VIU Summer School Responsible Capitalism

VIU Summer School Responsible Capitalism: Strategy, Governance and Finance

Venice International University
June 6 – 10, 2016
Isola di San Servolo, Venice

 The school is organized by Venice International University with the participation of professors from Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Columbia University, Henley Business School, IESE Business School, University of Lausanne and University of Reading.
The program is designed to promote research and education on  the future of capitalism in the light of current research in economic sociology, strategy, organization theory, finance, history and philosophy. The school will provide a unique opportunity for researchers in their early stage of their carrier to interact with prominent scholars in the field and develop their own research program.

Who is it for:
Applications are welcome from current Ph.D. students, research master’s students (e.g. MPhil students), post-doc researchers in Management, Strategy, Organization Theory, Finance, Economic Sociology, and related disciplines from universities worldwide.

Program structure:
The 5 day program will combine lectures, seminars, and developmental workshops.
In the morning, the state of the art in research will be discussed along with selected articles, including the presentations of faculty’s own research work on the topics.
In the afternoon, participants will be invited to present their research ideas and, being guided by a senior scholar, they will develop their research projects.
The program starts on Sunday evening with a welcome reception and ends on Friday afternoon with a site visit in Venice.

Program theme:
The growing gap between rich and poor, the social and environmental side effects of production and a regulatory vacuum around multinational production networks have forced new critical debate  on our economic system. The School will therefore investigate sustainable capitalism from different angles: It will start by analyzing the ever more “postnational” constellation of capitalism, the potential roles and responsibilities of corporations in this changing societal context and sustainable corporate strategies. It will discuss the integration of environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) in traditional finance portfolio management and the concept of responsible investment. Finally, It will analyze one of the key complications of sustainability, namely the fact that it requires interdependent decisions and actions of multiple agents acting in a distributed environment. This circumstance alters both decision-making and the strategy implementation processes, and challenges the current governance and management conceptual toolkit available to scholars and practitioners.


Giovanni Favero, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia
Fabrizio Ferraro, IESE Business School
Andreas Hoepner, Henley Business School
Guido Palazzo, University of Lausanne
Josh Whitford, Columbia University
Francesco Zirpoli, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia.

Application procedure and costs

The Program will admit 15 student participants.

There will be no participation fee and VIU will cover also accommodation at San Servolo Island campus and meals. Student participants will be responsible for covering their own travel expenses to and from Venice and local transportation. Complete information about the Program, credits, application procedures and form is available at  responsible-capitalism

For further information:

Application deadline:

April 3rd 2016
admitted candidates will be notified by April 15, 2016.

Venice International University

Isola di San Servolo
30100 Venice
T +39 041 2719511
F +39 041 2719510

Detailed Program

Sunday, June 5
Welcome dinner

Monday, June 6

Morning: Guido Palazzo, University of Lausanne

On the first day, we will set the scene with a discussion of some societal transformations that are currently changing the context of managerial decision-making. We move from a nation state world to a postnational constellation in which the roles of corporations and the conditions of their legitimacy get renegotiated. New strategic concepts from political Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to Creating Shared Value will be discussed.

Afternoon: workshop with Guido Palazzo

Tuesday, June 7

Morning: Andreas Hoepner, Henley Business School

Day two will explore responsible investing from a finance perspective. The discipline of finance has only recently started to study this investment practices closely, but recently many authors have started to engage with this challenge from both a theoretical and empirical point of view. We will provide an introduction to this topic from a finance perspective, and lead discussions on the most interesting recent papers on the topic.

Afternoon: workshop with Andreas Hoepner

Wednesday, June 8

Morning: Fabrizio Ferraro, ISE Business School and Laura Berry, Former Executive Director, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR).

On day three, we will continue to discuss the emergence of responsible investing, but from a different disciplinary perspective: organization theory and economic sociology. Organization theorists and economic sociologists have been studying the fi           sector for years, but in the last decade, perhaps due to the increasing centrality of fi

markets and the 2008 fi           crisis, the breadth and depth of our work in this area has grown exponentially. From this perspective, we will discuss the emergence and diffusion of novel forms of investing, practices, and organizational forms in the fi          sector, and their consequences for organizations outside of the fi           sector. Also we will focus on the practice of shareholder engagement, and its implications for social movement theory, corporate governance, and more broadly the role of corporations in society.

Afternoon: workshop with Fabrizio Ferraro

Thursday, June 9

Morning: Josh Whitford, Columbia University
and Francesco Zirpoli, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia

On day four, we will discuss the evolution of decision-making in global companies. We will give particular attention to the implication of the fact that decision makers are often “multiply embedded” in organizations, in places, in informal social

networks, in more formal associations, and so on. Interdependent decisions and actions of multiple agents acting in a distributed environment are profoundly altering both decision making and the strategy implementation processes in ways that demand some rethinking of the governance and management conceptual toolkit. Sociological and organization theories, including theories of organizational politics, social movements, relational embedding and cognitive framing will be presented, discussed and applied to understand the conditions under which global firms confront with environmental, social and governance decisions.

Afternoon: workshop with Josh Whitford and Francesco Zirpoli

Friday, June 10

Morning: Josh Whitford, Columbia University

The workshop will close with a discussion of the interplay between managerial decision-making and state policymaking with an

eye towards questions raised across discussions had during the week. Those discussions will have challenged participants to think critically about some of the limits to a reliance just on the state

to “fix” the gap between rich and poor, or to regulate the social and environmental side effects of production, given the mobility of capital, tax competition, and so on. This last day will turn the question around in a discussion that aims to force participants to think critically also about the limits that inhere in efforts to

“responsibilize” the corporate sector in the absence of efforts also to rethink and remake the regulatory strategies of state and/or supra-national governing bodies.

Afternoon: itinerant workshop with Giovanni Favero, Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia

We will visit the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, using it as an occasion to confront the debate on the peculiarities of economic governance in the Republic of Venice. Some scholars have interpreted it as a model case of socially responsible capitalism, whilst others have highlighted its structural inequalities and inefficiencies. Putting such experience and its interpretations in time into an historical perspective allows shedding light on the transformations and variations of concepts as fairness, reciprocity and responsibility.