Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

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First Semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

Firms, more and more frequently, resort to design thinking methodologies to innovate and redesign their business in order to transform its logic and maintain a competitive advantage over time. Therefore the learning objectives of the module can be defined as follows:

1. Knowledge and understanding of the logics, processes and tools of design thinking
At the end of the module the student will have to demonstrate that they have full mastery of the concept of design thinking and a full understanding of the ways in which design thinking is applied to a corporate business innovation project
2. Ability to design an innovation process based on design thinking
At the end of the module the student will have to demonstrate to be able to apply the logics and methodologies of design thinking to a concrete business problem
3. Autonomy of judgment in evaluating the pros and cons of the different ways in which design thinking can be applied
At the end of the module the student must be able to independently evaluate the advantages and limits of design thinking in its various meanings
4. Communication skills about design thinking
At the end of the module, the student must have the ability to illustrate and transfer design thinking methodologies to both a general audience and a corporate audience
5. Learning skills
At the end of the module, the student must be able to analyze case studies, consult specialist material, attend seminars, workshops, in-depth courses or masters in subjects related to design thinking


The course is aimed at students of Master Degree in International Marketing and Management.
To maximize learning results, students are requested to have previous basic knowledge on the following topics:

- marketing
- management of the company
- competitive business strategies.


The course will be divided into 3 blocks:

Block 1 - Creating and managing the context for the use of design thinking
Duration: 8 hours
- prepare the innovation challenge
- create and manage the organizational issues and the team
Block 2 - Design thinking process
Duration: 8 hours
- problem framing and setting activities
- problem solving activities
- solution validation activities
Block 3 - Design thinking tools
Duration: 8 hours
- visualization and design tools
- tools to stimulate creativity
- evaluation tools

Teaching Methods

The course will use a combination of different educational tools: frontal lessons, exercises, case discussions, project work, business games. .


- Knapp, J. “Sprint: How To Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days (2016)

Learning assessment

The evaluation of students who attend the course will be based on the realization of a project work that will focus on the application of design thinking to a problem of business innovation.Through project work, the aim is to evaluate students' understanding of the logic and tools related to design thinking and the ability to apply such logic and tools, and the autonomy in assessing the criticalities associated the application of design thinking. The evaluation will be completed by an oral exam to assess the students' ability to link the application aspects of design thinking (evaluated through the project work) to the theoretical and conceptual ones.

The evaluation of students who cannot attend the course or are not able to prepare the project works will be based on a written exam consisting of 3 open response questions about the program's topics and aiming at assessing the level of assimilation and understanding of the main concepts related to business model innovation. Verification will be completed by an oral exam aimed at verifying the students' ability to integrate the theoretical aspects (evaluated through the written test) and the practical aspects of the subject and to verify the autonomy matured by the students in identifying and analysing specific problems related to design thinking.

The vote will be the result of the two moments of verification and will average with the result obtained in the exam relative to the first module.
The methods of verifying learning may be subject to change due to restrictions caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.

More information

Teaching materials provided to students attending the class will be in English. Classroom activities will be complemented by online activities through a virtual classroom available only for students regularly attending the class.