XV Medici Summer School in Management Studies
The school is organized and sponsored by Bologna Business School (University of Bologna), HEC Paris (Society and Organizations Institute), and MIT Sloan School of Management (Economic Sociology PhD Program).
XV MEDICI SUMMER SCHOOL IN MANAGEMENT STUDIES
June 11-16, 2023 at MIT Sloan School
The Rise of the Platform Economy and its Implications
The Summer School is designed to promote doctoral education and research in organization theory and related fields (economic sociology, management studies, strategy) and contribute to the development of enlightened practice in the management of business organizations. The Medici Summer School advocates a special focus on cross-fertilizing research across North American and European traditions. The Summer School is a unique educational program for qualified doctoral students interacting with thought leaders in the management field who have shared their knowledge and wisdom on frontier research topics.
The Medici School combines lectures and research seminars by prominent international scholars with active engagement by participating students. Every day of the one-week program is scheduled to end with the presentation of students’ research related to the topic of the School and with a panel of senior faculty providing feedback. There is no fee to participate. Selected candidates will be fully covered in their accommodation expenses provided that they stay the full week. However, transportation is not covered by the organizers.
The Summer School will begin on Sunday June 11 with an informal evening welcome event and will conclude in the afternoon of Friday June 16.
Recent years have seen a surge in the use of ‘platforms’ of various kinds for economic activity. This has affected the employment relation, buyer-seller relations, investor relations, social relations, and much more. These changes were well underway before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but seem to have been accelerated and been transformed by it. In addition, whereas much of this shift has been stimulated and facilitated by the widespread adoption and growing functionality of digital communication tools, it has also opened scholars’ eyes to the usefulness of seeing much pre-digital economic activity (from medieval fairs to the putting out system to the seven-day week) in terms of platforms. Correlatively, the pandemic has accelerated the already-significant conversation about the organization of work, which sensitizes us to societal and organizational platforms for scheduling and meeting.
In the 2023 Medici Summer School, we will convene researchers grappling with the platform economy from multiple directions. Scholars studying strategy and architecture of digital platforms make progress from contrasting the strategies developed for and by platforms with other types of businesses. Indeed, platforms can sensitize us to the breadth and complexity of ecosystems necessary for value-creation. Experts in labor markets and employment ask how forms of workplace control and consent are shaped by platform-mediated labor processes. Broader research on labor markets studies how a matching platform changes the multi-channel relationships between employer, worker, and customer. What is the nature of worker bargaining power in such contexts? The platform economy even raises basic questions about informal social organization: how do network ties form in platform contexts? How does information percolate through crowdsourcing platforms?
The opportunities for research and positive impact are quite exciting indeed, as are the challenges. What are the benefits and costs of defining “platform” narrowly and broadly? How do we ensure that research streams on platforms in different subfields allow for cross-cutting conversations that are more than the sum of their parts? How do we ensure that this surge in interest in platforms makes an enduring social scientific contribution, and is not just a passing fad?
PROGRAM AND FACULTY
The host faculty members include representatives from the three co-sponsoring institutions and those who have been organizing the Summer School over the years. Host faculty at this year’s summer school include Ezra Zuckerman Sivan, Nathan Wilmers and Emilio J. Castilla (MIT); Simone Ferriani (Bologna); and Rodolphe Durand (HEC Paris).
In addition to the host faculty, the Summer School will bring together guest faculty who are leading strategy, organizations, sociology, and social psychology scholars. As in prior years, each of these guests has an exciting research agenda that touches on the chosen theme. And they are also chosen to be diverse on multiple dimensions, including empirical application, specific research question, and research methodology. This helps to spark exciting cross-fertilization of ideas that is one of the hallmarks of the Medici experience. Another aspect of that experience is a consistent focus on the research process. Participants gain less from learning about “fully baked” research than from sharing ideas about the “baking process” itself.
Finally, this year will be a little different format. Given the number and range of scholars in the vicinity of MIT that are doing leading-edge work on platforms, one day will be devoted to panels that bring together such scholars for stimulating conversation with one another and with the Medici community.
The tentative schedule outline is as follows:
Sunday, June 11: Evening Welcome Reception
Monday June 12: Guest faculty leader: Henning Piezunka, INSEAD
Tuesday, June 13: Guest faculty leader: Lindsey Cameron, Penn Wharton
Wednesday, June 14: Thematic panels featuring faculty including Carliss Baldwin, Michael Luca, and James Riley (Harvard Business School); Annabelle Gawer (Surrey); Michael Cusumano, Georg Rilinger (MIT Sloan). Additional local faculty may participate as well.
Thursday, June 15: Guest faculty leader: Juliet Schor, Boston College
Friday, June 16: Guest faculty leader: Carmelo Cennamo, Copenhagen Business School
Each guest faculty member will be in residence at the School for at least two days, allowing ample time for one-to-one sessions, knowledge sharing, and networking opportunities.
A typical day (other than Wednesday) will feature a guest faculty member presenting on their research, an integrative session led by a host faculty member that explores links among the guest faculty research, and a workshop in which the host and guest faculty work with students to flesh out their own ideas, both theoretically and empirically.
There will also be organized opportunities to get to know MIT, Boston/Cambridge, and the local innovation ecosystem.
Overall, students will advance in their own research via:
1. Exposure to the cutting edge of research in this area
2. Open discussion of key challenges experienced by the faculty in their own research
3. Direct feedback on how to tackle complex questions of both theory and empirics
The School will admit 20-25 student participants. Applications are welcome from current Ph.D. students in Management, Strategy, Organization Theory, Economic Sociology, and related disciplines from universities worldwide. Students for the Summer School will be selected in accordance with the quality of their doctoral curricula, research interests, and application materials. Applications from students who have completed at least two years of doctoral training will be considered, with preference given to those who have satisfied their course requirements and qualifying exams but have not yet embarked on their dissertation research. Applications from post-docs will also be considered.
There is no application or participation fee. Student participants will be responsible for covering their own travel expenses to and from MIT, but the Summer School will cover accommodation and board expenses during the week of sessions provided that students attend the entire week. Applications should include:
A. A simple statement declaring that the applicant is interested in being considered for admission to the Summer School together with the applicant’s contact information: email address, telephone, and mailing address. All of this should be in the body of an email sent to the address below.
B. Curriculum vitae listing educational background, Ph.D. program, scholarly achievements, nationality, etc.
C. A motivation letter (no longer than 1 page) indicating the applicant’s current research activities and their specific interest in the proposed topic for the 2023 Summer School.
D. A brief recommendation letter from one faculty member of their dissertation committee.
E .Applicants are also encouraged (but not required) to submit an extended abstract or discussion note that they could present during the Summer School. The Selection Committee will evaluate the relevance of this paper to the 2023 School theme.
All application materials should be sent by March 15th, 2023 exclusively via email to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org with application Medici Summer School in the subject of the email.
For any specific inquiry or clarification please also contact: email@example.com.
Admitted candidates will be notified by April 1st 2023.