Schedule: 27.02.2019 - 20.03.2019
Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):
Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):
Professor Teemu Kautonen
Dr Johannes Gartner
Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):
II 2018-19 (autumn) and IV 2018-19 (spring) Otaniemi campus
II 2019-20 (autumn) and IV 2019-20 (spring) Otaniemi campus
The course is taught once in each semester
Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):
At the end of this course, students are expected to have developed theoretical and
practical knowledge about entrepreneurship and innovation and to be able to apply those to real cases.
Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):
The course applies a ’blended learning’ approach, that is, a combination of online contents and
Details on the course content (applies in this implementation):
What the main objectives and contents of this course are
Innovations are crucial for economic development and societal welfare. Entrepreneurship is the key function in bringing innovations to the market. This course examines how entrepreneurial businesses from start-ups to established corporations bring new innovative products and services to the market.
The objective of the course is to develop an understanding of strategic considerations and analytical tools that are relevant for evaluating the market that the firm is about to enter and for developing a strategy that leads to a successful entry and sustainable competitive advantage.
What you should know before you start the course
The course has been designed so that students from a variety of backgrounds can attend it and there are no prior course requirements. Basic knowledge of microeconomics is helpful but we have endeavoured to provide clear explanations of all economic concepts used in the course in the online materials. Alternatively, or additionally, you can read the ‘Economics Primer’ section in the recommended textbook to brush up on basic microeconomics.
What you should know after completing the course
After completing this course students will have developed an understanding of two ‘big’ issues that entrepreneurial businesses entering new markets face: (1) market and competitive analysis and (2) strategic positioning.
How you can extend your knowledge in this area after the course
You can extend your knowledge of entrepreneurship and innovation management by taking Master’s level courses offered by the Entrepreneurship Unit of the Aalto School of Business and the Aalto Ventures Program (AVP) (avp.aalto.fi). A particularly recommended next course is 25E50000 Venture Ideation. In this course, you will work on a business idea with a team of peers with the opportunity to apply the knowledge that you will acquire in the current course to your own business idea.
The course comprises of three types of contents:
Online learning: Instead of lectures, we have prepared extensive interactive online learning materials for you to study at your own pace, wherever and whenever you want. We have done our very best to make them work on mobile devices as well.
The materials have been divided into six thematic modules, each of which comprises two to three learning objectives. The online learning materials are accessible on MyCourses. We have also prepared a set of slides that offers a summary of the principal theoretical content that you can study in addition to the interactive learning modules in MyCourses.
Case analysis in class: The exams for the course require you to apply the online learning materials to two business cases: Flybabooand The Londoner. We offer a session for each case where you will work on case questions in groups and we will also discuss the case with the whole class. Attending these sessions is entirely voluntary, but good preparation and active participation will give you an enormous advantage for the exams.
Groupwork: You will work in a group of up to three students (or alone if you prefer) on a case report where you apply all the materials covered in the course to the case (either Slavic Treasures or your own case; see instructions below under ‘How to complete the course’).
Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):
Individual assignments 50%. Team assignments 50%.
Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation):
How to complete the course
Pass requirements and marking
In order to complete this course successfully you will need to collect 50 or more pointsout of the total of 100 available. The distribution of the points and the work required are described in more detail below.
The final marks are based on the total points as follows:
- 50-59 points 1
- 60-69 points 2
- 70-79 points 3
- 80-89 points 4
- 90-100 points 5
1. Midterm exam (0-15 points)
The midterm exam requires you to apply the concepts you learn in the online learning modules to the Flybaboocase.
There will be one question requiring an answer of up to 1000 words. You will need to know the conceptual material from the online learning modules as well as the case thoroughly in order to do well in the exam. Attending the case analysis sessions will provide you with a major advantage for the exam.
The exam will be open books, open notes. This means that you can use whatever materials you choose in the exam. It is even advisable to prepare well in advance by analysing the case and writing notes on how the course concepts help you to understand and provide well-justified solutions to the case problems. You can use your notes in the exam.
The exam will be organised online in MyCourses on 13 March 9:00-21:00.You can start the exam at any time in the above time frame. Once you click the start button, time will start running and you will have 90 minutesto write your answer. You can complete the exam anywhere you like using a computer on campus, one at home, or even a mobile device.
The lecturers will provide general feedback on the exam within a week. The feedback will be posted on MyCourses and it will give you an idea of what elements of answers were successful and what were the typical mistakes that lost points.
It is not possible to resit the midterm exam. Even though you can pass the course without passing the midterm, it is highly advisable that you make sure you don’t miss it. It gives you an opportunity to practice and get feedback for the final exam.
2. Final exam (0-35 points)
The final exam requires you to apply the concepts you learn in the online learning modules to The Londoner case.
There will be one question requiring an answer of up to 1500 words. You will need to know the conceptual material from the online learning modules as well as the case thoroughly in order to do well in the exam.
Similar to the midterm, the exam will be open books, open notesand it is highly advisable to prepare well in advance.
The exam will be organised online in MyCourses on 27 March 9:00-21:00.You can start the exam at any time in the above time frame. Once you click the start button, time will start running and you will have two hoursto write your answer.
Should you miss or not pass the exam, or you are unhappy with the score, you can resit it on 10 April 9:00-21:00.
3. Groupwork assignment (0-50 points)
The groupwork assignment is based on the Slavic Treasurescase that is available in MyCourses. Your job is to create a full analysis of the market and the competitive environment for Slavic Treasures and recommend strategies that would result in a sustainable competitive advantage for the firm.
The principal idea is to argue a strategy for a sustainable competitive advantage based on a thorough analysis that applies the whole breadth of material covered in the course. You should pay particular attention to the ‘make or buy’ decision: whether and why Dave and Glenn should outsource production or establish their own factory. You should evaluate both options and based on the evaluation, recommend either strategy for Slavic Treasures.
You can complete this assignment in groups of no more than three students. You can also do the assignment alone if you prefer. The assignment requirements are the same notwithstanding the group size. Each group has to hand in one report only – it does not matter which group member submits in MyCourses as long as all the names of the group members (and their student IDs) are featured on the title page.
You can structure the report as you see fit and if information in the case is insufficient in some respect, you are allowed to make assumptions – as long as you make these assumptions explicit, for example in a footnote. You may consider utilising Porter’s five forces analysis in structuring the industry analysis part of your report.
The following list of questions is not meant to be exhaustive but it should help you to identify the core issues that your report should address:
- How would you describe the market structure in the glass ornaments industry in the United States and Slavic Treasure’s position in it?
- Who are Slavic Treasure’s current and potential competitors? How are they similar to/different from Slavic Treasures?
- How should Slavic Treasures price its product? What responses could you expect from the competitors to different potential pricing strategies?
- What factors should Dave and Glenn consider when deciding between ‘making’ the ornaments themselves by establishing their own factory and ‘buying’ by outsourcing production to Krakszklo or another Polish manufacturer?
- How would a five-forces industry analysis look like for Slavic Treasures? (Chapter 8 in the recommended textbook, Appendix (pp. 285-288) provides a very useful template and helpful questions for performing a five-forces analysis).
- Using Porter’s generic strategies, what strategy would you recommend to Slavic Treasures for a sustainable competitive advantage? Why?
The report should be around 10 pages or 4,000 words(+/- 10% allowed). Write concisely and to the point, focus on analysing and not summarising the case.
If you happen to be working on your own venture idea or an innovation project for your employer, you can also write a case report based on that if you prefer. Your analysis should, however, cover the same issues (as applicable) as an analysis based on the Slavic Treasures case and it will be marked with the same criteria. In particular, your own case should feature a clear ‘make or buy’ consideration. However, you are allowed to write up to 12 pages or 5,000 words so as to accommodate a brief introduction to your venture idea in the first two pages of the report. Please contact the course leader in advance if you want to work on your own venture idea.
Marking criteria. You will receive high marks if your case report analyses rather than describes the case. The most important marking criterion is your ability to apply theoretical material from the course to analysing the case and arriving at well justified conclusions in terms of the strategy that you recommend to Slavic Treasures. The way you arrive at the conclusions (strategy recommendations) – your overall analysis – is more important than the conclusions themselves. In addition, you report should be well presented in terms of language and layout.
Submission. The deadline for the major case report is 3 April at 23:55 pm. Please submit your report using the Groupwork Assignment Submission tool in MyCourses (mycourses.aalto.fi).For each day that the submission is late, counting from 00:01 am 7 December, the assignment will be marked down by 25% of the points it would receive based on its academic merits. Note that it is not possible to resubmit the case report should you not be happy about the mark you get.
4. Active participation in case analysis sessions (0-10 points)
By participating actively in class discussions in the two case analysis sessions, you can earn up to 10 additional points. These are given based on the lecturers’ observations in the classroom. The additional points help you boost your final mark if, for example, your performance in the exams is not perfect. However, you can get full 100 points without attending the case analysis sessions – therefore the active participation points are an additional extra over and above the maximum 100 points.
Example: You get a total of 77 points from the two exams and the groupwork assignment. This would give you a final mark of 3. However, you have been active in class discussions and the lecturers have given you 7 points for active participation. These points are added to your assignment score of 77, increasing your final score to 84. Thus, instead of a 3, your final mark for the course becomes 4.
Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):
1. Classroom hours 18 h
2. Preparation of individual assignments 62 h
3. Preparation of group work assignments 80 h
Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):
The materials necessary for completing the course will be available on MyCourses. Students can also
use the following (optional) textbook to support their learning:
Zacharakis, Andrew, William Bygrave, Andrew Corbett, 2016. Entrepreneurship, 4th Edition. Wiley.
For the chapter “Creativity, Idea Development and Innovation”.
Bessant, John R., Tidd, Joe 2015. Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 3th Edition. Wiley.
Details on the course materials (applies in this implementation):
All materials needed for the course are available in MyCourses. You will need to study:
- The online learning materials.
- Three cases: Flybaboo,The Londonerand Slavic Treasures.
Additionally, or as an alternative to the interactive online materials, you can use the following textbook to enhance your learning:
Besanko, David, Dranove, David, Shanley, Mark, & Schaefer, Mark (2013). Economics of Strategy. 6thEdition International Student Version. Wiley. Chapters: 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 9 (and the Economics Primer in the beginning of the book if you need to brush up on basic microeconomics).
There are several physical copies of the book available in the library.
Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):
Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):
0 (fail) to 5 (excellent)
Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):
Registration via WebOodi ends 7 days before the period starts.
Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):
The maximum number of students admitted to the course is 100. Priority is given to
(1) BSc students studying in the specialisation of Management, and
(2) BSc students studying in a minor study package in Management.
Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation):
We will start the course 27 February with an introductory session where will explain the course format and also demonstrate how the online learning materials work. We will then work on the Flybaboocase in groups and also discuss it with the whole class. On 20 March we have another case session, this time focussing on The Londoner, which is the case you will need to analyse in the final exam. Again, we will work in groups and also discuss the case with the whole class. Both the midterm and the final exam are organised online. More information about them in the subsequent section ‘How to complete the course’. In addition to the two in-class sessions, you will work on the online learning materials and the groupwork assignment at your own pace throughout the course. Important: Attending the case analysis classes is voluntary yet highly recommended. If you choose to attend, it is essentialthat you have read the case carefully before the session. It is highly recommended that you make notes on the case in order to maximise your learning.
We will start the course 27 February with an introductory session where will explain the course format and also demonstrate how the online learning materials work. We will then work on the Flybaboocase in groups and also discuss it with the whole class.
On 20 March we have another case session, this time focussing on The Londoner, which is the case you will need to analyse in the final exam. Again, we will work in groups and also discuss the case with the whole class.
Both the midterm and the final exam are organised online. More information about them in the subsequent section ‘How to complete the course’.
In addition to the two in-class sessions, you will work on the online learning materials and the groupwork assignment at your own pace throughout the course.
Important: Attending the case analysis classes is voluntary yet highly recommended. If you choose to attend, it is essentialthat you have read the case carefully before the session. It is highly recommended that you make notes on the case in order to maximise your learning.
Date & time
Introduction to the course
Case exercise: Flybaboo
– 26 Mar
Online learning material
Costs and cost advantages
Competitors and competition
Make or buy
– 2 Apr
Working on groupwork assignment
Midterm exam (Flybaboo)
Case exercise: The Londoner
Final exam (The Londoner)
Submission deadline for the groupwork assignment