The module investigates important economic issues facing firms that compete in high technology industries such as computers, electronics, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals. The course emphasizes how new technological knowledge is created, copied, protected, bought and sold in order to acquire sustainable competitive advantage. Attention is paid to the interaction between the management of technology and the overall competitive strategies of the firm, as well as to some institutional agents, like Science Parks, supporting innovation, technology transfer and adoption. While mainly deploying the standard methodology of economics, the course often takes the perspective of the firm and asks which strategies are likely to improve its profitability, in both the long and short run. This approach is reinforced by the use of case studies illustrating the type of technological decisions facing managers in a variety of industries.

At the completion of this course, students will have acquired an understanding of the application of economics model-building methodology to the challenges of management of technology. Further, students should be able to formulate a general conceptualization of the process of creating, developing and diffusing new technologies. Students will have developed an understanding of the challenges to public policy in this area. Finally, students will develop and demonstrate their written communication skills by completing the term paper for the course.

The module provides students with the following employability skills. Academic skills (literacy, numeracy, ICT skills, communication skills) are enhanced through essay writing, mathematical problem solving and the use of ICT equipment. Students are encouraged to carry out research and information gathering for term papers and as background reading. External awareness is promoted through real world case studies. Personal development planning (target setting and time management) is also promoted.