Innovation Management

The future of breakthrough ideas and technology is dependent on building and sustaining innovative and creative organizations. Interdisciplinary, cross-functional collaboration and teamwork are at the core of these organizations. Creating cost-effective manufacturing, attractive design, superior function and value are primary challenges for innovation management. A successful idea requires many minds in many disciplines. Effective management is a key driver of this success.

Overview

Innovating to create the best solution to solve real problems is at the core of Innovation Management courses within the Jenkins MBA Program.

In a practical, hands-on environment, students learn by doing. Each course focusing on innovation management has a project, or a real-world application set of activities within the curriculum, and students are challenged from the start to think about the needs of today’s marketplace and the innovative solutions they can design.

The larger Jenkins MBA experience provides the fundamentals in areas from marketing to finance, and the courses in innovation management then allow students to see how it all fits together. Students come to understand the marketplace, and customers’ pain points, or problems that need to be solved. Through coursework and opportunities with industry, students utilize innovation processes, tools and techniques such as prototyping and designing new products or services to practice and apply their knowledge.

The cross-disciplinary opportunities within the innovation focus, spurred by deep connections with NC State’s College of Engineering and College of Design, allow for a unique perspective for MBA students, where they see not just the business side but also the design side of developing new products and services.

Students gain a much better appreciation and understanding about how you go about designing and innovating a new product or service that’s going to be relevant to the customers.

Jon Bohlman, professor of marketing and innovation

That may be evident nowhere more than Poole College of Management’s Product Innovation Lab, recognized by Forbes as a Top 10 Most Innovative Business Course in the country. This practicum experience tasks students with creating and prototyping an innovative new product idea, while at the same time working with people outside of traditional management disciplines, including graduate students from the colleges of design, engineering, textiles and others. The practicum provides students with a collaborative, multidisciplinary perspective.

Students who focus on innovation management tend to be open to new ideas and ready to get out of their comfort zones. “Real innovation comes together when you explore new opportunities – when you try things that you haven’t tried before,” Bohlmann said. Students arrive ready to work, and are open to team collaboration.

Graduates go on to be product managers, where they manage product lines and drive future innovation in those products. Others join start ups, working to innovate new solutions, while still others start their own consulting firms. Those who return to their current roles often move into higher managerial roles with wider responsibilities for product management.

 

Curriculum

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 590: Digital Marketing (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 dual concentrate in Innovation Management and Marketing, a maximum of 6 hours may double count.

Professional MBA Areas of Emphasis

Suggested Electives
MBA 536: Experience Innovation and Strategic Design (3hrs)
MBA 562: Methods in Marketing Research (3hrs)
MBA 561: Consumer Behavior (3hrs)
MBA 563: Product and Brand Management (3hrs)
MBA 590: Innovation & the Internet of Things (3hrs) *P
MBA 590: Digital Marketing (3hrs)
MBA 610: Innovation and Marketing Systems in Germany [Study Abroad] (3hrs)

Suggested Practicum
MBA 555: Product Design and Development (4hrs)

Product Innovation Lab

In the Integrated Product Development Lab, MBA 555 Product Design & Development, you will put your knowledge to practice as you work with companies on real projects.

This is a team-taught, project based, multidisciplinary course that crosses traditional functional boundaries. Students will learn and utilize an integrated approach to new product development in the context of corporate-sponsored development projects. Through an intensive team experience, students will formulate, evaluate, and design a new product/service. Students will learn to coordinate multiple, interdisciplinary tasks in order to achieve a common objective in an action-oriented business setting. Students will learn and use current methods in marketing, manufacturing planning, product costing, industrial design, and engineering to develop physical product prototypes and product launch strategies.

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