Shapiro, Carl & Hal R. Varian (1999) Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy, McGraw-Hill/Harvard Business School Press (required reading for GRA6821, so students should be familiar with it already). (For more information, check out the dedicated Web site at You can also read the first chapter here.) In the words of The Economist: "These two Berkeley professors bring a discipline to their analysis that is usually quite absent from the overheated burblings of the cyberprophets... [This book is about] rigorous and practical strategies, based on solid foundations, for surviving and prospering in the network economy.  [...] what is so likeable about this book--its fairmindedness and its wise pragmatism."

Utterback, J. M. (1994). Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press (required reading for GRA6821, so students should be familiar with it already). Utterback is a professor at MIT and a pioneer in the field of technology evolution. This book describes the process of technology evolution in a number of industries, from computer chips to a fabulous chapter on the ice industry (where Norway was a very important player on the world market.) A theoretically robust model for technology evolution as a process of evolution and revolution is detailed, a model which is crucial for our understanding of the likely changes we are facing in our increasingly digital business world. This book offers the theoretical weight necessary to put the companies and technologies we study into a broader context.
Recommended reading
The following are recommendations - excellent background material (and interesting reading, whether you are doing this for grades or not).
Electronic material
Some of the material referenced under the invididual classes will be made available in Blackboard, some through the Norwegian School of Management library.  The following web sites are good sources for information on new technology, technology challenges, and entertaining viewpoints:
If you want to keep up-to-date on these developments, I recommend downloading Sharpreader (or another reader for RSS feeds), which makes keeping up to speed relatively easy.

Classroom discussion
This is a course at the Master level, meaning that there is a joint responsibility between the instructor and the student for the learning reached.  Classroom discussion is the main interaction between teacher and students in this course. It is crucial both for the students' understanding and the quality of the discussion that the students are intimately familiar with the contents of the material before the lecture begins.  When the assigned material contains a case, every student will be expected to be able to give a short (3-5 minute) presentation of the case company, as well as discuss strategic and technological issues of importance, at each class.

Grades are determined as follows:

Detailed seminar plan
The right to make changes at any time is most explicitly reserved....
Date/lecturer Topic & study questions Preparation
Sandvika, Auditorium 3
August 23

Espen Andersen

Introduction, course overview, work processes, administrivia, course objectives. What difference does technology make?

Study questions:
1. Marshall McLuhan, a writer on the impact of communications technology on our society and behaviour, said "We shape our tools, and our tools shape us."  What does this mean - and how does it impact management?
2. What issues in technology management and technology strategy do you consider important, and why?

Read and be prepared to discuss:
  • Carr, N. G. (2003). "IT Doesn't Matter." Harvard Business Review(May): 41-49. (In Blackboard, along with the ensuing debate about the article.)
What really is technology?
Sandvika, Auditorium 3
0830 - 1115
August 30

Espen Andersen

Understanding technology culture and technology evolution
In this class, we will study the evolution of digital technology and the role of culture, metaphors, and other images of technology.

Study questions:
1. What is an Eloi? A Morlok?
2. Whatever happened to BeOS? Why?
3. What is the technosphere?  How can you make it thicker?
4. Create your own question....
Read and be prepared to discuss:
  • Stephenson, N. (1999). In the Beginning....Was the Command Line. New York, Avon Books.  Available for free here.  Excellent treatise on what technology really means. If you understand and like this article, then you really grok tech.
  • If you are so inclined, take a look at Sherman, S. P. (1984). "Microsoft's drive to dominate software." Fortune (January 23): 82-90. (In Blackboard)
Further reading (for the especially interested): In your spare time:

Systems development
Sandvika, Auditorium 3
0830 - 1115
September 6

Espen Andersen

Systems development - creating programs and applications.
In this class, we will read up on the development of computer programs and systems, and try to understand how changes in technologies and methodologies have changed what is easy and what is difficult.

1. What is a "waterfall" methodology and what are its benefits and drawbacks?
2. What is object oriented programming and what are its benefits and drawbacks?
3. How does the way the AAs Dispatching system was created differ from most system projects?
4. What are the advances and drawbacks to using an ERP package such as SAP rather than developing your own systems?
5. What is GPL?  Open Source?  Why is it important (if you think it is)


Read and be prepared to discuss:
  • Andersen, E. and B. R. Konsynski (1991). What the Hell is OOPS, Anyway? Technical note. Boston, MA, Harvard Business School.
  • Chapters 7 and 12 of Laudon & Laudon, Management Information Systems, Prentice-Hall, 6. edition.  (Available from Eli Steller)
  • Andersen, E. and F. W. McFarlan (1994). American Airlines: Object Oriented Flight Dispatching Systems. Boston, MA, Harvard Business School.  (Available from Eli Steller).
  • Take a glance at Eric Raymond: The Cathedral and the Bazaar, First Monday, 3 (3).  (Or, better yet, look at the latest version, evolving in true open source style.)  Excellent piece on how open source development works, when it works - and how "given enough eyeballs, all problems are shallow."
  • My rants on technology virgins and lack of electronic integration.
ERP systems - practice and consulting....
Sandvika, Auditorium 3
0830 - 1115
September 13
Espen Andersen
Johnny Rindahl, CEO, Spring Consulting
This class will focus on practical implementation of ERP, as well as the market for such services in Norway and the challenges in serving it.  Johnny Rindahl is CEO of Spring Consulting, a Norwegian consulting company specializing in SAP implementation and operation.

Study questions:
1. What is an ERP system?
2. You want an ERP system for your company, but it seems you have to make some specific changes to it, which are special to your company? Should you make the system fit the company or the company fit the system?  What are the risks and benefits of the alternatives?
3. The lessons from Davenport's article pertain to large companies - what are the challenges for small companies?
4.  Davenport's article is 6 years old - how has the technology changed since then, and what are the consequences?
5. Check out - what are their approach, and how is it a competitor to SAP?
  • Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • The Wikipedia entry on SAP: Poke around a bit and look at the competition: Oracle Financials, Peoplesoft, and BAAN (SSA).  Check out the concepts of ERP, CRM, HRMS and whatever you can find on process optimization.
    • Davenport, T. H. (1998). "Putting the Enterprise into the Enterprise System." Harvard Business Review (July-August): 121-131. (In Blackboard)
    • If you are interested in systems and interface design, take a look at Richard Pawson's Expressive Systems: A manifesto for radical business software, CSC 2000 (in Blackboard).
    Further reading:
    Organizing product development
    Sandvika, Auditorium 3
    0830 - 1115
    September 27

    Espen Andersen

    Creating products and projects - how to organize and compete on product development.
    In this class, we will read some articles on industrial production and product development, trying to understand what makes for rapid and successful product development.  Mostly, we will discuss the results from Wheelwright, Clark and Fujimoto's work on the international car industry.

    1.  What is the competitive impact of having a short development cycle in the car manufacturing industry?
    2. What is a "platform" product, and what is it important?  Can you think of examples of platform products?
    3. For which companies is this important?  Have you noticed companies that seem to be good at rapid product development and deployment in other industries?

    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Wheelwright, S. C. and K. B. Clark (1992). "Organizing and Leading "Heavyweight" Development Teams." California Management Review 92(34): 9-29. (In Blackboard).
    • Clark, K. B. and T. Fujimoto (1990). "The Power of Product Integrity." Harvard Business Review (November-December): 107-118.  (In Blackboard).
    • Wheelwright, S. C. and K. B. Clark (1992). "Competing through development capability in a manufacturing-based organization." Business Horizons 35(4): 29-44.  (In Blackboard).
    • Wheelwright, S. C. and K. B. Clark (1992). "Creating Project Plans to Focus Product Development." Harvard Business Review (March-April): 2-14.  (In Blackboard). 
    Further reading for the specially interested:
    • Wheelwright, S. and K. Clark (1992). Revolutionizing Product Development. New York, Free Press.
    Driving business integration
    Sandvika, Auditorium 3
    0830 - 1115
    October 4

    Espen Andersen

    The integrated enterprise and the integrated technial capability
    This will be a presentation of some recent work around integration (essentially, what does business integration mean in the context of value chains, value shops and value networks), as well as some recent work by the Concours Group on how to create a service-centric IT organization.  The intent is to teach you something about the role of technology in the large corporation.
    Read and be prepared to discuss:

    Further reading (for the especially interested):
    • Weill, P. and M. Broadbent (1998). Leveraging the New Infrastructure. Boston, MA, Harvard Business School Press. Excellent book on IT leadership and governance, what is infrastructure, etc.
    Disruptive technologies - music downloads and solid state lightning
    Sandvika, Auditorium 3
    0830 - 1115
    October 11

    Espen Andersen

    In this class, we will look at the music business and the impact of the Internet.  We will also look at solid state lightning and discuss what impact that will have.  We will do this on the basis of Clayton Christensen's last book.

    Things to consider before class:
    1.  Who are the customers of the music industry and what do they want - what is the job they are hiring the music products to do?
    2. In what way are the customers of new technologies (solid state lighting, internet delivery of music) different than customers of the currently dominant technology?
    2. What further technological and business evolution needs to take place for these technologies to replace the currently dominant technologies?
    3. Who will be the providers of the new technology - and what will be the business model?

    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Premkumar, G. P. (2003). "Alternate Distribution Strategies for Digital Music." Communications of the ACM 46(9): 89-95. (In Blackboard).  Good article on various models of digital music distribution.
    • Thesis on Internet and the Norwegian music industry by Alem Jasarevic, Thomas H. Johansen, Fred J.
    • Cory Doctorow's talk on DRM for Microsoft Resarch (or my Norwegian translation).
    • Interesting article on The long tail from WIRED.
    • (Study this to look at an excellent term paper) Term paper on solid state lighting by Tikhon Oleinikov and Laura Repsaite.
    • Prabakaran, D. (2003). "Beyond the Battery." BYTE (September).
    • Christensen, C. M., M. Raynor, et al. (2001). "Skate to Where the Money Will Be." Harvard Business Review(November): 73-81.
    • Reread some of the more relevant Utterback chapters.
    For the specially interested:
    Running a company on Open Source
    Sandvika, Auditorium 3
    0830 - 1115
    October 18

    Espen Andersen

    In this class, we will discuss Trolltech, a small (93 employees) Norwegian software company with a stellar international reputation and an interesting business model.

    Study questions:
    1. What are Trolltech's core markets, and how are they addressing them?
    2. Which factors have made Trolltech successful so far?
    3. How should they go forward?  What should be their sources of growth and profitability?
    4. What are the threats to Trolltech competitive and technical position?

    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Article on Trolltech
    Further reading (for the specially interested).
    Competition and externalities Sandvika, Aud. 3
    0830 - 1115
    October 25

    Øystein Fjeldstad

    Espen Andersen

    In this class we will take a deep look at externalities and how they work, examining perhaps the most well known case of them all: Microsoft and how this company has used externalities to their advantage.

    Study questions:
    What are the implications of network externalities for company strategy?
    2. What are the implications of network externalities for regulators - in particulary for regulation of business competition?
    3. Which elements of  Microsoft's strategy has created and sustained network externalitites?

    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Katz, M. L. and C. Shapiro (1994). "Systems competition and network effects." Journal of Economic Perspectives 8(2): 93-115.
    • Gilbert, R. J. and M. L. Katz (2001). "An Economist's Guide to U.S. v. Microsoft." Journal of Economic Perspectives 15 (2): 25-44.
    • You may want to revisit an article from the first TechStrat course: Sherman, S. P. (1984). "Microsoft's drive to dominate software." Fortune (January 23): 82-90., to get an impression of how the whole thing started.
    Further reading for the specially interested
    In your spare time:
    • Gladwell, M. (2000). The Tipping Point. London, Abacus. Funny and instructive on how fashions and crowd behavior evolves, examples include AIDS, Hush Puppies, suicides, syphilis and crime in New York. Key concepts such as "The Law of the Few", "The Stickiness Factor" and " The Power of Context".
    Serious e-Commerce

    Sandvika, Aud. 3
    0830 - 1115
    November 1

    Peder Inge Furseth
    Espen Andersen
    In this lecture, we will look at retail companies that take e-Commerce seriously, and who are able to integrate use of the Internet and e-Commerce into an already existing - and successful - business model.  Examples include Gap and Macy's.  Peder Inge Furseth is an Associate Professor at NSM and an expert in electronic retailing, who has conducted research on this in cooperation with people at the Haas School of Business, Berkeley University.

    Study questions:
    1 What is the importance of a transactional website for a company now and in the near future?
    2 How well developed should the transactional website be before it is launched?
    3 Will pure plays possibly be more profitable than the traditional click-and-mortars?

    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    • Porter, M. E. (2001). "Strategy and the Internet." Harvard Business Review (March): 63-78.
    • Chapter 1 in Steve Elliott (ed.): Electronic Commerce: B2C Strategies and Models, 2002
    • You should check out these webpages:,,,,
    • The e-commerce research project at BI: (in Norwegian only)
    Disruptive strategies and theories of technology evolution
    Sandvika, Auditorium 3
    0830 - 1115
    November 8

    Espen Andersen
    Creating disruptive strategies
    In this session, we will further discuss the concept of disruptive technologies and strategies, seeing how they will impact industries and companies.  How do you spot new technologies?  How do you understand how they impact industries?

    Study questions:

    • How is connectivity changing organizations and their competitive environment?
    • How can technological advances address the problem of companies misunderstanding what their customers want?
    • How can businesses encourage not only experimentation, but learning from experimentation?
    Read and be prepared to discuss:
    Further reading for the specially interested:
    • I wholeheartedly (again) recommend buying and inhaling The Innovator's Solution, which tries to provide strategies for either countering disruptive technologies or positioning your product or service so it becomes one.  Without hiding how difficult this is, this book contains lessons that any budding manager in a technology-rich environment (and which isn't, I say) should take to heart.
    • Check out Michael Schrage's Serious Play.  As well as his home page.
    Term paper presentations
    Sandvika, Auditorium 3
    0830 - 1115
    November 15

    Espen Andersen
    In this final session, you will present your term papers and have them criticized by fellow students and the instructor.  You may use Powerpoint and similar technologies, or you could do it with a synopsis and some discussion, or use some other technique.

    Please prepare and be ready to present:
    • an abstract and outline of your paper, with answers to these questions:
      • what is the question to which your paper is the answer?
      • what is the audience for your paper?
      • what will the paper look like?
      • what learning from the course will you use?
      • what will you have learned from writing the paper?
      • what about his paper will keep you awake at night?

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    Last updated: November 4, 2004.
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