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Updated A.Y. 2022-2023

This course aims to introduce students to the issues and challenges facing organisations in today's competitive business environment. The programme includes an overview on the evolution of Management Though, with a specific focus on Ethics and Social Responsibility, by emphasizing the role of Institutional pressures in the Global Environment on organizational and management dynamics. A particular emphasis is placed on understanding how to develop Business Strategies, with a view on Innovation for Sustainability and Value Chain Management. With regard to that, the role of Advanced Information Technology will be clearly considered. The course will focus also on the role of metrics in Organizational Control and Change and on effective Communication. During the course some insights will be provided on Leadership and Organizational Culture. This knowledge provides the students with an insight into the demands placed on management in today’s dynamic work environment.

The first two hours will be dedicated to provide an overview of the entire course. Group works and individual work will be explained and assigned, as well as the final exam and assessment methods for attending and non-attending students will be illustrated. The next ten hours (phase 1) focus on the evolution of managerial thinking, ethics, corporate social responsibility and on understanding the global environment, with particular reference to institutional theory, stakeholder theory and stakeholder management. During this first part, a guest speaker from a company  will be invited, aiming at describing how an organization identifies its stakeholders, adopts tools for their management and how it is possible to understand and anticipate the trends that are activated in the reference system, both at a political level and market, in order to integrate business strategies and generate value that is increasingly recognized and appreciated by the stakeholders of reference. During this first part, a group assignment will be provided aiming at putting into practice, relying on the analysis of some green transition policies, the managerial tools aimed at creating value and competitive advantages in a dynamic and complex environment.

The second twelve hours of the course (phase 2) will focus on the development of business strategies, with particular reference to business model innovation and innovation for sustainability. Different types of business models and strategies will be presented and analyzed, in order to understand their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the impacts at the system level, according to the different components of sustainability (economic, social and environmental). Particular attention will be deserved to the management of the value chain, as an essential element for business continuity, competitiveness, resilience of organizations, sustainability and innovation of products and services. In this context, the role of new technologies and digital transformation will be highlighted, in order to support corporate performance and the collection and exchange of traceable, reliable, clear and replicable information, that are fundamental prerequisites for the creation and co-creation of value. Also in this part of the course a company testimony will be presented with particular reference to frontier experiences from the point of view of circular and innovative business models. Students will be offered specific case studies, to be analyzed in small groups, which will be appropriately presented and discussed in the classroom.

The last twelve hours of the course (phase 3) will focus on tools for organizational control and change management, with a particular focus on the role of metrics, performance management and standardization. In this context, specific tools for assessing corporate performance will be analyzed and discussed, with particular reference to international and European standards aimed at supporting and demonstrating the level of sustainability of individual companies, as well as of products/services. In this phase of the course, the tools for truthful and effective communication will then be described and the associated risks explained, with particular reference to greenwashing. Concrete examples of green communication will be presented, analyzed and discussed in order to understand its strengths and weaknesses, as well as the effects on the organization, on the brand and on the competitiveness of products and services. In the third phase of the course, the topic of leadership and organizational culture will also be introduced, highlighting its importance in transformative and innovation processes. Also in this phase a company testimony will be presented which is particularly coherent with the themes being studied and analyzed and students will again be involved in small workgroups. They will be asked to make a short presentation aimed at describing and comparing, according to a predefined outline, some company strategies, and identifying and developing appropriate areas for improvement. For each presentation a second group will be identified that will play the role of discussant.


Jones G. and George J. (2022). Contemporary Management (12th Edition). NY: McGraw Hill.  (suggested for attending students, mandatory for non-attending students)