AEM 3220 – Digital Business Strategy – Leiponen
Explores the impact of new technologies on business processes and industries. Focuses particularly on the effects of information and communication technologies (ICT). The objective is to understand the nature of information as an economic good, business opportunities and challenges created by ICT, and organizational constraints involved in exploiting these opportunities.
Comments from Professor Leiponen:
Why is the course valuable to entrepreneurial students?
Digital Business Strategy course is valuable to entrepreneurial students, particularly those exploring digital technologies, because it provides a conceptual foundation to understand how digitally-enabled markets work and practical tools to build business models in these environments. The business model development process is helpful in any area of technology, however, so students with interests or expertise in other technologies or markets will also benefit. Some student teams work on actual digital business ideas or startup ventures of the teammates. Other teams come up with new business ideas, and sometimes this work sparks further entrepreneurial exploration beyond the course among the team members.
What kind of students should/ should not take this course?
Students will get more out of the course in their junior or senior years, and they will need to have completed at least one management course and one microeconomics course. Intermediate microeconomics is highly recommended. Beyond that, the course has a diverse group of students from the different colleges and majors, and we often have technically oriented students work in teams with social science (including business) majors, which accelerates everyone’s learning and creativity. Students who are not interested in the evolution and societal impact of information and communication technologies should not take it.
What will be the challenges associated with taking this course?
Economics of information and networks is challenging to many students, although we do it mostly verbally and not based on calculus or formal mathematical models. The course also has a constant workload and an extensive team project, and students need to be able to devote enough time throughout the semester. An additional challenge involves class participation, as everyone is expected to attend and contribute to the discussion – we use an active learning model so there are many case discussions and in-class exercises. It is not possible to do well in the course without attending or preparing for class.
Are there any new updates or plans for this course?
Because the phenomenon of interest – digital business – continues to evolve very rapidly, I update some of the cases and content every year. Also, we share and discuss relevant newspaper articles and other media to keep track of the latest developments. I am currently looking for content and stimulating guest speakers around the topic of big data, so I hope to have some more on that next year!