Task Force Members

Task Force Leader

PD Jose

IIM Bangalore

Dr. Jose is a Professor in the Strategy Area. Prior to joining IIMB, he was a member of the faculty at the Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad.

Professor Jose teaches core courses on strategy and electives on Corporate Environmental Management, Sustainable Enterprises and Understanding Corporate Failures. He has been a visiting faculty at Cardiff Business School, IIM Kozhikode, and Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg.

Professor Jose was a Fulbright Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, and Kenan-Flagler Business School, North Carolina during 1999-2000. He also visited the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, as a research scholar on a UNDP/GoI fellowship. He was also an ESRC Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS) at Cardiff University during 2005-06, and again in 2008.

Curriculum Report

Digital technologies and analytics have induced radical changes in the market and in the strategy of the modern businesses. They have also created new approaches to innovation and have created many opportunities for entrepreneurship.  The Strategy-Innovation-Entrepreneurship (SIE) task force, led by Prof. PD Jose (IIM Bangalore), did a thorough study of the curricular changes that have taken place to address these changes. The courses that have been developed or restructured can be integrated into the following general categories: (a) Programs connecting digitization to one of the three realms: Strategy, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and (b) Interdisciplinary programs on the interactions between the three elements above in a digitization framework such as then one below.

  • Strategy in the Digital Age. To address the digital reality, Strategy courses in many schools have been redesigned, whereas in others, a new course on Digital Strategy or other courses or programs on Digital Transformation, have been developed, where they stress on digital technologies as a dominant emerging force in influencing businesses. Many of the programs on Digital Transformation are offered in the executive education space. The content of these programs varies, but the overriding idea is to provide to leaders of traditional companies as well as to entrepreneurs a hands-on tour of the issues and the technologies involved to drive change in their organization in the digital era. An example of such an executive program is Columbia University’s online executive program “Digital Strategies for Business” which covers topics such as an overview of the domains of digital transformation, understanding digital customer behavior and customer networks, platform business models, coopetition, disintermediation and asymmetric competitors, building data as a strategic asset, innovation through experimentation, moving from lean startup to enterprise scale innovation, and mastering disruptive business models. On the other hand, MIT/Sloan’s program “Digital Transformation: From AI and IoT to Cloud, Blockchain, and Cybersecurity” focuses more on technologies – such as Blockchain, AI and the Future of work, Internet of Things, Cloud and Cybersecurity – and what opportunities these technologies offer for an organization. A different approach is taken by Grenoble’s EM Advanced Master Program on Digital Strategy, where 2-3 days are spent on a wide variety of topics, including Web Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing Techniques, Digital Project Management, Mobile Marketing and IoT, Content Creation, Digital transformation, Geo-Strategy, User Experience, Digital Technologies & Innovation, Legal Issues. Because of its importance in the digital era, some schools have established centers for Digital Transformation. One example is the Center for Digital Transformation at Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business. The center does research on five focus areas – Economics of the Digital World, Digital Services Delivery, Digital Business Models, Big Data and Analysis, and Emerging Digital Trends and Applications – while it also runs educational programs, conferences and roundtables on topics of digital transformation and digital leadership. Another example is Dartmouth’s Center on Digital Strategies focusing on five areas of expertise – Enterprise Transformation, Technology and Innovation, Digital Business Models, Trust/ Security/ Privacy, and Digital Society –  and providing a large range of learning opportunities including support for the MBA program.
  • Digitization and Innovation. In this part, we can distinguish two different types of programs: First, those that at the core rely on the idea of digital thinking and its consequences in the design of the organization that, in the end, will generate innovations. Second, those other programs that focus on the emergence of new technologies that are connected in some way to digitization and that have an impact on firms’ innovation policy. The interaction between digital thinking and digital technologies provides an overall view of the impact of digitization on innovation.
    • Design/Digital Thinking. There has been a growth of offerings in Design Thinking that are connected to digital thinking. Michigan Ross has developed a whole suite of activities to promote Design thinking and Innovation. Boston University offers a course Organizing for Design and Innovation which examines how managers and leaders can create the conditions for innovation at the individual, team and organizational levels and how those conditions differ for startup and mature organizations. The way to optimize these conditions is to adopt a digital thinking approach. Stevens offers a course on “Human Centered Design Thinking” which deals with the theory and methods associated with design thinking, as a problem-solving protocol that spurs innovation and solves complex problems and which involves a unique form of inquiry that goes well beyond product and service design. Harvard offers an executive education course on “Design Thinking and Innovation”.
    • Emerging Digital Technologies. Given the growth of digital technologies, and the opportunities these present for improving efficiency and effectiveness, and also for developing innovative business models, a number of schools are offering courses providing an overview of emerging technologies leading to innovation. An example is the course offered by Michigan Ross “Tech Trends and Value Chain Innovations”, which provides MBA students with a foundational understanding of some of core technologies fueling the digital transformation and a deeper appreciation of the nature of the transformation taking place. Another example in this category is UC Berkeley’s executive program “Future of Technology: Trends, Strategies and Innovation Opportunities” which provides a framework for assessing key disruptive technology trends such as AI, IoE, Robotics, Quantum Computing, Cybersecurity, and Blockchain, and for creating a roadmap to implement innovation strategies. 
  • Entrepreneurship and Digitization. A number of courses are being offered for aspiring entrepreneurs in the new economy by using technology to create a sustainable new economy business model. Other courses focus on the commercialization of frontier technologies which aim to familiarize the student with both the technical aspects of developing technology, and the research and assessment activities that need to be conducted to turn a viable new technology into a marketable product. Other courses examine entrepreneurship on the mobile platform. For example, the course “Mobile Innovation Development” offered at the University of Michigan Ross, helps students understand the unique requirements of mobile business to successfully design, develop, deploy and manage business innovations by taking them through the application (app) development process covering the full spectrum from identifying customer needs to prototyping/simulating a mobile innovation solution.
  • Interactions between Strategy, Entrepreneurship & Innovation
    • Strategy for startups and high-tech companies. Courses have been developed addressing strategy for startups and for high-tech companies, including companies in artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, cloud services, e-commerce, social networking, blockchain and more. An example of such a course is Boston University’s “Strategy for technology-based firms” which covers technology lifecycles, the co-evolution of industries and technologies, strategies for commercialization of new technologies (appropriability, acquiring complementary assets and capabilities, managing technical teams, and impact of regulatory and other environmental factors on commercialization). Another example is a course offered by the Imperial College connecting new technologies (AI) with startups that are natural sources of innovation (AI startups & Innovation).
    • Ethics and/or Environmental Sustainability in the Digital Era. Key elements that are less developed in the different curriculum covering the digitization phenomenon and its impact on different stakeholders are issues of Ethics and/or Environmental Sustainability. A good summary of the relevant questions in this realm can be found in the Wellcome Centre of Ethics and Humanities at the University of Oxford. The emergence of Digital, artificial intelligence and data-driven technologies (DAID) not only has an impact on: (i) the creation of companies: (ii) the different strategies defined; and (iii) the types of innovation generated, but also on ethical and/or environmental sustainability aspects. Relevant questions to address in this realm are: How to balance the trade-offs between DAID technologies benefits and drawbacks connected to the facility these new technologies have brought for unethical behaviors (e.g., privacy issues); What are the better strategies to stimulate Responsible Innovation; How to stimulate in a democratic way those established firms to create new ventures that define strategies conforming to ethical and/or environmentally sustainable principles? In this line, Georgetown offers a course on Ethics in the Digital Era. This course analyzes ethical issues that come out in a digital world. Important elements to consider are: core values of privacy, consent, fairness, and legitimacy. 

As a conclusion, there is a wide set of courses that analyze the digitization phenomenon through its connection with firm’s strategies and/or firms’ innovation and/or the creation of new firms. The overall picture, including the interaction between these different elements, allows providing the clues that students should know for achieving and maintaining a competitive advantage in these turbulent environments that have been shaken by the emergence of the digitization phenomenon.