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21869 Innovation by Design

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business
Credit points: 8 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject introduces students to contemporary theories of innovation and entrepreneurship. Central to business and corporate success in the contemporary 'global high-tech' economy is the need for innovation, risk-taking and entrepreneurial action. Entrepreneurship, including both the people and processes of organisational creation, is a fundamental dynamic of change in society. Entrepreneurship is essential to the creation and renewal of economic wealth and well-being. Improvements in the internet, telecommunication and transport have contributed to enhancing entrepreneurial risk-taking. Innovation is the central driving force in tomorrow's global economy. Innovation in every part of the firm's systems, operations, culture and organisation is gaining greater importance. Process innovations, too, are increasing in importance. Managing and fostering these innovations continues to be a key managerial challenge.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. integrate innovation, technology, marketing and business thinking for progressive solutions and entrepreneurial management decisions
2. critically analyse and synthesise the process of new venture creation including information and knowledge associated with the creation of successful innovation
3. understand the business models that drive successful innovation
4. demonstrate the capacity to assess the viability of an intra- or entrepreneurial business concept
5. develop a complete innovative business plan for a new business venture or an existing small or medium enterprise
6. research and identify opportunities and appreciate the need for strategic alliances and partnerships in business
7. critically reflect on the institutional restrictions and pressures that entrepreneurs have to deal with

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject presents students with a perspective on organisational innovation and entrepreneurship. In a globalised economy, innovation becomes one of the key strategic differentiators and drivers of growth. Analysing the practice of innovation, the topics include successful intra- and entrepreneurship models, sources of innovation, business models supporting innovation strategies, and reflection on the innovation journey. Special emphasis is placed on the understanding of new venture creation and the innovation process with the aim of broadening students' perspectives and better equipping them for successful innovation.

This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Business practice oriented skills

This subject also contributes specifically to develop the following Program Learning Objectives for the Executive MBA:

  • 5.1: Execute a substantial research-based or professionally focused project relevant to high level executive management

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject demands high levels of intellectual involvement and a high degree of action-based learning. The format of weekly sessions presents entrepreneurship, innovation and management theory together with case studies to demonstrate the application of the theory. Guest speakers who are successful entrepreneurs, specialists or financiers relate their experiences to the class, through case studies. Lectures are supplemented by further readings. In the first weeks, the class is introduced to a number of topics. These topics require students to read the prescribed textbook and to actively participate in class discussions. During this initial phase, students are also required to develop ideas for establishing a business venture in which they could actively participate, and to relate this to their background, skills and contacts. Groups of three to four students, in consultation with the lecturer, choose a project as the basis for developing a business plan. Teams then carry out a thorough investigation of the marketplace and prepare a feasibility plan for an intra- or entrepreneurial project

Content (topics)

This subject introduces students to contemporary theories of innovation and entrepreneurship. Central to business and corporate success in the contemporary 'global high-tech' economy is the need for innovation, risk-taking and entrepreneurial action. Topics for research, analyses and discussions include,

  • Strategy, entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Theory and practice of entrepreneurship
  • Innovation in existing organisations (intrapreneurship)
  • Business models supporting innovation strategies
  • Sources of innovation
  • The innovation journey


Assessment task 1: Critical evaluation exercise (individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

Weight: 35%

Assessment task 2: Applied business project (group)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3, 4 and 7

Weight: 30%

Assessment task 3: Case study analysis (individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Weight: 35%

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject's total marks.

Recommended texts

D.School. The Bootcamp Bootleg:

Martin, R. (2009). The design of business. Harvard Business School Publishing, Massachusetts.

Nelson, H. G., & Stolterman, E. (2012). The design way: Intentional change in an unpredictable world. Available as an ebook through the UTS Library:

Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business model generation: a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. John Wiley & Sons. Available as an e-book through the UTS Library:

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Bernarda, G., & Smith, A. (2015). Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want. John Wiley & Sons.


Brown, T., Katz, B. 2009. Change By Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organisations And Inspires Innovation. New York: Harpercollins.

Chesbrough, H. 2010. Business Model Innovation: Opportunities And Barriers. Long Range Planning, 43(2): 354-363.

Christensen, C. M., Baumann, H., Ruggles, R., & Sadtler, T. M. 2006. Disruptive Innovation For Social Change. Harvard Business Review, 84(12): 94.

Dorst, K. 2015 Frame innovation: Create new thinking by design. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Gruber, M., de Leon, N., George, G. & Thompson, P. (2015), Managing by design, Academy of Management Journal , vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 1-7.

Jakovich, J., Schweitzer, J., Edwards, M. 2012. Practicing - U. lab Handbook Of Design-led Innovation, Freerange Press, Sydney, Isbn: 978-0-9808689-2-0

Verganti, R. 2006, 'Innovating through design', Harvard Business Review, vol. 84, no. 12, p. 114.