COM-21306 Innovation Management and Cross-Disciplinary Design


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Literature study
Problem-based learning18
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. C Leeuwis
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. C Leeuwis (period 5)
dr. ir. LWA Klerkx
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. C Leeuwis

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

One of the introductory courses offered by Communication Science

Continuation courses:

Facilitating Interactive Processes / Management of Change


Many scientists and policy makers wonder why their technologies and policy plans are hardly ever adopted widely. Evidence shows that innovations are likely to be successful only when designers manage to forge an effective balance between new technologies and new forms of social organisation. Creating such a balance requires a creative process amongst stakeholders, (technical and social) scientists and prospective users. This course first introduces recent theoretical insights from innovation theory. Subsequently, guest lecturers present existing efforts and approaches for inter-disciplinary design. Here the aim is to facilitate productive dialogue between technical and social science modes of thinking about design. In the third part of the course cross-disciplinary teams of students make a social-technical problem analysis around a topic of their choosing, and proceed to develop design criteria, research agendas and/or process designs as early steps in a possible innovation trajectory.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of the course students are expected to:
- have insight in recent theories and modes of thinking about innovation processes;
- be able to link these insights to prominent beta and beta-gamma design approaches within agro-ecological and/or life science universities and research conglomerates;
- have developed an appropriate understanding of the role of gamma and beta scientists, stakeholders and communication specialists in innovation design processes;
- have practical skills relevant to socio-technical design.


- working lectures on relevant theory and approaches;
- discussion lectures with bèta and gamma researchers and students;
- group work on socio-technical problem analysis and follow up.


- written examination;
- group assignment.


A course outline can be obtained from the secretary of Communication Science. Course literature will be handed out during the first lecture.

Compulsory for: BINInternational Development StudiesBScC: Communication, Technology and Policy5AF
MCHCommunication, Health and Life SciencesMSc2MO
Restricted Optional for: MIDInternational Development StudiesMScC: Communication, Technology and Policy2MO
Compulsory for: WUECLBSc Minor Communication, Research and Practice5AF
Restricted Optional for: WUINEBSc Minor Innovation and Entrepreneurship2MO