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Innovation Management

The future of groundbreaking ideas and technology is dependent on building and sustaining innovative organizations. Creating cost-effective manufacturing, attractive design, superior function, and value are primary challenges for innovation management.


Utilizing innovation to address longstanding business challenges is the core of the Innovation Management courses within the Jenkins MBA Program.

“Real innovation comes together when you explore new opportunities – when you try things that you haven’t tried before,” said Jon Bohlmann, Professor of Marketing and Innovation.

While the larger Jenkins MBA experience provides the fundamentals in areas from marketing to finance, the innovation management courses allow students to see how it all fits together. 

Our students learn by doing. Within each course, students complete a project with real-world application. Students are charged with thinking through everyday business problems, using innovation processes, tools and techniques such as prototyping and designing new products or services to practice and apply their knowledge. Students come to understand the marketplace, and customers’ pain points, or problems that need to be solved. 

Many of our alumni move into product manager roles, where they manage product lines and drive product innovation, while others join or found startups, working to innovate new solutions. Those who return to their current roles often move into leadership positions with wider responsibilities and autonomy.

Product Innovation Lab

The Poole College of Management’s Product Innovation Lab, is recognized by Forbes as a Top 10 Most Innovative Business Course in the country. In the Integrated Product Development Lab, MBA 555 Product Design and Development, you will put your knowledge into practice as you work with companies to address internal and external challenges. 

This team-taught, project based, multidisciplinary course is spurred by deep connections with NC State’s College of Engineering and College of Design. MBA students gain a unique perspective, where they’re introduced to both the business and design side of developing new products and services.

The practicum experience tasks students with creating and prototyping an innovative new product idea. Students learn how to: 

  • Utilize an integrated approach to new product development within corporate-sponsored development projects.
  • Coordinate multiple, interdisciplinary tasks to achieve a common objective in an action-oriented business setting. 
  • Use current methods in marketing, manufacturing planning, product costing, industrial design, and engineering to develop physical product prototypes and launch strategies.
  • Formulate, evaluate, and design a new product/service. 

In the course registration system, the Innovation Lab is listed as “MBA 555: Product Design and Development.”


The Innovation Management curriculum teaches students how to study customer needs and develop products for the marketplace with a strong interdisciplinary perspective. This approach creates products that are cost-effective to manufacture, appealing in design and functionality, and valuable to consumers.

Full-time MBA Concentration

Required Courses
MBA 555: Product Design and Development (4hrs) *P
MBA 536: Experience Innovation and Strategic Design (3hrs)
Elective Courses (select two of the following)
MBA 561: Consumer Behavior (3hrs)
MBA 562: Methods in Marketing Research (3hrs)
MBA 563: Product and Brand Management (3hrs)
MBA 590: Innovation & the Internet of Things (3hrs) *P
MBA 566: Digital Marketing (Formerly MBA 590) (3hrs)
MBA 610: Innovation and Marketing Systems in Germany [Study Abroad] (3hrs)

Practicum courses are marked with *P

Marketing Concentration Overlap:

If a full-time student wishes to complete a dual concentrate in Innovation Management and Marketing, a maximum of 6 hours may count towards both concentrations.