ORGSTUDY 450 - Technological Innovation
Winter 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Organizational Studies (ORGSTUDY)
Department: LSA Organizational Studies
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Credit Exclusions:
No credit granted to those who have completed ORGSTUDY 206.
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


We are thought by some to be living in a golden age of innovation, with technological changes occurring at an increasing rate. And technological innovation is a primary goal of many businesses that seek to remain competitive and of many government policies that hope to aid local industries in being innovative. But there is a great deal of variation in which kinds of firms and which kinds of regions are highly innovative: many enterprises and regions lag behind, despite the emphasis on creating and diffusing new technologies. This variation raises the central question of what conditions actually engender or inhibit innovation. Focusing on technological innovation in the business world, this course examines what firm-level characteristics make some better able to develop technologies than others, and what social and political characteristics help make some regions more innovative than others.

This course will be roughly organized into three different sections. As a starting place, (i) we will discuss some of the general characteristics of technological innovation as a social process; from there, (ii) we will examine some of the major characteristics of firms (and other organizations) that encourage or inhibit technological innovation or behaviors that are associated with innovative behavior; and, finally, (iii) we will make a brief study of the kinds of broader social, political, and economic conditions that are likely to facilitate technological innovation among local firms. The intention of the course is to provide a theoretical basis for understanding innovation, anchored by both historical and current empirical examples, applied case studies that require the application of existing theory, and guest speakers whose jobs involve technological innovation. There are, in fact, a number of uncertainties and ongoing debates regarding both how to structure firms for innovation and what can be done to promote the environmental conditions that favor firms. That is to say, while you will draw applicable lessons from the course, it is intended to provide you a broad understanding of issues related to innovation rather than to more narrowly train you how to “do” innovation.

Course Requirements:

See syllabus for further information.

Intended Audience:

Organizational Studies Students as well as upper-level students who have an interest in Organizational Theory and Technological Innovations.

Class Format:

As a DC (Distance due to COVID) course, all aspects of this course will be fully compatible with remote online learning. All class sessions will require synchronous virtual participation.


ORGSTUDY 450 - Technological Innovation
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
6So or Jr or Sr
1Jr or Sr
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
Note: Students will not get credit for this course if they have previously taken OS 495, Technological Innovation, with Steven Samford.

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for ORGSTUDY 450.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ORGSTUDY 450 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)