public organizations.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 25
  • Preparation
  • 35
  • Theory exercises
  • 20
  • Practical exercises
  • 75
  • E-Learning
  • 10
  • Project work
  • 40
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 20 min
Type of assessment details
The exam consists of two elements (percentage of total grade in brackets): 1) a written assignment consisting of a) a Strategy Evaluation Report (40%) and b) an Individual Reflection Paper (10%), and 2) an oral examination (50%). The oral examination is based on the general curriculum covered in the course.

Students will get one grade based on the average of the two elements provided that both the written and the oral part of the exam is passed individually. If one of them is failed, the entire exam is failed.
Exam registration requirements

It is mandatory to participate actively in team-based simulation gaming weeks (within the course's usual teaching schedule) during the course.


Two team assignments (Corporate Strategy and Management Audit) must be handed in and approved prior to the oral examination.


An individual presentation must be made and approved prior to the oral examination.


No aids for the oral exam.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

The same as ordinary

The Strategy Evaluation Report and Individual Reflection Paper must be handed in two weeks prior to the reexam.

If the student has not handed in the two written group assignments during the course (Corporate Strategy and Management Audit) or if the student has not participated actively in the team-based simulation games, then the student needs to make these two assignments individually, and hand them in three weeks prior to the re-exam. They must be approved before the exam. 

If the student has not made an individual presentation, the student should contact the course responsible three weeks prior to the reexam in order to arrange a presentation.

Passed part-exams (oral or written) do not have to be repeated. They will be included in the assessment of the re-exam with the result obtained when they were taken the first time.

Criteria for exam assesment

Fullfilment of Learning Outcome is required to obtain the grade 12.