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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Innovation in China: from an emerging economy to global power (BUST10154)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryChina is now home to rapid and large-scale digital innovations offering a changing array of internet and mobile technology-based services across a wide range of activities from e-commerce, fintech, and creative industries to sharing economies. Digital innovation has been transforming the country in the last decade. Once a backwater, later dismissed as copycats and now poised to challenge Western domination, China and its rise has engendered great fears and hostile sentiments. These developments demand rigorous study, understanding and critical evaluation.
This course offers you an opportunity to engage with the phenomenon of radical, exciting, however often controversial digital developments, including, for example, COVID-19 track-tracing mobile apps, fintech, Social Credit, big-data based business models, etc. It will introduce a core theme surrounding the imitation paradox in innovation and explore the complex and sometimes contradictory features of Chinese society in the global context.
The challenges of ¿learning by doing¿ and struggling with competing values have recurred through China's recent history in the transition from a traditional hierarchical society, to the socialist regime of central planning, to the current market system ¿with Chinese characteristics¿.
The course is designed to take advantage of our multicultural student community through working in groups which invite you to explore different perspectives. It ushers you into an arena with multiple perspectives, concepts and analytical frameworks from various academic fields, such as international business, science and technology studies (STS) and Chinese studies, where you can explore and develop your own inter-/multi-disciplinary ¿toolset¿ for enquiry and critical evaluation.
The ultimate goal of the course is to encourage and assist your preparation for the journey that you are to pursue after the course, whatever the interests you have in China, international business, digital innovation or the challenges the world is facing today.
Course description This course will equip you with analytical frameworks to explore China's rise from an emerging economy to challenging for world leadership in digital innovation and to critically discuss some emerging however controversial innovative services in China and the world and evaluate roles of digital data-based technology in fighting against COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, the challenges the world is facing. The course will centre around case study research and group discussion, which will engage you with conceptual and theoretical frameworks and different perspectives in various academic fields, such as international business, science and technology studies (STS) and Chinese studies and encourage you to develop your own inter-/multi-disciplinary toolset for enquiry and analysis. The objectives of the course are:
- Understand intertwined and dynamic relations between innovation and the social and technological contexts in which they emerge and, in turn, become embedded and transform.
- Engage with various conceptual and analytical frameworks derived from different cognate disciplines, from philosophy, culture to business, political economy, and social studies of technology.
- Develop an understanding of distinctive features of China's social structure and governance, cultural tradition and the ongoing transformation of the business environment
- Critically evaluate challenging issues/events/matters from diverse positions, and in particular, to engage with internal and external perceptions of developments in China.
Case study materials are the key elements to be used in the teaching of the course. You need to be hands-on working in groups and independently to view the materials provided by the class, evaluate these materials, analyse them with appropriate tools and to search and deliver missing and/or additional materials.
Working in groups is an important method adopted by the course. Homeworks before and after the class and tutorials will all require group efforts.
Student learning experience:
- Through team-working to accumulate practical skills for effective independent & collective learning and enhance confidence and abilities to work effectively in a multicultural environment;
- Dialogue, develop the ability of self-reflection to exchange perspectives and views with your peers brought up in different cultures and educational backgrounds and sensitivity to recognise value systems different from your own;
- Gain a better understanding of the distinctive features of digital technology and social manifestations in the digital age.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Business Honours entry
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have at least 4 Business/Management courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically identify distinctive social-technical features of digital technology, and have an overview of China's innovation paradigm and the specific business landscape resulting from the ongoing social and technological transformation;
  2. Analyse the intertwined and dynamic relations between innovation and its embedding social and technical contexts ¿ encompassing how the context shapes innovation and uptake and may, in turn, be transformed by widespread use of new digital services;
  3. Discuss and evaluate appropriate conceptual and analytical frameworks and develop and apply an interdisciplinary approach to the discovery of new emerging and rapidly changing phenomena in the digital business realm;
  4. Demonstrate ability of independent thinking and contribute to collective learning.
Reading List
There is no compulsory reading list. However, there is Resource List provisionally provided by the university library. Please note the resource list will be moderated and/or expanded weekly during the course.
There are ample audio-visual materials; please see Course content on LEARN provided alongside the progress of the course.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Meaningful Interpersonal Interaction
- understand how to manage and sustain successful individual and group relationships in order to achieve positive and responsible outcomes, in a range of virtual and face-to-face environments.
2. Appropriate Communication
- convey meaning and message through a wide range of communication tools, including digital technology and social media; to understand how to use these tools to communicate in ways that sustain positive and responsible relationships.
3. Understand and Make Effective Use of Data
- critically evaluate and present digital and other sources, research methods, data and information; discern their limitations, accuracy, validity, reliability and suitability; and apply responsibly in a wide variety of organisational contexts.
4. Academic Excellence
- demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines; comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well-informed and transparent organisation-related decisions which have a positive global impact.
5. Intellectual Curiosity
- identify, define and analyse theoretical and applied business and management problems, and develop approaches, informed by an understanding of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques, to explore and solve them responsibly.
KeywordsGeopolitical competitiveness,China and the globalised world,digital information network phenomena
Course organiserDr Xiaobai Shen
Tel: (0131 6)50 3819
Course secretaryMs Nikki Kohly
Tel: (0131 6)50 3825
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