Economics and management of innovation and sustainability - EMIS

  • Duration: 3 years
  • Admission: academic qualifications and interview
  • Coordinator: Emidia Vagnoni (coordinatore locale Ferrara)
  • Head office: agreement with Università di Ferrara and Università di Parma
  • Department: Economia e management
  • Study abroad: not compulsory
  • Educational purpose: the program is designed to train Ph.D candidates having a background in business administration, and theoretical and quantitative economics. The PhD program aims at integrating basic economic tools, business administration, and maths-statistics in a way unique to this curriculum. Research topics are ample but circumscribed in their inter-relation and specific characteristics; they allow at introducing analytical factors related to information systems, business management and organizational processes, as well as the management of complex socio-economic phenomena and policy. Regional issues are emphasized as the PhD program aims at efficiently cooperating with local businesses and institutions while keeping on truck with the research areas defined and specific expertise of the faculty. Complementarity between thematic areas (economics, business administration, and within the lines that define these macro-areas) and levels of analysis (micro-macro, business-public institutions) brings to foster skills which are highly applicable on the regional, Italian, and International job market.

  • Curriculum: no
  • Educational plan:

The Ph.D program focuses on 17 basic research areas, based on the need to align the PhD students’ research projects to the faculty’s curricula. The following are the basic research areas above mentioned:

  1. Normative aspects and the effects of agricultural and agribusiness policy
  2. Definition and communication of value in businesses
  3. Environmental and natural resource economics
  4. Knowledge, organization, human capital and labor economics
  5. Cultural economics: politics and management
  6. Economics and industrial and development policy
  7. Economics and public sector management
  8. Finance and risk management
  9. Health care and health care management
  10. Brand and value creation
  11. Performance evaluation, balance analysis and business management auditing
  12. New entrepreneurship, company strategies and managerial development
  13. Intangible resources and management systems, evaluation and reporting according to financial and non-financial indicators
  14. Economic decisions in the presence of risks
  15. Consumers’ behavior and Marketing Channels
  16. Regional and Territorial Systems
  17. Circular economy innovations and business sustainability management.


The PhD program is organized into a 3 years course.

The first year of study offers training mainly on social science methodologies and research methods. Beyond this, course work focuses on more specific topics through seminars, workshops, ‘labs’, essay writing, and lectures given by visiting faculty from Italian and foreign universities.
Candidates begin to work on their thesis and its chapters (‘papers’) in the second year, based on a close interaction with the supervisors. PhD students also start to participate in national and international conferences to present their working papers (and actively participate to the scientific debate).
Progress assessment methods are based on interaction between faculty and PhD students; these include: (I) formal testing of knowledge retained from course work and other activities, (II) reporting to supervisors concerning research activities on a monthly basis, (III) presentations related to the state and progress of candidates’ research activities each semester.