Students in Charles Carter

MSc Digital Business, Innovation and Management

Exploring the role of digital technologies in driving business innovation and managing organisational change

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About The Course

Digital technologies have changed how organisations are making business, by enabling them to transform their activities and create innovative value propositions. This programme will offer a range of learning opportunities to help you understand how to harness technology, manage its effects to gain competitive advantage, open up new business markets, and streamline core organisational processes. 

From the start of this programme, you will be introduced to the ever-changing digital landscape, and learn how different technologies contribute to the new ways of thinking for digital businesses. You will benefit from hands-on experience of a selection of core technologies that underlie modern digital businesses, and you will develop your knowledge in examining the role and impact of information and technology in contemporary organisations. You will also gain a in-depth understanding of the distinctive challenges associated with management in a digital world.

The knowledge you will gain will provide you with the skills to assess the business ecosystems, analyse organisational cultures and behaviour, and understand their impact on the implementation of digital innovation within real-world business challenges. 

Key Facts

Course Content

During your first term from October to December you will study the below modules. The two modules Technology Futures, Analysis and Design and Research and Professional skills also continue throughout Lent term.

  • Core & Emerging Technologies

    This module is concerned with recent, emerging and still evolving technologies. All are of great significance for our working lives and are becoming increasingly so for other aspects of life. These sessions will explore where the technologies have come from, how they are evolving and why they are so significant. The module will introduce the underlying technologies and services that enable digital business processes to be accomplished. For larger extent, these technologies will enable different types of innovations to take a place in technology-driven organisations. Holistically, the course can be thought of as covering an introduction to the technologies and services that are utilised for modern digital business applications.

  • Digital Business & Marketing

    Digital business is todays leading way of doing business. The superstars in the business community are those whose platform can create connected ecosystems such as Microsoft and Google. Any going concern needs to understand how to enhance the digital if it is to survive and thrive in todays fast-moving consumers and corporate world. To this end, the module presents a variety of frameworks and case studies that help the student formulate a comprehensive understanding of digital business. A closely related and important part of digital business is digital marketing. The module offers traditional marketing coverage with a twist, by focusing on the Internet and other technologies that have had a profound effect on marketing. The lectures are interactive, multi-modal, and real world that involve various exercises that help you understand and employ the various frameworks.

  • Management and Organisations in a Digital World

    Organisations in the contemporary world are receiving a constant and increasingly flow of information as a result of becoming more globally connected through processes of digitalisation. This necessitates new and more flexible management practices than have been used in the past to be developed. Critical and reflective understandings of the interrelated nature of information, technology and organisation are fundamental for the development of these management practices. This module will introduce the challenges, opportunities and management practices that contemporary organizations adopt in a digital world.

  • Information Systems, Strategy & Innovation

    The strategic significance of Information Systems (IS), is important, difficult, complex and interesting to analyse, because there many ways that IS can lead to strategic advantage. Not only can IS support an organisations strategy, it can also create strategic choices. IS now extends into every enterprise and every citizen, and is the basis of emerging business models from sectors as diverse as taxicabs (e.g. Uber and Zipcar) to banking (crowdfunding). Managers are increasingly asking themselves if everyone has access to IS then how can organisations get strategic advantage from IS? Indeed an organisations information systems strategy now increasingly forms the basis of many innovations in products, processes and business strategies.

  • Technology Futures, Analysis and Design

    The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of ways to think about the role of technology in creating futures for companies and society, including the techniques that can be used to analyse and design futures.

    The module deepens students’ understanding of how different potential futures might be understood, predicted, and brought into being. In order to do so, the course will look at the role played by different ideas about the relationship between technologies and the future both historically and in the present, as well as practical methods that are used in organisational contexts to attempt to anticipate the futures that technologies might enact. The module presents the current approaches surrounding the design of innovative IT artefacts as well as planning for the evaluation of the artefacts.

    The lectures are interactive, multi-modal, practical and real world that involve various exercises that help you understand and employ the various ways of thinking about futures, analysis and design concepts.

  • Research & Professional Skills

    The module begins by introducing students to the interdisciplinary academic approaches to digital technologies, organisational practices and innovation processes that underlie the programme. It then provides study-skills training that will help students better understand the academic requirements and expectations of the programme. In the second term there are sessions on research methods to help you appreciate both ways of doing research and the related ethical issues and challenges. Insights gained regarding research methods and related issues will be important for undertaking dissertation research projects and will be assessed as part of the dissertation module.

    The module also includes a series of masterclasses with industry experts as part of a guest speaker series.

    Industry experts / guest speakers will be invited for masterclasses with students on the module.

In your second term from January to March, you will study the compulsory Information Technology Consulting and Project Management, along with two from the options available. You will also continue with the two modules Technology Futures, Analysis and Design and Research and Professional skills which run across both the first and second terms.

  • Information Technology Consulting and Project Management

    Consulting and project management cannot be separated from organisational change practices and innovations in information technologies. Whether it is consulting about IT systems and projects, or consulting about organisational changes more widely that require changes to IT systems and the use of IT systems to manage the project, technology is omnipresent in the work of a consultant and project manager. It is in this context that the module aims to offer an understanding of what management consulting and project management entails, in particular focusing on ways of diagnosing and interpreting complex organizational problems and processes through the lens of consulting, and engaging in strategic project management.

    The module will broaden students’ awareness of different consulting approaches and perspectives as well as provide an opportunity to reflect upon their strengths, limitations and underpinning assumptions and implications. In addition, you will be introduced to various concepts within strategic project management, particularly in relation to developing a business case, risk management, stakeholder engagement, requirements management, needs analysis and benefit realisation.

    Through the module and its assessment students will develop a richer understanding of ways of engaging in IT consulting and project management that meets the requirements of business – with case studies helping students understand ways of succeeding and also causes of failure.

  • Enterprise Systems & Business Analysis

    This module aims to familiarise students with the notion of system integration and the ways companies can respond to their integration needs. Most importantly it provides the students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with an ERP system and run a virtual company using the system.

  • Rethinking Leadership

    According to a World Economic Forum report, some of the key skills that will be needed to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution are:

    • Judgement and Decision Making
    • People management
    • Coordinating with others
    • Negotiation
    • Complex problem solving
    • Critical thinking

    Many of these challenges relate to issues of leadership. When a project fails leadership is often one of the causes. Yet, it is also increasingly evident that traditional understandings of what constitutes leadership - especially charismatic and transformational models - have not always lived up to their promise. Against this background, the module seeks to re-think leadership dynamics by introducing students to a number of perspectives on leadership, and by exploring their respective strengths and weaknesses, and their implications for projects and organizations. In particular, the course addresses leader-centred, follower-centred, culture-centred and critical approaches and explores important issues such as distributed leadership and proactive followership, power and gender, authority, emotions, identity and insecurity, and resistance and conformity. The course is designed to rethink leadership dynamics in ways that critically examine the facilitators and challenges to effective leadership that frequently exist in contemporary projects, organizations and societies.

    Whether concerned with consultancy, project management or everyday leadership in an organization, the understanding of leadership dynamics provided by this module will be important.

  • Managing IT Architecture

    This module aims to introduce to the students the art of IT architecting using the latest technological topologies. IT architecture plays a central role on the enterprise design and act as a blueprint for strategic and operational business development. The students will learn how architecture is important for defining structural, behavioural and functional aspects of both of the enterprise and IT systems.

  • The Management of Organisational Change: Challenges and Debates

    What is meant by ‘change’? How can organisational change be analysed? This module to provides students with a broad theoretical and practical understanding of some key concepts and issues in managing organisational changes.

    The contemporary world is characterised by a range of social, political, economic, technological, ecological and organisational changes that challenge accepted understandings and practices. This module introduces contributions from the social sciences that are useful in thinking about change. The focus is upon the development of an account of change that steers between reformist tinkering and revolutionary upheaval.

    As managers and others seek to engage with change it is important that taken for granted assumptions and simplistic solutions about organisational life are both articulated and rethought. Prevailing assumptions in the managerial literature are compared to contrasting approaches within organisation studies. The contention of the module is that the emerging socio-technical-politico-economic context necessitates a reflexive appreciation of the complexities and uncertainties of change and intervention.

  • Technology Futures, Analysis and Design

    The aim of this module is to provide students with an understanding of ways to think about the role of technology in creating futures for companies and society, including the techniques that can be used to analyse and design futures.

    The module deepens students’ understanding of how different potential futures might be understood, predicted, and brought into being. In order to do so, the course will look at the role played by different ideas about the relationship between technologies and the future both historically and in the present, as well as practical methods that are used in organisational contexts to attempt to anticipate the futures that technologies might enact. The module presents the current approaches surrounding the design of innovative IT artefacts as well as planning for the evaluation of the artefacts.

    The lectures are interactive, multi-modal, practical and real world that involve various exercises that help you understand and employ the various ways of thinking about futures, analysis and design concepts.

  • Research & Professional Skills

    The module begins by introducing students to the interdisciplinary academic approaches to digital technologies, organisational practices and innovation processes that underlie the programme. It then provides study-skills training that will help students better understand the academic requirements and expectations of the programme. In the second term there are sessions on research methods to help you appreciate both ways of doing research and the related ethical issues and challenges. Insights gained regarding research methods and related issues will be important for undertaking dissertation research projects and will be assessed as part of the dissertation module.

    The module also includes a series of masterclasses with industry experts as part of a guest speaker series.

    Industry experts / guest speakers will be invited for masterclasses with students on the module.

This final term draws together all your learning from the earlier modules and enables you to show your skills in applying your knowledge to an in-depth piece of work - either a consultancy based project, a research dissertation, or a start-up project with related dissertation. Regardless of the type of dissertation, it is always done in close collaboration with an academic supervisor at Lancaster. 

  • Consultancy Project

    The final element of the Masters programme, and the most substantial single piece of written work, is the dissertation. This involves a sustained piece of individual research, which can take one of a number of formats. It is your chance to bring together and demonstrate all the learning you have acquired throughout the programme.

    A consultancy project dissertation involves students working with a designated company to address a particular challenge they face using research and insights from the programme. A consulting project is typically done by a group of not more than three students. While the client deliverable is a team output, the dissertation also involves an individual piece of written work. Places on the consultancy project dissertation module are awarded competitively as there are a limited number of projects each year.

  • Research Dissertation

    The final element of the Masters programme, and the most substantial single piece of written work, is the dissertation. This involves a sustained piece of individual research, which can take one of a number of formats. It is your chance to bring together and demonstrate all the learning you have acquired throughout the programme.

    A research dissertation involves a student identifying and academic research question and then conducting original data collection through fieldwork to address the question. Or it can involve a student tackling a self-defined research problem/question using a combination of academic literatures and skills developed through the programme.

  • Start Up Project

    The final element of the Masters programme, and the most substantial single piece of written work, is the dissertation. This involves a sustained piece of individual research, which can take one of a number of formats. It is your chance to bring together and demonstrate all the learning you have acquired throughout the programme.

    The start-up plan version of the dissertation involves a student using academic research relevant to the programme to inform the development of a business start-up plan.

Learning Environment

Your studies will incorporate a range of learning methods including lectures, workshops and student-group based activities. You will benefit from opportunities to develop your knowledge through guest lectures by external speakers from relevant industries, and you will explore your areas of interest in greater depth through a dissertation or project.

Careers

Our dedicated LUMS careers service offers a full range of services to develop your employability skills, along with support and resources to help you excel in applications, and at assessment centres and interviews. They also provide a range of events throughout the year where you can meet with employers, discuss opportunities and develop your future career aspirations.

The Department has strong links with companies and organisations, and as a graduate of this course you will have a range of highly sought-after skills including leading digital innovation, managing change and understanding the role of emerging technologies in creating new business oppportunities. These crucial skills will enable you to pursue a career in a wide range of fields, from IT project management, to digital transformation and business process analysis.

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