Stanford Offers New Online Course: Innovating Through Value Chains

Course is 11th in a series of courses for the online Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate.

February 26, 2014



In a new Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate course, Professor Hau Lee will teach participants how a value chain can create a competitive advantage for their organizations. | Photo courtesy of Stacy Geiken

Innovation is not just about new products and services. All businesses operate within an eco-system of key stakeholders. These include environmental interests, markets, industry peers, competitors, suppliers, government, and the many partners any business interacts with. Together these things comprise an enterprise’s value chain. A new Stanford online course, Innovating through Value Chains, teaches participants how to leverage different aspects of the value chain to create everything from greater customer loyalty to expanded service and improved efficiencies.

Available to anyone anywhere in the world, the course is the 11th in a series of classes offered as part of the online Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate. Participants may enroll in just a single course or earn the professional certificate from Stanford by completing any 8 of 12 classes. Participants may apply to the program online.

A free webinar, Value Chain Innovations in Business Ecosystems, will be offered at 9 a.m. Pacific/Noon Eastern on Wednesday, March 12 for prospective participants. Enroll in the webinar online.

Supply chain expert Hau Lee, who is the Thoma Professor of Operations, Information and Technology at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, teaches the program. Lee is focused on how to get products or services to their destination by managing the flow of materials, information, and money. Published widely in journals, his research has resulted, among other things, in the building of computer models for industrial implementation, as well as in the development of strategies and operational concepts for practitioners.

Through lectures, videos, and exercises, Innovating through Value Chains will introduce best practices and help participants understand how a value chain can create a competitive advantage for their organizations. Professor Lee’s course outlines the different parts of a business eco-system that create and enhance value, as well as to determine the right value chain strategy for a business.

Other available online courses in the Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship certificate include:

Professionals around the world are able to access Stanford faculty and Silicon Valley experts as they learn essential skills and effective strategies for working in and managing innovative organizations. An engaging digital experience has been developed by the Stanford Center for Professional Development at the School of Engineering and Stanford GSB to deliver the course content.

Registration is open for all of the first 11 courses. Tuition is $995 for each course. Another new course, focused on innovation strategy, will be introduced later in 2014.


Courses are taught by Stanford University faculty, drawing on instructors from the Graduate School of Business and the School of Engineering, including its Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, known as the, as well as Silicon Valley industry leaders. Faculty use highly interactive and occasionally unconventional methods. The online certificate program is led by faculty directors Robert Sutton, a professor of management science and engineering at the School of Engineering, and Hayagreeva Rao, professor of organizational behavior and human resources at Stanford GSB.

Entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as professionals from startups, Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit teams, and the public sector, will find the program to be practical and impactful. Given the level of material, participants must be fluent in written and spoken English. Participants will develop the skills to become catalysts for change as they learn how to foster innovation in value chains throughout their organizations.

By Barbara Buell

For media inquiries, visit the Newsroom.

Explore More

May 16, 2024

Interim GSB Dean Named as Search Process Begins

Professor Peter DeMarzo will serve as interim dean beginning August 1, when Dean Jonathan Levin becomes Stanford’s president.
May 13, 2024

Changemakers: Teaching Young People a Recipe for Success in the Restaurant Industry

This founder’s culinary nonprofit aims to help struggling young people find their footing personally and professionally.
May 09, 2024

Stanford GSB Professor Neil Malhotra Named Carnegie Fellow

Award will fund continuing research on political polarization