Lecture: Entrepreneurship for Students of Information Systems

General Information


Lecture: Entrepreneurship for Students of Information Systems

Number WI000969
Type Lecture
Offered in Winter semester
Lecturer Oliver Alexy


Course Description


Entrepreneurship, in one form of another, is core to management studies and the backbone of our economy. Not only did every firm have to start from somewhere—entrepreneurship is much more than founding a new firm. Indeed, one of the core aspects of entrepreneurial behavior is that it may happen everywhere, even in the oldest and most established corporations. Entrepreneurship happens everywhere where people dedicate time and effort to create something new and are willing to assume the risk and rewards of such behavior. In addition, large firms need to be able to work with entrepreneurial companies constantly, so a thorough understanding of their workings is needed for every manager and employee.

Entrepreneurial thinking and behavior are also often seen as key to work with uncertainty. It is often said that successful entrepreneurs have been able to beat their low odds and make something out of nothing. Putting it differently: if there is one area of management that could teach us anything about how to “manage” a company through this pandemic, it should be entrepreneurship. But note how already before the pandemic, strategist from all areas (e.g., business, politics, military, …) had noted that the world seemed to be become increasingly uncertain, as captured by the acronym VUCA.

In the context of the digital industries, entrepreneurship takes on a special meaning. Given how IT-related business often require significantly less upfront investment, we have seen a flurry of innovation in and entry into sectors that were considered mature and possibly even boring, such as AirBnB in hotels, or Uber in transportation. Thus, a specific focus of this course will be on understand what IT-based or digital entrepreneurship is, and whether and how it may be different from “normal” entrepreneurship.



Knowledge Objectives
After the course, students will be able to

  • Define and understand entrepreneurship and its variants (e.g., social, corporate, digital)
  • Explain steps of the entrepreneurial process and know corresponding tools and risks
  • Apply tools to evaluate and realize entrepreneurial opportunities

Skills Objectives

  • Improve diagnostic and analytical skills
  • Enhance verbal skills via class and group discussions
  • Build up critical thinking and interpretation skills
  • Learn how to evaluate different strategic options
  • Learn about strategic tools, options, and approaches that may work even under high uncertainty
  • Assess and resolve managerial challenges

Learning Objectives
At the end of this course, students will be able to demonstrate understanding, critical assessment, and application of the following:

  • The role of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in society
  • The need for entrepreneurial behavior even inside established organizations
  • The risks and rewards of the entrepreneurial journey


Teaching and Learning Method

Presentations, Mini Cases



Fluency in English