Innovation Management Group

This research area examines the economic and management aspects related to technological innovation.

Investigating how knowledge is used in innovation is of primary importance for enabling organizations to create and capture value from what they know. Financing of innovation is a specific interest. Indeed, high-tech companies are characterized by a pronounced funding gap, which limits their growth. The goal of this theme is to analyze the efficacy of public and private mechanisms in supporting the need to raise capital:

  1.  venture capital,
  2. crowdfunding,
  3. and proof of concepts and university seed funds.


Operations management  

This research area investigates the economic and management aspects related to firms’ production systems and supply chains to understand how firms effectively organize internal operations, build efficient interfirm relationships, and develop sustainable production strategies. This area can be subdivided into four categories as follows.


Buyer–supplier relationships

This theme identifies and analyzes the mechanisms to be adopted for effective supplier management. These mechanisms are broadly defined as transactional and relational; their effectiveness is typically context dependent. Combinations of the two types can be appropriate under specific conditions.


Global supply chain management and reshoring

Production location choices and the implications of these choices influence product quality and cost as well as service performance. Particular attention is devoted to the recent reshoring trend, (i.e., the repatriation of previously offshored activities).


Performance measurement systems

Research on performance measurement systems aims at exploring how to measure and manage performance in organizations. Particular focus is devoted to the design of key performance indicators and performance dashboards that support organizations in strengthening both efficiency and innovation (organizational ambidexterity).


Business sustainability and circular economy

Business sustainability has gained greater attention in recent years. Our research aims to analyze how to measure sustainability in organizations and across value chains, with a particular focus on eco-design and value loops. We are currently exploring how to support industrial ecosystems in the transition towards a low-carbon economy.


Science and public policy

This area investigates the design, implementation, and evaluation of public policies in support of science, innovation, social cohesion, and sustainability. Researchers in this area adopt multidisciplinary approaches and robust methodologies to understand how the public intervention can effectively address social and economic challenges. A specific focus is devoted to the rigorous assessment of the impact of public policies as a way to support “evidence-based” policy-making. The main themes addressed in this area are the following.


The design of science and innovation policies

Public intervention is a central catalyst for the creation of entrepreneurial ecosystems and the translation of scientific results into new commercial solutions. It also provides direction, incentives and support for companies’ R&D and innovation activities. In this thematic area, a diversified set of public measures is analyzed (including university institutional reforms; science funding programmemes; incubators, science parks, and accelerators; public venture capital funds; R&D grants) that speed up broad commercialization of innovation and foster the creation and growth of new ventures. 


Public policies for social enterprises

This thematic area is concerned with public innovative solutions to spur social enterprises and social businesses as a vehicle for the provision of public services. It analyzes a set of policy tools that nurture the social enterprise ecosystem, including financial instruments such as public venture capital programmes, social bonds, grants, and crowdfunding.


Environmental and sustainability policies

The goal of this thematic area is to analyze public measuresimplemented at the local, regional, national, or international levelsaimed at preventing or reducing harmful effects of human and business activities on environmental resources and natural ecosystems. A specific focus is directed towards understanding the impact of environmental policies and regulations on firms’ activities, strategies, and outcomes.


Assessing the innovation, social, and economic impacts of public policies

A specific thematic area regards the development of innovative frameworks and robust statistical methodologies for assessing the impact of public policies on tackling societal challenges and meeting public objectives such as economic growth, the environment, and overall human well-being. Researchers in this area have matured solid and internationally renowned competences in the application of scientific methods for measuring the direct and indirect effects of science, innovation, social, and environmental policies. They have also developed innovative and extensive datasets of science, technology, and entrepreneurship indicators to support ex-post policy evaluations.

Entrepreneurship Group
The group is considering a variety of topics dealing with ideation and action in entrepreneurship: from new venture creation, development, and growth to the characteristics, behaviors and types of entrepreneurs; from international entrepreneurship to migrant and female entrepreneurship; from entrepreneurial teams to the organizational mechanisms supporting entrepreneurship. The research operates across three core themes that provide unique insight into the entrepreneurial processes involved in major changes in our society.

Entrepreneurial universities, innovation, knowledge transfer, and industry collaboration

A central topic is industry–university collaborative dynamics, with a specific focus on the mechanisms that govern technology transfer, patenting, and IP management. In addition, the role of universities in promoting entrepreneurship is explored at the student level. Specifically, this theme aims to identify and analyze:

the several mechanisms that guide the flow of knowledge from the academia to the market (i.e., spin-off creation, patenting, licensing, R&D (Research&Development) collaborations, consulting activity), the role of academics in the empowerment process of university research, and the institutional conditions and policies in support of technology transfer.

Social entrepreneurship

The social dimension of entrepreneurship is widely covered by scholars focusing on business sustainability, societal impact, and social Innovation.

Entrepreneurial finance and supporting mechanisms

Great emphasis is being placed on entrepreneurial finance at different stages of venture creation and from different sources. Along with raising capital, additional factors supporting entrepreneurial growth are being investigated at institutional and organizational levels.

Environmental, social, and governance Management and Measurement Group
Substantial attention is being given to how environmental, social, and governance-related aspects are mainstreamed into the management, measurement, and reporting practices of organizations and their impact.

Linking environmental, social, and governance-based performance measures to external reporting poses questions about how management and accounting practice should adapt or develop to contend with changing expectations.

The group considers carbon and other climate-related measurements and risks, including implications for management, financial accounting, and corporate governance, as well as developments in natural capital, intellectual capital, and other externalities. Research within this stream analyzes the impacts (behavioral, market, etc.) of emerging forms of corporate reporting and other disclosures (GRI - Global Reporting Initiative, IR - International Relations, SDGs – Social Development Goals).

The relationship between international and national regulation and the behavior of businesses, social enterprises, and public sector organizations are other topics of investigation. Given the complexity of personal and organizational ethical behavior, accounting ethics is at the Centre of our reflections in this field of research.