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GENERAL MANAGEMENT

Mod. I - Enterprise evolution

Program

EN IT

Updated A.Y. 2019-2020

GENERAL MANAGEMENT (a.y. 2019/20)

 

OVERVIEW

The General Management course is structured in two modules and aims to bring to first-year master students direct field experience about the competitive relationship between companies and their external environment and how their business process are managed, as well as how the digital technologies are transforming their key business processes.

 

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 over the years.

 

General Management

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

Question \ No. Respondents

65

91

82

59

59

Are the Exam Rules Clearly Defined?

3.4

3.6

3.7

3.7

3.6

Is the Class Timetable Respected?

3.6

3.7

3.8

3.7

3.7

Are the Office Hours Respected?

3.7

3.7

3.7

3.8

3.7

Are the Lectures Interesting and Clear?

3.4

3.6

3.6

3.6

3.5

Is the Working Load Appropriate?

3.5

3.1

3.5

3.5

3.6

Are the Class Materials Appropriate?

3.3

3.2

3.4

3.4

3.5

Overall, Am I interested to this Class?

3.6

3.5

3.6

3.5

3.6

Overall, Am I Satisfied with this Class?

3.3

3.4

3.6

3.5

3.4

Overall

3.5/4

3.5/4

3.6/4

3.6/4

3.6/4
 

 

MODULE I - ENTERPRISE EVOLUTION

 

1. INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES

Knowledge and Understanding: As stated, the ENTERPRISE EVOLUTION module focuses on competition. In particular, how does it 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. In this regard, key attention will be devoted to strategic decision making in both the stages of natural and competitive selection.

 

Applying Knowledge and Understanding: At the end of the module, students will have gained knowledge about how enterprise adaptation works, how enterprises and their competitive environments mutually co-evolve, and how the fundamentals of enterprises’ strategy can be implemented through their life cycle.

 

Making Judgments: At the end of the module, students will have gained the skills to evaluate the sustainability of firms as competitive forces at different stages of their life cycle.

 

Communication Skills: At the end of the module, students will have learnt to expose business cases in group and in public, also summarizing them, in terms of data visualization, through a brief report/presentation.

 

Learning Skills: At the end of the module, students will have learnt to critically analyze competition through a "theory and practice" mixed approach.

 

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

• Creativity and Entrepreneurial Urbanism

 

3. TEACHING METHODS

Mainly research led, the Enterprise Evolution module will include not only a theoretical approach, but also a strong practitioner input, through:

- live case discussions, videos, and simulations
- combined talks with business experts 
- suggested project works/group presentations by students.

The teaching approach will be also cross-disciplinary for more than one aspect, with elements drawn from biology and psychology constituting one of the distinctive features.

On this premise, on October, 24th-25th, 2019, Dr. Stephen Dobson, Leeds University, will perform two guest lectures, whose content is summarized below.

 

* Session 1 (October, 24th, 2019): Creativity and Entrepreneurship
Creative thinking underpins enterprise, entrepreneurship and innovation, but beyond the creativity of the individual, what is its wider context? This lecture and workshop explores the value of creativity and innovation and how to promote, foster, harness and manage it.  Within a societal context entrepreneurship is presented as offering the potential to be a transformative force.

** Session 2 (October, 25th, 2019): Entrepreneurial Urbanism
Urban development in the age of austerity is increasingly reliant on entrepreneurial governance as well as more extensive public-private collaboration in shaping urban life. Entrepreneurialism in this context refers to a mode of urban governance which embraces a greater level of shared responsibility and partnerships in the development of cities. This lecture and workshop explores Entrepreneurial Urbanism at the community, ‘grassroots’ level and explores the potential for a performative notion of culture and place.

 

4. REFERENCES

(all available on the module’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. (2012), “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. (2019), “Prioritizing Short-Term Goals in Behavioural Strategy: Lessons from Enron – 20 Years On”, International Journal of Business and Management, 14(4): 60-71.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dobson S., Breslin D., Suckley L., Barton R., Rodriguez L. (2013), “Small Firm Survival and Innovation: An Evolutionary Approach”, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 14(2): 69-80.
  • Dobson S., Jorgensen A. (2014), “Increasing the Resilience and Adaptive Capacity of Cities through Entrepreneurial Urbanism”. International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 6(3/4): 149-162.