Knowledge and Innovation Systems

Module lead: Chris Collinge

Credits: 10

This module is delivered in Semester 2.

Module aims and objectives

Knowledge, learning and innovation are perceived to be amongst the key forces driving economic growth and development in today's global economy. In order to understand this phenomenon the module aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the economics and management of knowledge and innovation in the context of globalisation. The development of an understanding of the social and interactive character of the processes of knowledge creation and diffusion are central to this course.

The module will therefore focus on the relationship between different types of business systems (e.g. national and regional innovation systems as well as different industrial sectors) in both developed and developing countries and the creation and diffusion of knowledge, innovation and technological change. The impact of globalisation processes on innovation systems will also be studied through an analysis of knowledge flows in global value chains. Key theoretical concepts will be applied to different industries as well as countries and regions in order to critically evaluate their theoretical and practical relevance.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Critically analyze and evaluate existing theories of knowledge, learning and innovation in the context of the Innovation Systems literature.
  • Examine the nature and dynamics of innovation as a systemic process taking place within and across firms.
  • Compare, contrast and appraise different national and regional innovation systems through case studies.
  • Analyze knowledge flows, learning and innovative activities in Global Value Chains.


2 hour exam (75%) & 2,500 word group essay (25%).