TIK9023 – Understanding technological and industrial transformation processes

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Course content

The TIK center offers a PhD course that focuses on transformations in the economy, and particularly on interrelationships between incumbent industries and emerging industries, and how these interrelationships influence long-term development trajectories and transformations in technologies, industries and regions. The course will provide PhD candidates with an understanding of how new technologies, firms and industries emerge and develop within the context of the established industrial, technological and institutional structures.

The course addresses questions about how established resources, knowledge bases and structures are utilized in innovation processes and in the development of new firms, new industrial niches or new technologies. To understand the dynamic relationship between the old and the new, the course provides an introduction to theoretical perspectives on technological and industrial trajectories and the literature on path dependence and path creation at macro, meso and micro levels. Relevant theoretical perspectives to be addressed include technological and sectoral innovation systems, path creation and path dependence, and theories of related variety and regional renewal.

The course will also address how such transformation process can be investigated empirically, and will provide insights into different empirical strategies and methodologies that are employed to understand industrial and technological trajectories and transformations.

During the course we discuss a range of examples of transformations of resource-based industries (such as petroleum industry, mining and minerals and forestry and agriculture), and aim to provide new perspectives on the past and current transformation of the Norwegian economy in particular.

Learning outcome

  1. to provide students with conceptual and theoretical perspectives on technological and industrial transformation processes

  2. to discuss methodological issues in studying transformations, and to provide students with methodological tools that can be used to perform their own studies

  3. to offer PhD students opportunities to share their work and receive feedback from peers and senior researchers


Admission to a PhD programme is required for participation in this course. The course is particularly relevant for PhD candidates in social sciences, economics, business/technology history, human geography and related subjects    

Applicants are to submit the application form along with a short outline of their PhD project and a letter of confirmation regarding candidacy within a PhD programme. Extended deadline for applications is October 15th 2016.

Please submit your application via email to: tina.nass@tik.uio.no


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to a PhD program is required for participation in this course.


During the course week (14 to 17 of November), teaching is organized as lectures and workshops that focuses on empirical strategies and methods for studying technological and industrial changes. These will be led by senior researchers who are experienced in using different approaches to investigate these questions. During the workshops, students are also required to briefly present and discuss their proposed course paper, which should focus on the conceptual and methodological challenges involved in investigating transformation processes.

All students will be expected to read the course literature before attending the course. They will also be required to prepare a short presentation of their proposed term paper draft and to participate actively in lectures and group discussions.

Upon submission of a course paper, candidates will receive 5 credit points. 5 credit points correspond to 5 work weeks, which includes preparation, reading and writing of term paper.

A detailed course plan and reading list (of approximately 250-300 pages of course syllabus) will be made available well in advance.


A term paper of 4000-6000 words on the topic of conceptual and methodological challenges in investigating technological and industrial transformation processes is required in addition to active participation in lectures and workshops during the course week. A draft version of the paper (approximately 2000 words) should be submitted in advance of the course (Nov. 1st). The draft version will be discussed and you will have feedback on it, before submitting the final version.  

Deadline for submission of full course paper: January 15th 2017.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Withdrawal from an examination

A term paper or equivalent that is passed may not be resubmitted in revised form.

If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2016

Week 46: November 14th - 17th


Autumn 2016

Teaching language