Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
EM7030 (AF:363221 AR:192106)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Class 1
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
3rd Term
Course year
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In accordance with the learning objectives of the Degree in Innovation and Marketing, the course provides an overview of the most important approaches to the history of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Teachers will introduce students to key historical debates on innovation and provide students with key theoretical instruments borrowed by sociology of technology, economic and business history and economics of innovation. They will focus on both technical and organizational innovation in different historical epochs and make reference to historical and contemporary case studies.
In particular, they will pay attention to the role of institutions, firms and entrepreneurs in promoting or hindering product and process innovation.
1) Students will develop an understanding of innovation and entrepreneurship as complex phenomena resulting from interactions between groups of people and institutions (entrepreneurs, experts, managers, consumers, firms, governments).
2) Students will become aware of the main historical debates on innovation and entrepreneurship
3) Students will obtain a basic understanding of the methods and contents of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and of the Social Construction of Technology (Scot) and their implication for historical analysis
4) Students will be able to deal critically with historical and contemporary case studies

Excellent knowledge of English language
1) Innovation: A few things I (need to) know about it
2) Innovation in Pre-industrial business: Guilds and innovation
How does product innovation come about?
3) Imitation and Invention in the Industrial Revolution
4) How does product innovation come about? The Consumption Junction. Insights from sociology of technology
5) How does product innovation come about? Food innovation in 20th century
6) Which is the role played by institutions in promoting or hindering innovation?
Manufacturing property rights in the Venetian Republic
7) Which is the role played by institutions in promoting or hindering innovation?
National Systems of Innovation
8) From the standpoint of the family: the industrious revolution (De Vries)
9) Who is the innovator? A theory of entrepreneurship as innovation
10) When a firm is innovative? which is the role of entrepreneur? The innovator - entrepreneur
11) The three phases of marketing: Ford and Sloan
12) Innovation in electronics: the roots of the third industrial revolution
13) Circulation of Models and Innovation in Distribution (again on imitation and innovation)
14) Again on property right and innovation: the history of British videogame industry
15) A new sustainable life for Indian handloom textile
Epstein, S. R. “Craft Guilds, Apprenticeship, and Technological Change in Preindustrial Europe.” The Journal of Economic History 58, no. 3 (1998): 684–713. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2566620 .
Berg, Maxine. “From Imitation to Invention: Creating Commodities in Eighteenth-Century Britain.” The Economic History Review 55, no. 1 (2002): 1–30. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3091813 .
Pinch T. and W. Bijker, The Social Construction of Facts and Artefacts in The Social Construction of Technological Systems, MIT Press, 1987 pp. 28-50
Schwartz Cowan R., The Consumption Junction: A proposal for research strategies in the Sociology of Technology, in The Social Construction of Technological Systems, MIT Press, 1987 pp. 261- 281
Spiekermann, Uwe. “Twentieth-Century Product Innovations in the German Food Industry.” The Business History Review 83, no. 2 (2009): 291–315. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40538844 .
Favero G., Innovation as Import Substitution: The Logic of Industrial Privileges in 18th Century Venetian Ceramics
Charles Edsquit, Systems of Innovation. Perspectives and challenges, Oxford Handbook of Innovation, pp 181-209
De Vries, Jan. “The Industrial Revolution and the Industrious Revolution.” The Journal of Economic History 54, no. 2 (1994): 249–70. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2123912 .
Langlois R., Schumpeter and the Obsolescence of the Entrepreneur, WP, 2002
Bill Lazonick, The innovative firm, Oxford Handbook of Innovation, 29-56
T. McCraw, R. Tedlow, Henry Ford and Alfred Sloan and the Three Phases of Marketing in T. McCraw, Creating Modern Capitalism, pp. 26
Olegario R., IBM and the Two Thomas Watsons in T. McCraw, Creating Modern Capitalism, pp. 351-393
Bernstein J., 7 Eleven in America and Japan, in T. McCraw, Creating Modern Capitalism, 492-529
Tsang, D. (2021). Innovation in the British Video Game Industry since 1978. Business History Review, 95(3), 543-567. doi:10.1017/S0007680521000398
W. Bijker, A. Mamidipudi, Innovation in Indian Handloom Weaving, T&C, vol. 59, 3 (2018)
Evaluation: written exam (open question) or analysis of case study
Assessment methods
1) Written exam
One open question or analysis and comment of a case study
Time: 2 hours
Frontal lessons\ class discussion of case studies

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Cities, infrastructure and social capital" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 03/02/2022