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Syllabus for

Academic year
IDY040 - Technological change and industrial transformation  
Technological change and industrial transformation
Syllabus adopted 2019-02-21 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPMEI
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Industrial Engineering and Management

Teaching language: English
Application code: 26122
Open for exchange students: Yes

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0104 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c   29 Oct 2020 pm J   07 Jan 2021 am J,  25 Aug 2021 pm J

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Erik Bohlin

  Go to Course Homepage


General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

None, but students are recommended to have taken other courses with a social science content.


This course deals with the relationship between technological change and industrial transformation at the micro and meso levels. It aims to give the students Insights into theories and frameworks (supported by empirical studies), which will help them understand the dynamics of the interaction between technological change and industrial transformation. This is done with an explicit interdisciplinary approach. Theories from economics, business administration, political science and sociology are combined with an focus on problem solving. Teaching methods are highly interactice, a combination of student presentations, case questions, lectures and project work are used.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

By the end of the course, the students will:

1. Be able to analyze how and why certain industries are profitable
2. Describe conceptually how industries evolve over time
3. Be familiar with frameworks and theories concerning how technologies evolve over time
4. Be able to analyze the interplay between technological change, industrial dynamics and industry profitability
5. Understand regional and geographical aspects of technology and industry evolution
6. Analyze the interplay between policy, technological development and regional competitiveness
7. Structure and write scientific papers


The focus is on the dynamics of the context in which firms operate and is complementary to other courses, which focuses more on the inside of the firm. At the micro level, our focus is on the relationship between technological discontinuities and business strategy. At the meso level, it shifts to the analysis of innovation systems (sectoral/technological) or clusters. We discuss the nature of such systems, their evolution and how firms and other actors may relate to that evolution. One of these is government, which may attempt to influence the evolution of innovation systems via policy. Policy may be specific to a sector, or of more general nature, such as science and educational policies.


The following modules are included in the course:

a) Introduction to the course, outlining the contours of it
b) Technological change and industrial transformation as a dynamic, non-deterministic and highly uncertain process
c) Technological discontinuities, industrial transformation and business strategy
d) The dynamics of innovation systems/clusters and relationship with business strategy
e) Introduction to the measurement of scientific and technological change
f) Policy issues related to influencing the dynamics of the interaction between technological change and industrial transformation


Students are obliged to read mainly publications in academic journals. Below, there are some examples from a longer reading list.

Andersson, P. and Tushmam, L. (1997): Managing Through Cycles of Technological Change, in Tushman, M. and Anderson, P. Managing Strategic Innovation and Change, Oxford University Press, New York, pp 45-52.

Arthur, B. (1996): Increasing Returns and the New World of Business, Harvard Business Review, July-August, pp 100-109.

Breshanan, T., Gambardella, A. and Saxenian, A.-L. (2001): Old Economy Inputs for New economy Outcomes: Cluster Formation in the New Silicon Valleys, Industrial and Corporate Change, vol. 10, no. 4, pp 835-860.

Carlsson, B. and Jacobsson, S. (1993): Technological systems and economic policy: the diffusion of factory automation in Sweden, Research Policy, 23 pp 235-248.

Christensson, C. (1997): The Innovator s Dilemma, Harvard Business School Press, Boston Massachusetts, Chapter 1.

Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (1999): Funding a Revolution. Government support for computing research, National Research Council, National Academy Press.

Cusumano, (1997), M., Mylonadis,Y., Rosenbloom, R. (1997): Strategic Maneuvring and Mass-Market Dynamics: The Triumph of VHS over Betamax, in Tushman, M., and Andersson, P., Managing Strategic Innovation and Change, Oxford.

Kemp. R., Schot, J. and Hoogma, R. (1998): Regime Shifts to Sustainability Through Processes of Niche Formation: The Approach of Strategic Niche Management. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, vol.10, no. 2, pp 175-195.

Kline, S. and Rosenberg, N. (1986): An Overview of Innovation, in R. Landau and N. Rosenberg (eds), The Positive Sum Strategy: Harnessing Technology for Economic Growth, Washington DC: National Academy Press. pp 275-305.

Leonard-Barton, D. (1992): Core Capabilities and Core Rigidities: A Paradox in Managing New Product Development, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 13, 111-125.

Lieberman, M. and Montgomery, C. (1988): First-Mover Advantages, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 9, 41-58.

Mogee, Mary Ellen (1997): Patents and Technology Intelligence, in Ashton, W. B. and Klavans, R. A., eds, Keeping Abreast of Science and Technology. Batelle Press, Columbus, pp 295-335.

Olleros, F. (1986): Emergent Industries and the Burnout of Pioneers, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 1, 5-8.

Porter, M. (1998): Clusters and the New Economics of Competition, Harvard Business Review, November-December, pp 77-90.

Rosenberg, N. (1996): Uncertainty and Technological Change, in Landau, R., Taylor, T. and Wright, G., eds, The Mosaic of Economic Growth, Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, pp 334-355.

Examination including compulsory elements

Lectures will be the basic teaching method. Lecturers will include guest lecturers.
The main form of examination will be the writing of a scientific paper for which some supervision will be provided. Additional forms of examination may be added.

Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.