Technology and Operations Management 2021 Spring (WBS)


Technology and Operations Management  (2021 Spring)


As of April 1st, 2021

Note: This syllabus may be updated and revised at a later date.


Instructor: Kanetaka M. Maki, Ph.D. (
Teaching Assistant: Alex Jen, Nicolas Paz, and Shu Kamiya
Semester & Class Time: Spring Quarter – Mondays 3rd (13:00-14:30) and 4th (14:45-16:15) Periods
Classroom: 11-902 (and online using Zoom)

1. Course Description

Technology and Operations Management (TOM) covers two different but interrelated topics: Technology Management and Operations. TOM is a field originally developed at Harvard Business School. The original concept of TOM was started from Operations, specifically focusing on the manufacturing and development of physical products. However, as the world of operations research has changed, the course expands to new issues in information technology, supply chains, service industries, etc.
Currently, TOM is the course that provides the student with competencies in the field of technology management for product design, manufacturing, and innovation.
The course will provide students an introduction to the basics of technology management and various new topics related to innovation management. The course will utilize lectures, case discussions, assignments, and guest speakers from the industry. Students will learn basic frameworks in this TOM field, and they will utilize these frameworks using case studies.
The course is aimed at three types of audience:

  • those who are interested in the process/methods of innovation.
  • those who are interested in the technology business.
  • those who are willing to expand their perspectives.

We will cover many types of technology in this class. However, a STEM background is not required for this course.

2. Course Objective

  1. To provide you the frameworks and methods to conduct innovation.
  2. To provide you an overview of the cutting-edge technology-based businesses.
  3. To provide you the framework to analyze technology-based businesses.

3. Preparation and Assignments

Each student is expected to have completed all readings, assignments for each class before the class starts (approximately 1.5 hours for each class).

4. Class Schedule

The schedule may be updated and revised at a later date.

Class 01 (4/5): Introduction
  • Introduction
  • Course Framework
  • MBA in AI Era
  • Effectiveness of Online Courses
  • Read the course syllabus carefully.
  • Submit your self-introduction presentation slide (URL will be announced separately).
  • None
Class 02 (4/5): Experimentation & Innovation
  • Experimentation
  • Prototyping
  • Michael A. Roberto, “New Venture Simulation: The Food Truck Challenge”,  HBSP Product #: 7201-HTM-ENG
  • Simulation
    • Michael A. Roberto, “New Venture Simulation: The Food Truck Challenge”,  HBSP Product #: 7201-HTM-ENG
  • Preparation Questions
    1. Why did you make your initial choices in the simulation? What was your decision-making rationale?
    2. How did you assess market feedback and modify your choices as time progressed in the simulation?
    3. If you chose the pushcart option, why did you do so? What made it difficult to pursue this option?
    4. If you chose the research option, what motivated that decision? What were the challenges associated with conducting additional research?
    5. If you chose to operate the food truck rather than the pushcart, what was your rationale?
  • Thomas R. Eisenmann, Eric Ries, Sarah Dillard, “Entrepreneurship Reading: Experimenting in the Entrepreneurial Venture”, HBSP Product #: 8077-PDF-ENG
Class 03 & 04 (4/12): Design Thinking Workshop Online
  •  Design Thinking Workshop
  •  None
  • Clayton M. Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, and David S. Duncan, “Know Your Customers “Jobs to Be Done””, Harvard Business Review, September 2016
  • Don Norman, “The Design of Everyday Things”, Basic Books, 2013 [Chap 6]
Class 05 (4/19): Design Thinking
  • Design Thinking
  • IDEO and Product Development
  • Reading
    • Stefan Thomke and Ashok Nimgade, “IDEO Product Development”, HBS Case #600-143
  • Preparation Questions
    1. How would you characterize IDEO’s process, organization, culture, and management?
    2. Decision point: should IDEO accept the Visor project as is (on a dramatically reduced schedule)? Should they try to persuade Handspring’s management to change its aggressive launch schedule? Or should they simply decline the project? In your discussion, please consider the IDEO and Handspring perspectives.
  • Tim Brown, “Design Thinking”, Harvard Business Review, June 2008
  • Stefan Thomke, “Enlightened Experimentation: The New Imperative for Innovation”, Harvard Business Review, February 2011
Class 06 (4/19): User Innovation
  • User Innovation
  • Reading
    • Stefan Thomke, “Innovation at 3M Corporation (A)”, Harvard Business School Case,  July 2002 (HBS Case #699-012)
  • Preparation Questions
    1. How has 3M’s innovation process evolved since the company was founded? Why, if at all, does 3M, known as a “hothouse” of innovation, need to regain its historic closeness to the customer?
    2. How does the Lead User research process differ from and complement other traditional market research methods?
    3. Has the Medical-Surgical team applied the Lead User research process successfully? Why or why not?
    4. What should the Medical-Surgical Lead User team recommend to Dunlop: the three new product concepts or a new business strategy? What are the risks to the new Lead User process at 3M? What are the risks to the Medical-Surgical business unit?
  • Stefan Thomke, “Innovation at 3M Corporation (B)”, Harvard Business School Case,  July 2002 (HBS Case #699-013)
  • Eric von Hippel, Stefan Thomke,  and Mary Sonnack, “Creating Breakthroughs at 3M”, Harvard Business Review, September – October 1999
Class 07 (4/26): Platform Business and Sharing Economy
  • Platform Business
  • Sharing Economy
  • Disruptive Business
  • Uber’s Business Model and Strategy
  • Reading
    • Youngme Moon, “Uber: Changing the Way the World Moves”, Harvard Business School Case, January 2017 (HBS Case #16011-02)
  • Preparation Questions
    1. Do you agree or disagree with Uber’s surge pricing policy? What are the reasons it can be perceived as unfair? What does it mean to say that a pricing policy is exploitative? What are the risks of the policy to Uber? Given these risks, should Uber modify its policy? Be prepared to defend your answer.
    2. Uber is notoriously aggressive in its business tactics. It frequently operates without getting regulatory approval and it often ignores legal concerns; as a consequence, the company has become a lightning rod of criticism. Do you agree with Uber’s aggressive tactics? Is there a more diplomatic way for Uber to conduct its business? Should Uber be taking more of a “tiptoe” approach when it enters new markets?
    3. Uber has become enormously popular among consumers in a very short period of time. How has the company accomplished this?
    4. How well dos Uber treat its drivers? From a driver’s standpoint, is it better to drive for Uber or is it better to drive for a taxi/limo service? Is it economically more attractive to drive for Uber? What would you imagine are the biggest complaints drivers have about driving for Uber? What would you imagine are the most appreciated benefits? What is the profile of a typical Uber driver, and how does it compare to the profile of the typical taxi or limo driver?
    5. How robust is Uber’s operating model? What are the weak links in its service model? Is Uber vulnerable? In what way?
    6. In its relatively short life span, Uber has attracted a lot of media attention. Why is this? What is it about the Uber business model that is both compelling and polarizing? In addition, why has Uber managed to achieve such a high valuation? What are the pros and cons of a high valuation?
  • Thomas Eisenmann, Geoffrey Parker, and Marshall W. Van Alstyne, “Strategies for Two-Sided Markets”, Harvard Business Review, October 2006
Class 08 (4/26): Service Innovation and Operations
  • Service Innovation
  • Service Operations
  • Benihana’s Business Model
  • Basics of Operations
  • Reading
    • H. Earl Sasser, “Benihana of Tokyo”,  HBS Case #9-673-057
  • Preparation Questions
    1. What are the differences between the Benihana production process and that of a typical restaurant?
    2. Examine the production system in detail. What are the major design choices which generate operating efficiencies?
  • Roy D. Shapiro, “Designing, Managing, and Improving Operations”, Harvard Business Publishing Core Curriculum “Operations Management”, 2013
Online Simulation Competition (4/27-5/16)
  • Operations
  • Online Simulation
    • W. Earl Sasser Jr. and Ricardo Ernst, ”Operations Management Simulation: Benihana V2”, Product #: 7003-HTM-ENG
  • Preparation Questions (Challenge 6: Design Your Best Strategy)
    1. What do you think is the best strategy for maximizing profitability?
    2. What do you think is the best strategy for maximizing throughput?
    3. Are there any correlations between these variables?
Class 09 (5/10): Drone Business and Formation of New Industry 
  • Drone Industry
  • Innovator’s Dilemma
  • Reading
    • Wai Fong Boh, Wee-Kiat Lim and Yi Zeng, “Da Jiang Innovations (DJI): The Rise of the Drones”, The Asian Business Case Centre, HBSP #NTU139
  • Preparation Questions
    1. What customer segment(s) should DJI target in (a) the near future (e.g., the next five years) and (b) in the longer term (e.g., beyond the next five years)?
    2. How would you map DJI’s innovation eco-system for the commercial segment? What kinds of co-innovation and adoption risks does the company face?
    3. Should DJI move to a platform-based model or should they continue to be a product-based company? In other words, to what extent is there potential for DJI to move towards a platform-based business model?
    4. What kinds of change in their business model would DJI be required to make if it were to move to a platform-based business?
    5. What other strategies would you adopt if you were a DJI executive?
  • Chris Anderson, “Drones Go to Work”, Harvard Business Review Digital Article, May 2017
  • Joseph L.  Bower and Clayton M. Christensen, “Disruptive Technologies – Catching the Wave” Harvard Business Review, January-February 1995
  • Carliss Y. Baldwin and Kim B. Clark, “Managing in an Age of Modularity”, Harvard Business Review, September-October 1997
Class 10 (5/10): New Business: Genome Industry
  • Genome Industry
  • Reading
    • John A. Quelch and Margaret Rodriguez, “23andMe: Genetic Testing For Consumers (A)”, Harvard Business School Case,  January 2014 (HBS Case #514-086)
  • Preparation Questions
    1. Is the sale of DNA tests to consumers a good idea?
    2. Would you invest in 23andMe?
    3. What should Wojcicki do?
In-Class Reading
  • John A. Quelch and Margaret Rodriguez, “23andMe: Genetic Testing For Consumers (B)”, Harvard Business School Case, January 2014 (HBS Case #514-095)
  • John A. Quelch and Irene Lu, ”23andMe: Genetic Testing For Consumers (C)”, Harvard Business School Case, June 2017 (HBS Case #517-129)
Class 11 (5/17): Innovation Tournaments
  • Innovation Tournaments
  • Open Innovation
  • Reading
    • Karim R. Lakhani, “ (A)”, Harvard Business School Case, October 2009 (HBS Case #9-608-170)
  • Preparation Questions
    1. Why would firms use InnoCentive’s service to solve scientific and technical problems?
    2. What is the motivation for Solvers to participate in InnoCentive?
    3. What kinds of problems are appropriate for Broadcast Search?
    4. What are the trade-offs between choosing a market or a community for problem solving?
  • Karim R. Lakhani, Eric Lonstein, “ (B)”, Harvard Business School Case, August 2011 (HBS Case #612026-PDF-ENG)
  • Karim R. Lakhani, Eric Lonstein, “ (B)”, Harvard Business School Case, August 2011 (HBS Case #612027-PDF-ENG)
  • Gary P. Pisano, Roberto Verganti, “Which Kind of Collaboration Is Right for You?”, Harvard Business Review, December 2008
Class 12 (5/17): Guest Speaker I – AI Strategy of Baidu
  • Guest Speaker: Mr. Charles Zhang (CEO, Baidu Japan)
  • TBD
  • TBD
Class 13 (5/24): Guest Speaker II – Entrepreneurship in Japan and Fintech
  • Guest Speaker: Mr. Toshio Taki (Money Forward)
  •  TBD
  •  TBD
Class 14 (5/24): Inclusive Innovation
  • Inclusive Innovation
  • Reading
    • Rohit Deshpande and Laura Winig, “Cipla”, Harvard Business School Case, June 2003 (HBS Case #503085-PDF-ENGCiPLA)
  • Preparation Questions
    1. What is your assessment of how well the various parties are handling the global AIDS pandemic?
    2. How does Cipla’s business model differ from that of the traditional pharmaceutical companies? What are the key drivers and challenges to Cipla’s success?
    3. In your view, do Cipla’s business practices constitute unfair competition?
    4. What should Dr. Hamied and his company do in response to the challenges they face?
    5. What, if anything, should the following parties do to combat the global AIDS crisis: (1) “Big Pharma,” (2) “rich country” governments, (3) non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and non-profits such as the Clinton Foundation?
  •  None
Class 15 (5/31): What is Innovation?  & Wrap-up
  • What is Innovation?
  • Course Evaluation
  • Wrap-up
  • Peter F. Drucker, “The Discipline of Innovation”, Harvard Business Review, August 2002
  • John T. Gourville, “Eager Sellers and Stony Buyers – Understanding the Psychology of New-Product Adoption”, Harvard Business Review, June 2006
  • Stefan Thomke, Iavor Bojinov, Guillaume Saint-Jacques, Martin Tingley, Jeremy King, Daniel McGinn, “Productive Innovation”, HBSP Product #: R2002B-PDF-ENG
  • Eric T. Anderson, Duncan Simester, “A Step-by-Step Guide to Smart Business Experiments”, HBSP Product #R1103H-PDF-ENG 
  • None
Final Report
  • Design experiment.
  • TBD 
Optional Session 01: Bioinspiration
  • Bioinspiration 
  • Reading/Watching
    • Karim R. Lakhani, Vish Krishnan and Ruth Page, ”Bioinspiration at the San Diego Zoo”, Harvard Business School Case, September 2014 (HBS Case #614-703)
  • Questions (No need to submit)
    1. During the development of products and services, what are the typical steps for a problem-solving process? How is Bioinspiration different than other sources of innovation?
    2. Why would firms work with the San Diego Zoo for product innovation help?
    3. Is the current model of the Center for Bioinspiration the best model? What would you recommend should be its role within the zoo and/or its form interaction with clients?
Optional Session 02: Star Scientists
  • University-based Innovation System
  • Science Business
  • Star Scientists
  • Reading
    • H. Kent Bowen, “The Langer Lab: Commercializing Science”, Harvard Business School Case, March 2005 (HBS Case #605-017)
  • Preparation Questions
    1. Is the Langer Lab successful? Why?
    2. What role does Langer himself play?
    3. What perpetuates continued innovation and productivity?
  • Steven Prokesch, “The Edison of Medicine”, Harvard Business Review, March-April 2017
  • G. Zucker, Darby, M.R. 2007. Virtuous circles in science and commerce. Papers in Regional Science. 86(3) 445-470.
  • Gary Pisano, “Can Science Be a Business? Lessons from Biotech”, Harvard Business Review, October 2006


5. Classroom Procedure 

  • The course meets 7.5 times for 180 minutes each time. Class sessions will begin and end on time. Please be punctual so that you do not miss the initial thrust of the discussions or disturb others. Keep in mind class participation is part of your grade.
  • Each student is expected to have completed all readings, assignments for each class before the class starts. Assignments will be submitted prior to each class through Waseda Moodle. Each student should be prepared and expect to participate in classroom discussions.
  • Many of the sessions of this class will follow the discussion format. This allows you to apply theories, concepts and analytical devices discussed in class or in the reading materials, or from other relevant current events or news sources. The direction and quality of the discussion are the collective responsibility of the class, not the sole responsibility of the instructor. Class participation will be graded on your readiness, willingness and the quality of your comments and their contribution to the discussion.
  • I expect each student to be prepared at all times to comment on any class session. To reinforce this expectation, I will randomly cold call on students during the ensuing discussion, both those who raise their hands and those who do not.

6. Textbooks

  • Required
    • A carefully selected list of readings is provided. We will provide you all printed handouts.
    • We will use IT tools to facilitate the discussion – You are required to bring your smartphone, tablet or PC to the class.
  • Reference
    • Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation 5th Edition, Robert Burgelman et al., McGraw-Hill Education
    • Managing Business Process Flows: Principles of Operations Management 3rd Edition, Ravi Anupindi et al., Prentice Hall

7. Grading

Class Attendance (Submit class attendance form after the class by the deadline (must include the magic word announced in the class)). 25 %
Class Contribution (Contribution to the in-class discussion. / Contribution to the online discussion / Contribution for helping other students’ learning experience) 25 %
Assignments (Submit pre-assignment by the deadline.) 25%
Final Report 25%
Total 100%

[Contributing to the Class Discussion]

The frequency (i.e., the quantity) of your interventions in class is not a key criterion for effective class contribution.

Some criteria used to evaluate class contribution are as follows:

  1. Is the participant deeply engaged in class? The use of laptops and electronic devices for non-class purposes can negatively affect class participation and learning experience.
  2. Is the participant a good listener? Are the points made relevant to the discussion? Are they linked to the comments of others? Do the comments show evidence of the analysis of the case?
  3. Is there a willingness to test new ideas, or are all comments “safe”? (For example, repetition of case facts without analysis and conclusions).
  4. Do comments clarify or build upon the important aspects of earlier comments and lead to a clearer understanding of the case?

8. Course Policies

  • Academic Integrity
    • The integrity of scholarship is essential for an academic community. As members of the Waseda Business School, we pledge ourselves to uphold the highest ethical standards. The University expects that both faculty and students will honor this principle and in so doing protect the validity of University intellectual work. For students, this means that all academic work will be done by the individual to whom it is assigned, without unauthorized aid of any kind.
    • The complete Waseda Business School Policy on Integrity of Scholarship can be viewed at the Student Honor Code for WBS Courses.
  • The Honor Code in This Course
    • You can work with anyone on class assignments.  I suggest that you work in study groups on homework assignments.
    • Your class preparation and assignments must not benefit from class materials by students who took this course in prior years, or at other schools. Using course notes or PowerPoint slides you received from previous students of this class is a violation of the Honor Code.
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
    • A knowledge of equity, diversity, and inclusion is required of students in this class.
    • Definitions of Terms
      • Equity is the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all students, faculty, and staff…while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of marginalized groups.
      • Diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and world-views that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and geographic region.
      • Inclusion is the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued.

9. Notes

  • If you have any questions regarding the class, please use slack channel.
  • Kanetaka M. Maki, Ph.D. Official Web Page: