Insegnamento a.a. 2017-2018



Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 31
IM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

This course centers on the idea that management is neither pure science nor just an art. Instead it is a contextual practice, i.e. a combination of Artistotle's three intellectual virtues: episteme (science), techne (skills/art) and phronesis (practical wisdom). In your undergraduate studies, you have focused on developing episteme. Universally applicable scientific and context-independent knowledge. You got the basics of management and created your own toolset. In the Master of science program up to now, you most likely focused on the development of techne. You enhanced your art, craft or skill to apply the tools to real business cases. This developed your ability to advance and use pragmatic, context-dependent knowledge. What you need to do now is to complement your education by developing your phronesis. This means that you invest time in developing your pragmatic, context-dependent and ethics-oriented knowledge focused on value-based judgments. Phronesis is concerned with how to act in specific situations. It is about the analysis of values. Understanding what is good or bad for individuals and organizations in particular circumstances. It is about enhancing your practical wisdom of how to act as effective and ethical managers, understanding that many management issues are not about the application of a scientific evidence. Many senior managers' decisions are based on judgment rather than analysis.
The aim of this course is therefore to enhance the leadership skills of participants by focusing on their ability to make value-based judgments in specific, contextualized business situations. In particular, the aims of the course are
  • To advance the notion of management as a contextualized practice composed of three elements: science, skills and practical wisdom.
  • Understand that there is no decontextualized but still practice-relevant knowledge.
  • To expose students to business issues that require judgment rather than analysis.
  • To enhance individual leadership skills in a multi-cultural context.
  • To emphasize the generalist nature of management work.
  • To learn to work together as a team.

Course Content Summary

But how is phronesis learned? How can students acquire practical wisdom? Workplaces rather than classrooms are probably the primary location for the development of practical wisdom. We therefore bring the workplace to the classroom: with high-level guest speakers and the discussion of concrete managerial challenges. Students are confronted with managerial tasks: What would you do, if you were in this situation? These tasks are presented in class, processed in small groups for 10 minutes and then discussed in class.
The course explores the following topics
  • A call for a new breed of responsible leaders.
  • Creating a common language for strategy: the Prysmian case.
  • Since when does the Scottish kilt exist? The importance of authenticity.
  • Do you put customers before shareholders? The importance of customer centricity.
  • What are you best at? The importance of product focus.
  • How should international markets be selected and managed? The importance of geographic focus.
  • Are you concerned about the results of your successors? The importance of long-term orientation.
  • How fast and accurate are your strategic decisions? The importance of process tools to support strategic decision-making.
  • What is the appropriate control model? The importance of ownership structure, span of control and organizational design.
  • From organizational resilience to personal resilience.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

    • 30% Group work.
    • 40% Individual assignment.
    • Up to 2 bouns points for class participation.


Readings, cases and slides are made available via our blackboard platform.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 24/05/2017 11:40