Insegnamento a.a. 2020-2021


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - M (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - IM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - MM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - AFC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLELI (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - ACME (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - DES-ESS (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - EMIT (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - GIO (6 credits - II sem. - OBS  |  SECS-P/07) - DSBA (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - PPA (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - FIN (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Mission & Content Summary


Interdependence between private enterprises and public institutions is a central factor in the evolution of modern economies; it appears in many different forms and is a key variable in international competition. An understanding of the interactions between private companies and public institutions is a primary element in the education of a modern manager. This is further enhanced by globalization, regionalization and the digital economy. These phenomena, indeed, challenge the idea of a single government interface for businesses and require managers to understand governmental decision-making processes at the local, national, and supranational and international level. The objective of the course is threefold: - to develop an understanding of the range and the extent of business-government relations; - to consider how collaborations between public and private institutions contribute to the feasibility, quality and implementation of public policies; - to develop concrete skills in order to manage these relations effectively at the national and international level.


After two introductory lessons (Sessions #1-2) aimed at defining the fields of interaction and collaboration between the private and the public sector and the main stakeholders involved in BGR, the course introduces cutting-edge research and develops professional skills related to two main blocks:

  1. Business and government for sustainable development (Sessions #3-10): lessons aimed at understanding the main forms of collaborations to sustain economic and social development;
  2. Government as a market (Sessions #12-22): classes devoted to understand and practice the importance and the levers of the non market environment (an stakeholders) for firms can that are trying to shape or to position themselves in the market.

Two final lessons (Sessions #23-24) will be devoted to analyse and critically discuss experiences of BGR with Bocconi alumni who will share their professional trajectory, the challenges as well as the future job opportunities of working in BGR.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Define and to describe the fields of interaction and collaboration between the private and the public, the main stakeholders involved into the BGR, and the reasons that lead to BGR.
  • Explain how collaborations between public and private institutions contribute to the feasibility, quality and effectiveness of public policies and to the sustainability of economic and social development.
  • Explain how these relations can be effectively managed at the national and international level.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Design and discuss the levers that firms can use when trying to shape or to position themselves in the non-market.
  • Interpret and critically discuss (both individually and in team) experiences of BGR.
  • Develop teamwork and public speaking skills.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


The course uses lectures and a mix of class discussions, involving also practitioners able to bring to the class concrete examples of BGR experiences, case studies, incidents and simulations. The course will take into consideration both theroretical and real-life experiences that might highlight the reasons and conditions for success - even considering situations of failures that could give a clear understandign of what flow of decisions led to the unexpected (and unwanted) result.



Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


  • 40% group work aimed at linking the contents discussed in class with the "real world practices".
  • 60% final written exam made of open wuestions structured as follows:
    • Theoretical questions referred to the contents presented in class and available in the reading material.
    • Critical thinking: discussion / comment of empirical cases.
  • Grades concerning the group work are delivered before the written exam.


100% written exam (open questions) based on the reading material (a list of the readings is available on the Bboard of the course).

Teaching materials


Werner T. (2012), Public forces and private politics in American big businesses. Introduction. Cambridge University Press (pp.3-8)  


Baccaro, L. and V.  Mele.  2012 “Pathologies of Path Dependency? The International Labour Organization and the Challenges of New Governance”. Industrial and Labour Relations Review. 65-2 (pp.200-201).


A Guide to corporate Foundations. Charity Commission, UK Government (pp.4-11)


Mele, V. and D. Schepers. 2013. “E Pluribus Unum? Legitimacy Issues and Multi-stakeholder Codes of Conduct”.  Journal of Business Ethics.


Sachs, J. D., & Schmidt-Traub, G. (2017). Global fund lessons for sustainable development goals. Science, 356(6333), 32-33.


Schmidt-Traub, G. (2018). How the global fund drives innovation. Sustainable Development Solutions Network Working Paper. New York: United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.


UN-business partnerships. A handbook. Partnerships models (pp.38-59).


Compagni A., Cavalli L., Jommi C., 2008. Pharmaceutical companies and Italian Regional Governments: Managing relationships in an increasing institutional complexity. Health Policy, 87: 333-341.


Jommi C., Otto M., Armeni P., De Luca C., (2012), Market access management by pharmaceutical companies in a complex environment: The Italian case study. Journal of Medical Marketing 2012


Dohse D. 2000 “Technology policy and the regions – the case of the BioRegio contest”, Research Policy, 29, pp. 111-1133.


Cooke, P. 2001 “Clusters as key determinants of economic growth: the example of biotechnology” in Mariussen A. (a cura di), Cluster policies – Cluster Development? A contribution to the analysis of the new learning economy. Stockholm, Nordregio.


Brammer S., Walker H., Sustainable procurement in the public sector: An international comparative study, International Journal of Operations & Production Management 31(4):452-476 · March 2011.  (


Jaehrling K., (2015), The state as a ‘socially responsible customer’? Public procurement between marketmaking and market-embedding, European Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. 21(2) 149–164. (


Additional and background readings:

Mayntz R. (2003), From Government to Governance: political steering in modern societies. Summer Academy on IPP: Wuerzburg.


Bach D., Allen D.B. (2010), “What Every CEO Needs to Know about Nonmarket Strategies”, MIT Sloan Management Review, Vol. 51, No. 3 (Spring), pp. 41-48.


Porter M. E. and Kramer M. R. “Creating Shared Value”, Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb 2011

Last change 14/12/2020 14:33