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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Managing Innovation: Ambidexterity, Teams and Leading Change

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Coursera


You may have noticed that what is new often behaves differently than what has become accepted over time, whether it is in a market, or a technology, or involves people and firms. Much research supports these general ideas, and one implication is that management of innovation often requires different approaches and skills than management in established arenas. This course helps you develop a perspective on managing innovation. That is, you will build your capability to lead and design your organization to effectively implement innovation initiatives and achieve their strategic intent.

To do this, you will learn a set of frameworks, tools, and concepts that can help you address several important challenges in managing innovation. The first regards how to successfully implement innovation efforts within established firms and alongside established businesses. A second is leadership of new product development teams. The course also covers leadership of organizational change, which is often a critical part of driving innovation initiatives forward.

Through covering these topics, the course will help you:
- Analyze innovations and their impact on organizations
- Articulate a research-informed perspective on innovation management
- Utilize frameworks, tools, and concepts to address leadership challenges that arise in innovation


    • We begin our exploration of managing innovation by reviewing key characteristics of new technologies and markets. We discuss how uncertainty, among other such characteristics, fundamentally affects management, strategic choices and execution of innovation initiatives. We examine how firms succeed through aligment with the needs of their technologies and markets over time, yet at the same time alignment can create inertia that acts as a barrier to change in response to new opportunities.
    • We continue to focus on the challenges of managing innovation initiatives in firms which confront new technologies and markets while they simultaneously compete in established businesses. We examine the idea of organizational ambidexterity as a solution to this challenge, and cover how managers can develop and lead an ambidextrous organization.
    • In the third module, we continue to focus on innovation management by focusing on teams and innovation. Teams are ubiquitous in innovation, as there is a need for high information flow and integration across functions. We start by describing common approaches to team design in product development. We specifically go into depth on how to design and lead "heavyweight" cross-functional development teams. These have been found to be particularly effective in challenging innovation situations.
    • In this module, we will focus on organizational change, with emphasis on some of the reasons why people resist change. We will talk about two well-known models of organizational change and discuss strategies for effective change implementation.

Taught by

E. Geoffrey Love


4.9 rating at Coursera based on 10 ratings

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