Knowledge, Learning, Innovation and Performance (EKLI) 682

Knowledge, Learning, Innovation and Performance

EKLI 682

Delivery Mode: Online

Credits: 3

Prerequisites: Students must have successfully completed Phase 1 of the MBA program before taking this course.

Faculty: Faculty of Business

Program: Master of Business Administration

Manager: Deborah Hurst, PhD

Course Overview

The course focuses on some of the contemporary critical issues that will shape Canada’s future—competitiveness, productivity, and innovation. The main objective is to learn about how innovation could help with firm performance and strategy by leveraging knowledge management and leadership. We will explore some of the structural challenges for Canada’s competitiveness and learn about organizational and inter-organizational factors that can thwart or facilitate innovation at the regional and firm level. We then study how to implement change that will enable Canadian firms to become more productive through organizational learning in a knowledge-driven economy.

Course Objectives

Outcomes for this course are stated in terms of knowledge (the ability to articulate and explain), capability (the combination of processes, tools, skills and behaviours, and organization that delivers a specified outcome) and skills (specific actions which the learner should be able to take) for each week of the course.


  • An in depth understanding of Canada’s challenges with respect to competitiveness, productivity, and innovation.
  • An understanding of the actions needed to be taken by organizations to improve productivity, adaptability, and resilience.
  • An understanding of the challenges associated with change, innovation, and leadership.


  • Capable of understanding and analyzing benchmarking assessments of performance.
  • Capable of engaging in virtual teamwork to produce a product (presentation) on time.
  • Capable of analyzing information about an industry or sector with which you are unfamiliar and offering a reasoned analysis of challenges and opportunities.
  • Capable of engaging in an informed, insightful virtual dialogue, which expands understanding and increases the depth of understanding for all engaged in the conversation.
  • An ability to conduct an interview and offer an analysis of that interview in terms of their leadership behaviours and the implications of these behaviours.


  • An ability to translate academic and learning materials into specific plans for change.
  • An ability to quickly assemble complex information and to identify patterns and meaning in this information.

Course Outline

  • Week 1: Why Does Canada Find Competitiveness And Productivity Such A Major Challenge?
  • Week 2: Canada’s Competitive Firms And Organizations – Where Are They And What Do They Do To Be Competitive?
  • Week 3: Group Assignment
  • Week 4: What Role Can Innovation Play In Canada’s Quest To Improve its International Competitiveness And Productivity?
  • Week 5: What Gets In The Way Of Innovation Within The Firm?
  • Week 6: What Can Organizations Do To Improve Competitiveness And Performance?
  • Week 7: What Kinds of Leadership Do We Need To Build Competitive And Productive Organizations?
  • Week 8: Individual Assignment

Student Evaluation

Grades will be based on a combination of participation in group discussions and on the successful completion of both a group and individual assignment.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.