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GENERAL MANAGEMENT

Mod. I - Enterprise evolution

Program

Updated A.Y. 2018-2019

GENERAL MANAGEMENT (a.y. 2018/19)

 

OVERVIEW

The General Management course aims at providing students with the key competences for understanding the main competitive challenges that corporations face to date. The course is composed of two intertwined modules. Entitled Enterprise Evolution, Module I, on the hand, mainly explores the competitive relationship between enterprises and their external environment. Entitled Digital Transformation Management, Module II, on the other hand, mostly focuses on business process management, looking at its characteristics and at the impact of digital transformation.

 

TEACHING EVALUATIONS

As far as every academic year is concerned, the students’ satisfaction about the courses taught at the University of Rome Tor Vergata is officially collected through on-line anonymous questionnaires. On this premise, the data below summarize the yearly evaluation achieved by the course of General Management (overall, i.e. average between Module I and Module II).

General Management

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

Question \ No. Respondents

65

91

82

59

Are the Exam Rules Clearly Defined?

3.4

3.6

3.7

3.7

Is the Class Timetable Respected?

3.6

3.7

3.8

3.7

Are the Office Hours Respected?

3.7

3.7

3.7

3.8

Are the Lectures Interesting and Clear?

3.4

3.6

3.6

3.6

Is the Working Load Appropriate?

3.5

3.1

3.5

3.5

Are the Class Materials Appropriate?

3.3

3.2

3.4

3.4

Overall, Am I interested to this Class?

3.6

3.5

3.6

3.5

Overall, Am I Satisfied with this Class?

3.3

3.4

3.6

3.5

Overall

3.5/4

3.5/4

3.6/4

3.6/4

 

 

MODULE I - ENTERPRISE EVOLUTION

 

1. INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES

Knowledge and Understanding

How does competition work? How do firms survive, adapt and evolve? And how do the mechanisms of co-evolution between firms, markets and country systems work? It is a matter of fact that Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species (1859) has been representing a catalyst publication also for the development of the management literature. Although the contribution of Darwinism to understanding how firms and country-systems evolve remains controversial to date, a number of heterogeneous research perspectives have been developed within the enterprise evolution research and teaching fields. On this basis, this module aims at explaining how the enterprises’ governance and management evolve under uncertainty in dynamic and complex environments. 


Applying Knowledge and Understanding

At the end of the module, the students:

1. will have been provided with ideas on how enterprise adaptation works and how enterprises and their competitive environments mutually co-evolve.

2. will have been provided with the fundamentals of how the enterprises’ strategy can be implemented through their life cycle.

 

2. SYLLABUS

The key topics taught in the module are the following:

 

PART I – EVOLUTION AND SOCIAL DARWINISM

• Enteprise Evolution: Charles Darwin’s Legacy?

• From Evolution to Co-Evolution

• The Music Industry Case Study

 

PART II – ENTEPRISES AND NATURAL SELECTION

• The First Years of Life

• The “Liability of Newness”

• The Facebook Case Study

 

PART III – ENTEPRISES AND COMPETITIVE SELECTION

• On Competition

• Models of Enterprise Evolution

• The ENI Group Case Study

 

PART IV – CRISIS AND RESTRUCTURING OF ENTEPRISES

• Corporate Crises as Ineffective Adaptations

• Boards of Directors and Turnaround Management

• The Fiat Group Automobiles Case Study

 

PART V – STRATEGIC DECISION MAKING

• Bounded Rationality and Self-Reinforcing

• The Personality Factor

• The Higher Education Industry Case Study

 

3. TEACHING METHODS

Research led, the teaching approach is also featured by a strong practitioner input through ‘live’ case study discussions, videos, case presentations by students, and combined talks with business experts. The teaching approach is also cross-disciplinary for more than one aspect, with elements drawn from biology and psychology constituting a distinctive feature (e.g. comparisons with biological adaptation, evolution and life cycle; narcissism and other personality traits; BIG 5 and MBTI personality measurement tools; heuristics).

 

4. REFERENCES

(all available on the course’s website through a protected password for registered students)

 

• Abatecola G. (2009), “Bridging Adaptation Perspectives to Explore Corporate Crisis Determinants. Evidence from Fiat”, International Journal of Business & Economics, 8(1): 163-185.

• Abatecola G. (2012a), “Organizational Adaptation. An Update”, International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 20(3): 274-293.

• Abatecola G. (2012b), “Interpreting Corporate Crises. Towards a Co-Evolutionary Approach”, Futures, 44(10): 860-869. 

• Abatecola G. (2014a), “Research in Organizational Evolution. What Comes Next?”, European Management Journal, 32(3): 434-443.

• Abatecola G. (2014b), “Untangling Self-Reinforcing Processes in Managerial Decision Making. Co-Evolving Heuristics?”, Management Decision, 52(2): 934-949.

• Abatecola G., Cafferata R., Poggesi S. (2009), “Strategy, Structure and Market Liberalization: Evidence from ENI (2000-06)”, DSI McGraw Hill Essays Series, 7.

• Abatecola G., Cafferata R., Poggesi S. (2012), “Arthur Stinchcombe’s Liability of Newness. Contribution and Impact of the Construct”, Journal of Management History, 18(4): 402-418.

• Abatecola G., Farina V., Gordini N. (2014), “Board Effectiveness in Corporate Crises. Lessons from the Evolving Empirical Research”, Corporate Governance, 14(4): 531-542. 

• Abatecola G., Mandarelli G., Poggesi S. (2013), “The Personality Factor. How Top Management Teams Make Decisions. A Literature Review”, Journal of Management and Governance, 17(4): 1073-1100.

• Adriansee J. (2011), “Back to the Future: The General Motors Restructuring Plan”, The Hague, The Netherlands.

• Cafferata R. (2016), “Darwinist Connections between the Systemness of Social Organizations and their Evolution”, Journal of Management and Governance, 20(1): 19-44.

• Cafferata R., Abatecola G. (2017), Enterprise Evolution. Teaching Notes, Texmat, Rome.

• Cafferata R., Abatecola G., Poggesi S. (2009), “Revisiting Stinchcombe’s Liability of Newness: A Systematic Literature Review”, International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 3(4): 374-392.

• Cristofaro M. (2017a), “Countervailing the Liability of Newness by Bringing in Active Investors: The Case of Facebook”, Strategic Direction, 33(8): 1-3.

• Cristofaro M. (2017b), “Reducing Biases of Decision-Making Processes in Complex Organizations”, Management Research Review, 40(3): 270-291.

• Uli V. (2015), “Competitive Dynamics in the Music Industry”, paper presented at the EURAM Annual Conference, Paris.