Info
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Course 2018-2019 a.y.

20424 - SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND THE COMPETITIVE STRATEGY OF FIRMS

Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 31

CLMG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - M (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - IM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - MM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - AFC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLEFIN-FINANCE (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLELI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - ACME (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - DES-ESS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  12 credits SECS-P/07) - EMIT (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - GIO (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:
FABRIZIO PERRETTI

Classes: 31 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: FABRIZIO PERRETTI


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

Social movements are one of the principal social forms through which collectivities give voice to their concerns about the rights, welfare, and well-being of themselves and others by engaging in various types of collective action and social protest. Much of the social change we have witnessed during the last several decades can be attributed to social movements, large and small. Peace movements, student movements, the anti-nuclear energy protests, women's rights, gay rights, animal rights, ecology movements and the coalition of different groups opposed to smoking, against globalization or genetically modified foods are but a sampling of such phenomena that have engaged the attention of sociologists, historians, and political scientists. In affecting civil societies, many of these social movements also have a large impact on markets, by reducing the legitimacy of some industries (e.g., the tobacco industry) or by creating new industries and niches (e.g., the organic food industry or the open source software), and on companies, by making them the targets of anticorporate activism or helping them to differentiate their offers. The goal of this course is to develop the conceptual foundations, frameworks and methods for analyzing the intersection between social movements and firms' competitive arena, by focusing on the strategic responses of companies to the redefinition of existing markets and industries linked to social movements' challenges and demands.

CONTENT SUMMARY

The course is organized around three main sections.

  1. In the first section (Social movements), students are introduced to the analysis of social movements: the different kinds of social movements; how they develop; how they are organized; their strategy and evolution. 
  2. In the second section (Companies), we analyze the strategic options of companies to the actions fostered by social movements: the corporations as targets, opponents or participants in movements; the interplay of movements with organizational identities, images, and reputations; how companies mobilize resources, networks and audiences for the construction of new competitive arenas and new entrepreneurial identities. 
  3. In the final section (Markets and Industries), we explore the relations between social movements and competitive arenas: the origins of critique and transformation of industry and economic regimes; the movements’ processes in the creation of new industries and categories; the construction of new entrepreneurial forms and the legitimation of institutional and competitive alternatives.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand the logics of activism and social movement organizations.
  • Recognize the different strategies of social protest.
  • Identify the main issues regarding anticorporate activism and companies’ response options.
  • Comprehend how social movements create new industries and/or market niches and how companies affect the configuration and evolution of such competitive arenas to their advantage.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Evaluate real-life company situations and exhibit structured methods in strategic decision making through critical application of theories and tools of analysis.
  • Interpret social and competitive dynamics within diverse political and economic contexts and make appropriate recommendations for companies to act both proactively and defensively. 

  • Recognize strategic situations that present ethical challenges and meaningfully debate socially responsible issues with insight.
  • Demonstrate organizational and teamwork abilities as well as presentation and communication skills.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
DETAILS

This course is more discussion oriented rather than focused on unilateral lectures and is centered around the presentation and discussion of business cases. Weekly analyses of cases focusing on the particular topic being discussed in lectures provide valuable insights into real firm situations and allow students to apply theoretical and other insights in practical real-world settings. Digging into the details of cases and taking the perspective of different players are critical. Students are expected to figure out how to navigate a wide variety of contexts in a variety of ways, identifying common themes throughout each. 

Special attention is given to the development of student voices, in class discussion, through individual assignments, and during the group presentations. By welcoming exchange of ideas among students, this course aims at nurturing curiosity and shaping the students’ engagement with the world. 


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  •     x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • x    
  • Peer evaluation
  • x    
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Attending students are evaluated on the following (individual or group) components: 

    • Case memo (individual; 15 points): students should submit one memo based on one of the cases discussed during the course and defined at the beginning of the course.
    • Presentation (group; 30 points): teams of students are formed at the beginning of the course and they are asked to deliver a presentation based on a specific topic relevant to the course.
    • Peer evaluation (individual; 5 points): each student is expected to evaluate the contribution of the other team members to the group presentation.
    • Class participation (individual; 10 points): students are expected to politely discuss relevant topics in class, and to be periodically called upon to answer or provide inputs for discussion.
    • Written exam (individual; 40 points): the written exam is based on the course materials and it includes a set of open questions.

    Final grades are assigned according to the observed distribution of total points earned in the different required components by the entire class. 

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Non-Attending students are evaluated on the following components: 

    • Case memo (individual; 15 points): students should submit one memo based on one of the cases discussed during the course and defined at the beginning of the course.
    • Term paper (individual; 35 points): students should submit an informed analysis of social movement dynamics and actions affecting the competitive strategies of companies and/or industries. The topic of the paper should be approved by the instructor.
    • Written exam (individual; 50 points): the written exam is based on the course materials and it includes a set of open questions.

    Final grades are assigned according to the observed distribution of total points earned in the different required components by the entire class. 


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING AND NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    The main course material, for both attending and non-attending students, is:

    • Reading package: a selection of readings from different sources are available through the course e-learning platform.
    • Cases: the cases discussed during the course are available as a course pack that students can buy online. 
    • The slides of the course and additional readings are uploaded to the e-learning platform of the course.
    Last change 10/06/2018 08:01