Business for Society - B4S

The world of business and management is undergoing rapid and profound changes. Theories, practices and strategies that worked well in the past, apparently are no longer useful nowadays. Thus, institutional leaders, policy makers and managers are confronted by novel situations and challenges without historical precedent, that demand greater understanding in terms of theories, methods and approaches. 
The Ph.D program in “Business for Society” is an integrated work and research program for those who are oriented towards making a significant contribution to the field of strategic management, innovation, and social responsibility.


Director: Prof. Paola Bongini
Deputy Director: Prof. Elisabetta Marafioti

For further info: [email protected]

The program is designed to advance the theoretical and professional development of students in the business arena by extending their management knowledge, equipping them with broad research and process management skills, and enabling them to make a key leadership contribution to their chosen research fields. Graduates of the program will have extended knowledge of emerging business and management ideas and deeper understanding of their relevance to applied business settings. 
The key characteristics of the PH.D in Business for society are: multidisciplinarity, flexibility, and internationality.
Interdisciplinarity is ensured by a faculty made up of scholars belonging to multiple disciplines and by a teaching activity focused mainly on the methods and nature of the phenomena subject of study rather than on specific disciplinary approaches, as well as by accepting candidates with master degrees in social sciences, broadly defined in order to include management, business administration, economics, organization sciences, law and economics, etc.
Flexibility, instead, is guaranteed not only by respect for the specific research and professional interests of candidates, but also by the continuous encouragement to pursue these interests, drawing on all useful disciplinary “knowledge”. The PH.D program is in fact designed so that, while providing candidates with a common set of knowledge, skills and competences necessary to carry out qualified research activities, allows them to follow personalized study and research paths.
Candidates will also gain a global perspective with faculty members from prestigious foreign universities. The program is taught in English and students are encouraged to spend one or more semesters abroad, visiting other highly ranked universities or highly qualified research institutions.
While our primary intention is providing graduates with a strong theoretical and methodological background to enter the world of academia, their research topics are also directly relevant for business and politics. The program indeed is designed to train students to develop solutions to complex problems and to develop social and conceptual skills they need to advise others and to (contribute to) manage different types of business activities. In particular, the following opportunities are open to those completing the Ph.D. program:
  • highly qualified personnel in research and training institutions
  • professionals in leading management and strategic consulting firms
  • high level professional roles in national (ministries, regulatory authorities, local public institutions) and international (EIB, IMF, World Bank, European Commission, European Central Bank) public institutions with a focus on project management and monitoring; policy intervention design and policy evaluation;
  • managerial roles in multinational companies, mainly in departments dealing with R&D, human resources, corporate social responsibility, investor and external relations, marketing and communication;
  • entrepreneurs or highly qualified personnel in innovative start-ups, social businesses, and benefit corporations.
  • High level professional roles in NGOs operating in Italy or abroad in different context, mainly as project designers, project managers and evaluators, as well as project and scenario analysts.

Our academically rigorous courses introduce students to the latest concepts in management research and help them develop the skills they need not only to carry out their research projects but also to manage the ongoing technological, economic and social transformations, through a strong cooperation with the business world and the civil society.

Analyzing a complex phenomenon requires an important effort of collaboration between several scientific disciplines. The multidisciplinary approach, in fact, is certainly the richest and most fruitful in terms of real and substantial understanding of the changes that characterize the contemporary context. 

Disciplines most involved are business economics in all its articulations – management, organization, strategy, and marketing – law and solid foundations of economics and analytical and quantitative methods. 
Students can customize their study plan depending on their research interests from the second year onwards.

All the educational activities offered are available on e-learning platform:

ARRIGO Elisa Università di Milano-Bicocca
BONGINI Paola Agnese Università di Milano-Bicocca
BUZZACCHI Camilla Università di Milano-Bicocca
CALCIOLARI Stefano Università di Milano-Bicocca
COMI Smona Lorena Università di Milano-Bicocca
DONI Federica Università di Milano-Bicocca
LIBERATI Caterina Università di Milano-Bicocca
MARAFIOTI Elisabetta Università di Milano-Bicocca
MATTASSOGLIO Francesca Università di Milano-Bicocca
MAZZUCCHELLI Alice Università di Milano-Bicocca
NUZZO Gabriele Università di Milano-Bicocca
OLIVERO Nadia Università di Milano-Bicocca
PAGANI Laura Università di Milano-Bicocca
PIEROTTI Maria Rita Università di Milano-Bicocca
RAFFIOTTA Edoardo Carlo Università di Bologna
RESMINI Laura Santa Università di Milano-Bicocca
ROSSOLINI Monica Università di Milano-Bicocca
SANCINO Alessandro Università di Milano-Bicocca
CALLAHAN Richard University of San Francisco
BARBOZA Gustavo Loyola University, New Orleans
GASCO HERNANDEZ Mila University of Albany, SUNY
MAROUN Warren Wits University Joanneesburg
ONGARO Edoardo OPEN University, UK
PIANEZZI Daniela University of ESSEX, UK
SIEDSCHLAG Iulia ESRI Economic and Social Research Institute
by Scuola di dottorato, last updated on 15/06/2022