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Updated A.Y. 2015-2016

Master of Science in Business Administration

Course on Business – Government Relationships

Prof. Anne Drumaux

Dr. Andrea Bonomi Savignon

A.Y. 2015/2016

Course Description and Objectives

Interdependence between business and government is an increasingly crucial factor in the development of economic activity. It appears in several different forms and is often a key variable in the competition between companies located in different geographical areas and between national systems, since it influences to a significant degree both public institutions and private enterprises in the pursuit of their own goals.
An understanding of business-government relations (BGRs), of their contribution to competitiveness, of the risks and opportunities they entail, and of how they can be managed are therefore key skills in the education of a manager willing to succeed in today’s economic environment. The importance of these skills is further enhanced by Globalisation, which makes it necessary to understand governmental decision-making processes across different institutional settings, and more and more often not only within the boundaries of individual nations, but also at the supranational level.
The course aims at blending different perspectives (Economics, Politics, Management) in order to offer a dynamic view of the relations between government and business.

From the point of view of economics, these relations are traditionally framed by regulation regimes that seek to guarantee efficiency of market models (competition laws, trade agreements) and provide alternatives to market failures implying various forms of public interventions (externalities framing, natural monopoly definition, public goods allocation). On the opposite, regulation failures affect the effectiveness of regulation due to bias in public decision-making and due to private and public opportunism.
Taking the politics perspective, these regulation regimes are nowadays submitted to rising pressures - for instance, through corporate political activism that transcends the classical lobbying techniques. Even more, some of the current debates in the European political sphere reveal a possible substitution between private and public regulation forms. More concretely, specific policies will be discussed in deeper detail such as industrial policy and its impact on industries, and public private partnership in comparison with alternative modes.

At the end of the course, the student will be able to understand the global picture and the branding issues such as the current European debate around the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership between Europe and USA. At the policy level, student will acquire a broader expertise on a range of issues, from European re-industrialization initiatives to the social evaluation of the construction of football stadiums.

Teaching Methods

Lectures and seminars; discussion of incidents and case studies; group assignments and presentations.
Some of the lectures will require reading and preparing selected materials in advance. (see References file in the Materials section of this platform)


Exam and Grading

The exam will be oral.
Students attending the course will be guided in working on group projects on selected real-life BGR Issues, to be presented and discussed in class.
The final grade will take into account the quality of the project, the presentation performance and the ability to interact and discuss during the presentation of lecture cases.

Course Materials

Slides and readings as provided by the lecturer.

Course Schedule

Thursday and Friday, 9-13 – Room S10

September 24 (9-11) - Introduction to course structure and objectives.

September 25 - Disciplinary perspectives on business and government.

October 1 - Evolution of state models: private vs public management approaches.

October 2 - Competition policies in the EU and Competitiveness of national systems: a focus on the Doing Business rankings (tbc)

October 8 - Regulation from a top-down perspective: from a systemic view to policies & tools. Principles of regulation – basics in regulation economics.

October 9 - Regulation as a dynamic system: from regulatory capture to corporate political activism. From different regulatory regimes to Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). Case Studies: Tobacco industry, Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP)

October 15 - Industrial policy: from vertical to horizontal industrial policy and beyond. Differences in Europe vs USA. Case studies: Car, Agri food industries

October 16 - Microeconomics of Public-Private Partnerships. Cost-benefit basics for financing infrastructure. Case study: Football stadiums for Euro 2016