Syllabus, GEB 6518.0001, Spring 2015

Basic information

  • Instructor: Robert Cascio, Ph.D.
  • Course webpage:
  • Email: – This is the best way to reach me
  • Mobile phone: 407-538-1000 – Note: please use email for routine and non-urgent matters
  • Office: BA1-309H
  • Office hours: Immediate before or after class, or by appointment; please email to confirm a time.

Course materials

  • Textbooks: 1. Required – Strategic Management of Technological Innovation (Fourth Edition) by Melissa A. Schilling (ISBN 978-0-07-802923-3), textbook webpage: 2. Required – The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO’s Strategies for Defeating the Devil’s Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization by Tom Kelley & Jonathan Littman (ISBN 978-0385512077).
  • Required: Harvard Business Cases, Course Pack Link:
  • Access to internet and particularly Canvas / Webcourses@UCF for assignments, quizzes, and examinations during class. Ideally this would be a laptop or a tablet, however a mobile phone will also be acceptable. There is an app for webcourses for most smartphones. You will need to be able to input up to 6 sentences worth of information into Canvas / Webcourses@UCF and other webpages during class on several occasions in order to participate in surveys, discussions, and feedback exercises during the course session.
  • Valid UCF ID for Test Center entry

Course objectives

  • Students will be exposed to the dynamic, multifaceted nature of innovation in organizations and develop foundational knowledge regarding how and why innovations occur.
  • Students will build skills that will increase the generation and the success rate of product, service, and other innovations through effective innovation strategies for companies.
  • Students will obtain a thorough understanding of the strategic management of the innovation process and consider the multiple organizational issues that influence innovation frequency and success.
  • Students will apply innovation theories and concepts through reading material discussions, case studies, guest speakers, and in-class discussions regarding current work environments.
  • Students will improve interpersonal and communication skills by effectively delivering persuasive (and innovative) presentations to the class.
  • Students will further develop critical thinking, decision making, and leadership skills in the context of strategic management of product and service innovations.
  • “I want you to get the best possible course experience and have a competitive career advantage after successfully completing this course.”

What you can expect from me

  • Come prepared to every class with a class agenda and discussion topics.
  • Design the class so you can accomplish the objectives listed in the syllabus and apply material directly in your current or future employment.
  • Consider that it is not always the student’s fault if the material is not understood.
  • Create a mutually respectful classroom environment for effective debate and conversation.
  • Recognize that sometimes I may conduct the course incorrectly, and I should not get defensive when you question my style.

What I expect from you

  • Come prepared to every class by reading, reviewing, and studying chapters and other information to be covered, as well as previously covered material.
  • Complete all work on time with proper thought.
  • Consider that it is not necessarily the instructor’s fault if you don’t understand the material.
  • Treat others with respect and remain focused and engaged in class. Recognize that peer learning is critical in graduate programs.
  • Ask questions when you don’t understand. Asking questions is a sign of maturity, not ignorance.
  • Understand that I am not trying to “nit-pick” when I grade exams, assignments, or presentations. The professional business discipline requires detailed feedback and performance evaluation for mastery.

Learning outcomes

  • Students will possess knowledge of strategic innovation, including its creation and management within organizations.
  • Students will produce professional written and/or oral communications related to strategic innovation.
  • Students will make decisions based on ethical knowledge.
  • Students will apply the appropriate information technologies to specific case example situations.
  • Students will demonstrate an awareness of elements and environment in which strategic innovation can flourish.
  • Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills by analyzing organization problems, applying proper logic, assessing the quality/validity of data, and formulating valid conclusions based on their analyses.

Prerequisites and other requirements

  • Graduate student standing
  • Desire to learn; openness to criticism, peer evaluation, and continuous feedback
  • All faculty members are required to document students’ academic activity at the beginning of each course. In order to document that you began this course, please be sure to complete the first assignment in Canvas as shown on the course schedule. Failure to do so will result in a delay in the disbursement of your financial aid.


  • Lectures, instructor experience summaries, guest speaker presentations, and associated class discussions
  • Simulations of innovative situations, with course participants acting in different personas in the innovation process
  • In-class discussions or exercises for points to assess your level of preparation for the class session
  • In-class exercises / quizzes to access your level of preparation and to lead into discussions of course material
  • Written assignments
  • Oral presentations
  • Written examinations

Academic honesty

  • The University is committed to maintaining a fair academic environment for all students.
  • As part of that effort, a policy of academic honesty is strictly enforced.
  • Any conduct compromising this policy will result in academic and/or disciplinary action.
  • Any student who violates or assists in violating these standards will be pursued through the Office of the Dean of Business Administration and the Dean of Students.
  • Source: The Golden Rule Student Handbook

Classroom behavior

  • Courtesy and respect will be shown to all students, guests, and the instructor at all times
  • No disruptive behavior: disruptive latecomers, leaving early on a routine basis, sleeping, reading for pleasure, working on outside assignments, or excessive talking. Violators will be asked to leave the class and may be further penalized.
  • Mobile phone usage, including text messaging, is permitted during class breaks. Silence and keep mobile devices out of sight during class in order to keep everyone engaged and focused on the course material.
  • Laptop or tablet use is encouraged in the classroom for taking class notes. Inappropriate laptop use, such as Internet surfing, checking e-mail, instant messaging, playing games and working on unrelated assignments to name a few, will result in a reduction in your participation score.
  • On-time arrival to class and engagement in class discussion are critical for a full understanding of the material, an interesting class, and a satisfactory participation score.

Academic expectations

  • Be prepared to work outside of your comfort zone as you are pushed to expand your business acumen.
  • Prepare for assigned readings prior to the class discussion and for possible quiz or in-class exercise.
  • Attend each class and participate. Be on time to class every day.
  • All material presented in class may be incorporated into exams, exercises, or other forms of evaluating student performance.
  • Each student is responsible for staying current on any changes to the syllabus or announcements made in class.
  • Be sure to check my webpage frequently for updates.
  • Assignments are due at the beginning of class. All assignments or an equivalent make-up assignment must be completed to pass the course with a C or better. Late assignments, however, will receive no points.
  • Students should thoroughly rehearse presentations outside of class prior to delivering them.

Contacting the instructor

  • Ask your questions in class whenever possible. I have arranged the class to have sufficient time for them. Other students can then benefit from the discussion.
  • Secure at least 2 student emails and phone numbers in order to be able to discuss course assignments, activities, and general assistance easily between class sessions.
  • If you have a general course-related question, please be courteous enough to review the course webpages (main page, syllabus, schedule, etc.) and webcourses before contacting me.
  • Grade / Missing Points Questions – if you have a question about grades or missing class activity / quiz points, contact me by email or in person to discuss; be sure to do any necessary research first.


  • On occasion, an exercise will be given to assess your preparedness for class or your understanding of material.  They could be unannounced and given at various times during the class period. They will cover the material that has been covered in class or is scheduled to be covered in class for that day. Be sure to read and study the chapters before coming to class.
  • Some course in-class assignments or other point-valued activities are eligible for make-up for up to 2 classes, but for a reduced number of pointsAttendance is critical in this course because a large percentage is behavior-based; missing more 2 courses will reduce your course grade. Students who have conflicts with the dates published in this syllabus should drop this course.
  • Students have 2 weeks from the time an assignment or exam grade is posted to seek corrections or review before it is considered final.
  • Students should not plan on the opportunity to complete extra credit assignments to earn additional points over and above the points outline.
  • Students will be evaluated based on their performance on the following activities:
    Description Points Percent
    Exam 1 250 25%
    Exam 2 (comprehensive) 250 25%
    Team Project 200 20%
    Assignments – Chapter Presentations, Case Presentations, and  Exercises / Quizzes  (both in class and outside of class, some assignments are group and others individual) 200 20%
    Class Involvement and Participation 100 10%
    Total 1,000 100%

Study hints

  • Translate ideas into your own words and summarize every couple of pages in the chapter in a sentence or two.
  • Review and summarize course notes and key ideas as soon as possible following each class period. (Moves knowledge from short-term to long-term memory.)
  • Try and find inconsistencies or errors in the text or PowerPoint materials; tell me if you feel there is an error.
  • Link the material to previously learned material or your current work.
  • Consider audio-taping class lectures for additional review.

Participation and class attendance

  • Attendance and meaningful participation are mandatory. Meaningful means there is clarity, relevance, and importance to the discussion. Attendance may be taken at the end, middle, or beginning of class. Class attendance is a necessary, but insufficient condition for participation; in other words, missing more than 2 classes will lower your participation score, but attendance does not mean you are a meaningful contributor. I will be looking to see if you are prepared, a good listener, and an effective communicator. Participation is not about just “air time” or the “space” you take up. I will use the following scale:
  • 90-100/100 = outstanding contributor – consistent, high-level involvement with depth and original thinking and insight
  • 80-89/100 = good contributor – consistent contribution through asking and answering questions
  • 70-79/100 = satisfactory contributor – periodic contributions to class discussion
  • 50-69/100 = below-average contributor – sporadic contributions to discussions, passive audience member, if called upon fails to demonstrate familiarity with the material
  • Learning names is an important skill. You are encouraged to learn the first names of all students in the class and reference them by name in class discussions. Please make a simple table tent with your name on it and place it where the instructor and other students can view it to facilitate the name-learning process. The instructor will provide easy strategies for you to do so that you can apply in a variety of settings. Use LinkedIn, Facebook, class seating chart or other methods to learn student names.


  • Exams will consist of 40 to 70 multiple-choice questions and 5 to 15 short-answer / short-essay questions.
  • They will cover material from the assigned readings, class lectures, case studies, discussions, and assignments.
  • The exams will be constructed to reward those students who (1) read and study the assigned course materials well, (2) consistently attend class, and (3) take full responsibility for learning the material.
  • To maintain fairness, students are not to discuss in any way the material covered on an exam with other students until the exam availability period has closed. This is considered academic dishonesty and ultimately lowers your course grade.

Project details

  • In teams of 3, 4 (ideal), or 5 (a bit difficult to coordinate schedules) students, you will identify an opportunity for a significant new product or new service for an existing company. You will build a persuasive case and presentation as to the reasons that your opportunity should receiving funding understanding the finite financial and human resources present in all organizations. This project should be something that you are proud to present not only in the classroom, but also for career advancement in your current or future employment setting as an important part of your career portfolio.
  • A presentation outline and further guidelines will be provided. You will submit your PowerPoint slides and an Executive Summary.
  • There will be a comprehensive rubric that will indicate exactly how your project will be evaluated and scored.
  • To increase the likelihood of success, you will submit a short project proposal in advance for approval and feedback.
  • Students will access the performance of all team members including themselves. This will enable everyone to have input regarding their perspective on sharing the project workload components, as well as the quality of the deliverables by each team member. While I recognize that you cannot please everyone that you work with, your individual project grade can be impacted positively or negatively based on the overall feedback from your team members. The team project is worth up to 200 points. I may award a team project grade of 170, however each team member may receive a grade that is higher or lower than this team grade.

Final grades

  • A means excellent, superior, and outstanding.
    • B means very good, above average, and above expectations.
    • C means fair, average, and following the directions and requirements.
    • D means poor, below-average, and not completely following directions or requirements.
    • F means failure or not following the instructions or requirements at all.
  • Students are expected to achieve their desired grade through sufficient performance on assignments and exams.
  • They should not expect to be able to improve grades through re-doing assignments, extra credit, or negotiations with the instructor.
  • Grades will only be changed to correct calculation or input errors.
  • Final grades will be assigned based on the following point scale.
    Final Grade Points
    A 930 or more
    A- 900
    B+ 870
    B 830
    B- 800
    C+ 770
    C 730
    C- 700
    D+ 670
    D 630
    D- 600
    F 599 and below

Students with Disabilities

  • If you need accommodations in this course because of disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make me aware of this as soon as possible so that I may assist you.


  • Changes to the syllabus may be made to reflect the needs of the class.
  • Any changes will be announced in class and/or online.
  • Please check the course webpage between classes for updates and other helpful information.

Class schedule

  • The class schedule is separate webpages for convenience, but still a part of the syllabus for the class:

Final comments

  • Like me, I recognize that you have substantial responsibilities other than this course.
  • In order to grasp this material, however, you must spend significant time and energy in reading and preparing for each course session.
  • My responsibility as your course instructor is to ensure that you master the material and have the ability to apply these important principles.
  • Please understand that I am here to assist you in whatever way possible to balance the pressures of this course with your work and family life.

Copyright and instructor use of student assignments. The instructor may choose to use examples from this course for various other purposes, including other classes, research studies, and activities. Unless a student requests otherwise in writing, it is understood that this is acceptable for all class participants.