Introduction

This blog supports the course MSci 421 at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. The official description of the course is:

A critical examination of the conceptual foundation of the strategic management of technology and innovation in established firms. Foundations in strategic management, economics, and organization theory. Contents: technology strategy, technology evolution, standards, learning curve, technology races, first-mover advantages, technology sourcing.

As students complete the course they work on real world projects that apply information technology to business issues. In the 2012 edition of the course the students worked on the design of an information technology enabled condo for a condominium development company, the use of social media by an organisation that encourages innovation in Canadian business, use of social media in the relationship between students and landlords in Waterloo, the information technology strategy for a globally recognised film festival, the use of technology by one of Canada’s largest law firms and the application of social media to help deal with global pharmaceutical shortages.

Information technology is used in the course delivery. Videos were produced with project sponsors to brief the students about their projects and technology, partiularly Skype, is used in communication between the students and the sponsors. Project presentations are delivered online live to the sponsor and recordings provided to them for later viewing.

 This blog is one of a series that supports the author’s courses at the University of Waterloo. The rest are:
 
–Social Media For Business Performance: http://smbp.uwaterloo.ca/
–Impact of Information Systems on Society: http://impactofinformationsystemsonsociety.wordpress.com/
–Operations and Supply Chain Management: http://operationsandsupplychain.wordpress.com/
 
 Topics covered in the course include:
 
Putting technology into corporate planning
Technology strategy and innovation
People and technological change
Information technology and operations
Information technology and supply chain
Information technology and marketing
Information technology and new product development
The learning organisation
Integration
 
The assessment of the course involves the grading of the work that the students do on their projects (60 % of their grade), a mid term essay (20 % of the grade) and four team feedback assignments (5 percent each).
 
The group project is graded individually and the following items are taken into account. A group peer evaluation is undertaken after six weeks of the course and at the end of the course, the project presentations are rated by the whole class and project clients are asked for feedback on the students’ project performance.
 
The mid term assignment requires the students to write an essay on the issues in the involvement of people in technology related change and action that might be taken to improve it.
 
The team feedback assignment is based on presentations that the students make to the class on their projects as they proceed. In the assignment the students are asked to provide feedback to the presenting team on their project and advice on its conduct. Each team will recieve substantial feedback on their project.
 
Communications between the students and their project sponsor will be critical to the project success. Most teams meet weekly with their sponsor and a weekly written progress report is provided to the sponsor andf the course professor. At the end of the project the sponsor receives a wrtitten report and the online presentation, plus any other deliverables that have been agreed with the sponsor.
 
 
 
 
 
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