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IB96X - Leading the Knowledge Based Organisation

  • Module code: IB96X
  • Module name: Leading the Knowledge Based Organisation
  • Department: Warwick Business School
  • Credit: 15

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

Innovation - broadly, the successful exploitation of new ideas - is widely acclaimed as a major imperative, and a key challenge, for organizations and nations seeking to prosper in an increasingly globalized economy. Understanding, and questioning, change and innovation as a ubiquitous feature of organizational activity, is therefore, central to the focal aims of this Masters programme on Management and Organizational Analysis. Previous work has often viewed innovation in narrow, technocratic terms as a linear process involving the transfer of new technologies and products from innovators/inventors to users/consumers. This view greatly underemphasises the dynamic, interactive and context dependent nature of, all bar the most simple, innovations and the ways in which distributed knowledge/power, management practices, organizational routines, political interests, material/symbolic artefacts and wider institutional arrangements all come to bear on the development and implementation of new ideas. It also privileges technological artefacts and products over management processes, ideas and practices, and the interests of change agents/suppliers over users. In this course, we propose an alternative view of innovation, not as technical artefacts, but as knowledge work. Managing innovation, then, entails managing knowledge work and knowledge workers. This module aims, broadly, to: 1) Equip students with a critically informed, social science-led understanding of innovation and knowledge work; 2) Nurture the ability to apply theoretical perspectives and empirical examples from organizational analysis to the creation, translation and appropriation of technological, organizational and management innovation; 3) Explore the social and processual nature of innovative activities, taking a multilevel perspective on innovation that explicitly address the interplay between macro institutional arrangements, meso-level networks, and micro processes of change within (and across) organizations; 4) Offer a particular focus on management innovation and the role of management consultants as knowledge workers, enabling students to appreciate the symbolic and discursive aspects of innovation and change as well as their instrumental effects.

Principal learning outcomes

"Subject knowledge and understanding (i) Demonstrate knowledge of different theories of innovation and critically reflect on theories/models of innovation and knowledge work (ii) Analyse and critically evaluate a particular example of innovation and knowledge work (iii) Understand the role and practices of management consultants as knowledge workers. Subject-Specific/Professional Skills (i) Apply conceptual frameworks to particular examples; (ii) Find and present information and data in a succinct and relevant way in order to build arguments and be able to engage with others in effectively completing work tasks. Cognitive Skills: (i) Recognise and critically engage with assumptions underpinning conceptual frameworks; (ii) Formulate and test assumptions about innovation and knowledge work; (iii) Develop and compare competing interpretations of phenomena. Key Skills (i) Demonstrate skills in academic and business communication in both written and oral forms and an ability to work on and manage projects; (ii) Demonstrate interpersonal applicable to the workplace, such as influencing, resolving conflict and team work."

Timetabled teaching activities

Total contact hours: 30 hours; Lectures per week: 1 x 3 hours; Module duration (weeks, if applicable): 10 weeks.

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
15 CATS (Module code: IB96X-15)
A (Assessed work only) 3000 word essay 80%
  Group Project/Presentation 20%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Postgraduate International Business (N120) - Year 1
  • Postgraduate Taught Business (Finance and Accounting) (N1A8) - Year 1
  • Postgraduate Taught Business (Marketing) (N1B0) - Year 1
  • Postgraduate Taught Business (Organisation Science) (N1B2) - Year 1
  • Postgraduate Taught Business (Organisation Science) (N1B2) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Business (Consulting) (N1B4) - Year 1
  • Postgraduate Taught Business (Consulting) (N1B4) - Year 2
  • Postgraduate Taught Business (Accounting & Finance) (N1C2) - Year 1
  • Postgraduate Taught (Financial Management) (N1C3) - Year 1
  • Postgraduate Taught Management (N2N1) - Year 1