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MF2084 Managing Research and Development 6.0 credits

The aim of this course is to make students familiar with models and frameworks used in strategic management and organizing, and to give them in-depth understanding of how these models and frameworks can be skillfully applied in different R&D settings. A central aspect of this is to understand the inter-relationship between business strategies on the one hand and technology-, innovation- and R&D strategies on the other, in order to be able to work with, lead, and improve business-driven research and development activities. Furthermore, students should acquire substantial knowledge about the managerial challenges of organizing R&D activities in industrial firms and learn analytical frameworks, tools and methods for R&D management.

The course comprises a set of lectures, exercises, and case discussion sessions. Moreover, students will perform a project in which they apply the theoretical models and frameworks that have been introduced throughout the course.  The project concerns an analysis of specific R&D management issues and challenges, and to point to possibilities for improvement.

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.


For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 28 Oct 2024 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus MF2084 (Autumn 2020–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course deals with:

  • Different theories and frameworks related to strategy
  • Strategies at different levels in a company; e g research and development, innovation and  business and company-wide strategies
  • Organisational theory and organisational design
  • Organisation and management of knowledge intensive activities, in particular R&D
  • Product portfolios and product strategies
  • Product families, platforms and modularisation
  • Scenario analysis

Intended learning outcomes

After passing the course, the student should be able to:

  • apply basic concepts, theories and analytical frameworks related to strategic management
  • explain how sustainability aspects are handled in different strategic theories
  • apply basic concepts, theories and analytical frameworks related to R&D strategy
  • apply basic concepts, theories and analytical frameworks related to organisation of R&D
  • use relevant methods to analyse and plan focus and extent of R&D activities
  • analyse advantages and disadvantages with product platforms and modularisation, and factors that influence their application
  • analyse R&D problems in an empirical context
  • write a scientific report that treats a specific subject in management of R&D
  • analyse and suggest solutions to concrete R&D questions by applying theories and frameworks
  • analyse the interplay between R&D and different company and business strategies, and their consequences for how companies should organise their development activities
  • evaluate different ways to lead and organise development activities and explain the circumstances under which different ways to organise these are appropriate

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Bachelor of Science or the equivalent in the area of mechanical engineering.

Recommended prerequisites

The course is open for exchange students fulflling the course eligibility, but priority will be given to students taking the IPD Master’s programme.


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Will be announced at the start of the course.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • PRO1 - Project, 2.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • TENA - Written exam, 4.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

Mechanical Engineering

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Johan Arekrans,