Structure of the programme

Structure of the programme

  • Goals for the programme

    Goals for the programme

    In 1994, Bill Gates famously said that banking services are essential, while banks are not. Now, over two decades later, the prophecy implicit in Gates’ quote is beginning to materialize. Fuelled by new technologies and new regulations, firms both inside and outside of what we traditionally think of the financial sector have started to challenge the status quo by introducing new business models, services and products, that integrate financial services in new ways.

    The purpose of the EMBA in Technology and Innovation of Finance is to give participants the knowledge, tools and skills necessary to understand the challenges and/or opportunities that their firm might face in the wake of the ongoing Fintech revolution. Participants will learn how to use this knowledge to make better decisions that increase the likelihood that their firm will succeed. In addition, the program intends to enable the participants to gain sufficient knowledge about the most central new technologies and regulations to be able to communicate with experts on the different matters, but most importantly, to know their competitive and strategic implications.

    The programme integrates theoretical and practical applications, and features engagement and networking among faculty members and experienced classmates. The programme aims to provide participants with updated and relevant competence at a high academic level, and to build a network for learning and further development both within and outside the classroom sessions. The group of participants is small and carefully selected as we aim to bring together people with complementary educational backgrounds, and people with work experience from both within and outside what we traditionally think of as the financial sector. A diverse group of participants with complementary skills and backgrounds, facilitates learning and provides diverse perspectives on business problems. As such, the networking feature of the programme is in itself an important learning factor, both during the programme and after its completion.

  • Learning outcome

    Learning outcome

    The programme aims at providing the participants with a broad managerial competence platform. After completing the programme, participants should have achieved the following learning outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills, and general competence:

    Knowledge

    • The candidates understand the basic economics of competition and financial markets, how changes in technologies, innovations and regulations shape industries, and the implications of this for management.
    • The candidates have a good understanding of relevant and important topics in the fields of economics, management, strategy, marketing, finance, and innovation, and they are capable of integrating this knowledge to a multidisciplinary perspective to understand the opportunities and challenges a firm or industry is facing in a period of technological discontinuities.
    • The candidates have knowledge about the most important technologies, business models and regulations associated with the “Fintech-revolution”, and know how to analyse their competitive implications
    • The candidates are capable of keeping themselves up to date with academic knowledge and developments in technology, and to use such knowledge to make more informed strategic decisions.

    Skills

    • The candidates can carry out independent analyses to understand the how technological and regulatory changes in the external environment affect their industry and the competitive abilities of their firm.
    • The candidates can use analytical tools to analyse and critically assess various sources of information to make more informed and better decisions/ formulate arguments.
    • The candidates can use general management tools to motivate other organisational members to contribute to increased value creation and to implement strategic changes.
    • The candidates with a business background can communicate efficiently with technology experts to assess the strategic value of technologies, while candidates with a technical background can communicate efficiently with management and people with expertise in finance and business.

    General competence

    • The candidates have a solid understanding of fundamental mechanisms and tools, and can apply their knowledge and skills to new challenges.
    • The candidates can reflect on ethical issues in their own organisations.
    • The candidates can effectively communicate extensive independent work, both orally and in writing, using language that is appropriate to the field in question.
    • The candidates can contribute to fresh thinking and innovation processes.
    • The candidates can take on tasks relating to general management and board work.
  • Assessment

    Assessment

    Students are assessed both individually and in groups during the programme. The group work is centred around the MBA-thesis, while the individual assessments include individual home exams and peer-review reports of other groups MBA-chapter drafts.

    • MBA thesis (pass/fail): As part of each module, students must conduct an analysis, where they apply skills taught and topics covered in the module. Students receive the prescribed topic(s) for each module at the beginning of the semester, and hand in a complete draft by the end of the semester. This draft will then be subjected to peer-reviews by four students outside of the group (see below). By the end of the programme, each group integrate input from the peer reviews, and merge the four written parts into a unified text: the MBA thesis. Students will have access to academic supervision throughout the programme, in addition to the mentioned peer-reviews. The final written thesis will be evaluated by an NHH faculty, and they also have to defend their thesis orally.
    • Individual peer-review (pass/fail): By the end of each semester, each participant write an individual review of another groups MBA-thesis-chapter draft. The reviews will be evaluated by NHH faculty.
    • Individual home exam (Grade A-F): By the end of each semester, students have an individual home exam where they are tested in the theories and topics covered in the module.
  • Programme organization

    Programme organization

    The programme consists of four modules: Module 1: The Big Picture. Module 2: Competition and Users. Module 3: Sources of Competitive Advantage. Module 4: The Integrated Picture. The four modules are organized around a set of overarching questions managers face (or is likely to face) when new technology and new business models challenge the existing status quo. These questions will then inform and guide the technological- and regulatory changes we will focus on in each session of the module, and the choice of academic insights to understand these phenomena.

  • Module 1: The Big Picture

    Module 1: The Big Picture

    The first module focuses on the broad implications of the “Fintech-revolution”, and is structured around questions such as “what is fintech?”, “what are the most important new technologies, regulations and business models?”, and “what are the broad strategic implications of these changes?”.  The module consists of three different sessions, that each address aspects of these questions. The first session focuses on technological change and disruption and how strategic analysis can help understand these issues. The purpose of this session is to give participants an understanding of how technologies evolve over time, how disruptive threats arise, and how firms can rely on strategic analyses to make more informed decisions during periods of technological and regulatory discontinuities. The second session will go in detail on the most important changes that the Fintech-revolution brings about. Here we will look at the most important new financial technologies, regulations, and business models that are shaping markets today, or in the years to come. The third session combine insights from the first two sessions and dig deeper into the broader strategic implications of the different changes entailed by the Fintech revolution. Here we will in particular focus on the tension between competition and cooperation, Schumpeterian competition and creative destruction, decisions under “true” uncertainty, and policy implications.  In all, this module integrates insights from technological change, strategy, finance, and innovation economics.

  • Module 2: Competition and Users

    Module 2: Competition and Users

    The second module directs focus to competition and users, and is structured around questions such as “how to compete in a world of platforms, network effects and big data?” and “how can new technologies be used to deliver more value to users of a product or service?”. The module consists of two session, one addressing each of these two questions. The first session focus on platform- and ecosystem-competition. Here we will go in detail on how competition in multi-sided markets differ from standard competition, and look specifically on the role of complements, network effects and big data analytics in such markets. The second session focus on users (and customers). Here we seek to combine insights from consumer behaviour from marketing, with big data analytics from computer science, profitability analyses from business management and methods for user-driven innovation, to gain a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges actors are confronted with when taking the leap from a product-centric to a user-centric state of mind. In all, this module will combine insights from competition economics and strategy, marketing, business analytics and business management and control.

  • Module 3: Sources of Competitive Advantage

    Module 3: Sources of Competitive Advantage

    The third module focus on sources of competitive advantage, and is structured around questions such as “how should a firm organize its innovation processes?”, “how can a firm develop and protect the resources and capabilities necessary to gain a competitive advantage?”, and “how can a firm finance- and profit from innovations?”. The module consists of two sessions that tackles different aspects of these questions. The first session focus on the link between the customers and users that firms are competing for, and the activities they have to perform better or differently than their competitors in order to win them. Here we will start with “modern” activity based theory where the focus will be on the link between positions and activities, and how complementarities in activity systems can drive performance. Next, we will look more closely on how firms can organize its innovation processes to come up with solutions that improves user value. Here we will look at innovation methods like design thinking, open innovation and also on how big data analytics can be used for this purpose. The second session will focus on firms’ resources and capabilities, to better understand what is required to gain a competitive advantage in a world where markets melt together, new technologies and business models makes it possible to meet user demands in new and innovative ways, and where new regulations forces firms to share proprietary data with third party actors. In this session we will go in detail on challenges and opportunities related to accessing necessary resources and capabilities, how a firms resource position influence firms strategic options in periods of technological discontinuities, how firms finance- and profit from innovations. In all, this module will combine insights from strategy, marketing, innovation theory, innovation economics, corporate finance and business analytics.

  • Module 4: The Integrated Picture

    Module 4: The Integrated Picture

    The fourth and final module of the program focus on integrating the knowledge from the three first modules, and is structured around questions such as “what challenges and opportunities are firms confronted with when expanding internationally?”, “how can firms go from analysis, to crafting strategies and business models that improve the likelihood of success?,  and “How to execute and implement strategic change”. The module consists of three different sessions that address each of these questions. The first session focus on internationalization, and challenges associated with competing abroad. This session will draw on insights from the first three modules, and add an international dimension by looking closely at managerial, cultural, regulatory and competitive challenges firms face when going international, and how these challenges can be addressed. The second session focus on business model innovation, strategy formulation and expansion analysis. This session will be very “hands-on”, where students will integrate knowledge from the first three modules to craft and formulate strategies for their own organization, innovate its business model, and analyse opportunities for growth and expansion. The third session focus on how firms can execute and implement strategic change. This session will look both at the “people issue” of how to get people in an organization to put a strategy to life and do the required changes, and the “design issue” of how organizational structure, incentives, governance systems and measurements can be used to facilitate strategic change. In all, this module will combine insights from international business, strategy, leadership, management and business accounting and control, and integrate this with the fintech-phenomena discussed throughout the programme.