Innovation and the knowledge economy

Available to study from January 2023.

The module explores the roles that innovation and technology play in the economy and the challenges that the contemporary “knowledge economy” poses for businesses, governments and organisations.  

The module provides the essential ingredients that managers, business analysts, entrepreneurs and policymakers need in order to understand: how innovation and knowledge support contemporary economic performance; the implications of innovation for growth, productivity, jobs, and industry evolution; the changing nature and dynamics of innovation and of technology-based competition; and how companies can innovate and compete in the knowledge economy. The first part of the module focuses on understanding the role and nature of innovation in the knowledge economy, and the second part of the module explores the changing nature of competition in the knowledge economy. 

Topics covered

  • Innovation and productivity in the knowledge economy 
  • Skill biased technological change: Automation and the future of jobs 
  • Innovation and industry evolution 
  • Predicting future leading technologies 
  • Intangibles, networks and “winner takes all” markets 
  • Harnessing the knowledge of users 
  • Sources of knowledge for innovation: evolving models 
  • Profiting from innovation in the knowledge economy 
  • Towards decentralised and ecosystem-based innovation models 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be expected to be able to:  

  • understand the impact of innovation and knowledge on economic performance (growth, productivity, jobs), how innovation processes occur, and why they differ in different firms, industries, sectors (public/private/third) and market structures.  
  • identify the main contemporary sources of innovation and competition, their advantages and limitations, and their implications for business and policy. 
  • apply theoretical knowledge relating to innovation and competition in the knowledge economy to the analysis of real business cases. 
  • collect and interpret empirical evidence related to innovation. 


  • Online multiple choice question test (MCQs) (25%) 
  • Unseen end of term online examination (75%)