Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

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) - 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  |  SECS-P/07) - EMIT (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - GIO (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - DSBA (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - FIN (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)
Class 31: GRETA NASI

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Mission & Content Summary


A country’s prosperity depends on its competitiveness, which is based on the productivity with which it produces goods and services. Firms, clusters and supporting agencies play important efforts in creating value and supporting their economic development as well as that of their regions and country. However, without such things as development of specialized skills, infrastructures, and technology results might not be fully achieved. Governments, through their policies and programs, are responsible for these actions and represent a main stakeholder in the competitiveness arena. This course explores the determinants of competitiveness and successful economic development viewed from a bottom-up, micro-level perspective. In particular it explores the role of government at country and city level to increase attractiveness of location and quality of life for citizens.


The course focuses on specific topics related to the competitiveness of locations and government competitiveness. It is structured in the following main parts:

  1. Understanding the competitiveness theory and the roles of government.
  2. Frameworks for assessing countries’ and cities’ competitiveness.
  3. Policies and public management practices for enhancing attractiveness of locations.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Describe the status of attractiveness of a country and a city.
  • Identify the main issues related to sustainable collaboration between business and governments at country and local level.
  • Explain the relationship between government policies and managerial practices and their effects on competitiveness of locations and quality of life.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Analyze the attractiveness of locations from a multi-disciplinary perspective.
  • Choose the appropriate methodologies related to public sector capacities.
  • Apply selected tools to upgrade the attractiveness of locations.
  • Measure and interpret the relevant KPIs in the sustainable country’s and city management strategies.
  • Develop teamwork skills.
  • Interact and communicate effectively in multicultural contexts.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments



The learning experience of this course includes, in addition to face-to-face lectures, case discussions, a group project, real examples and interactions with guest speakers from institutions that are involved in enhancing cities and countries’ attractiveness. Each topic is analyzed from the perspective of higher-income economies and lower-income economies, so as to make the students aware not only of the technicalities related to the application of government frameworks and tools for enhancing competitiveness, but also of their different applications in different cultural, geographical and developed contexts.

  • Over the course students are engaged in a semester-long group project that builds on all concepts presented and discussed during the course to provide them with models, tools and techniques to analyze a location and its sources of attractiveness. Students then prepare a power-point presentation summarizing the evidences of their assessment. These presentations are used for the student assessment as well as a basis for a discussion of the cases in class, during which students are encouraged to bring their own views and to share insights, comments and conclusions. Based on this discussion each group also turns in a report that depicts all evidence and findings.
  • Attendance: due to this teaching methodology, heavily based on interaction, case discussion and class participation, attending is recommended.

Assessment methods

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


With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes the student assessment is based on three main components:

  1. In-class case discussion and participation (25% of the final grade) aimed at testing the student ability to interact in a multicultural environment and to think critically through contribution given to the class case-study discussion.
  2. One group assignments (35% of the final grade) designed for the purpose of verifying the student ability to:
    • Identify and analyze the main issues related to assessing the context for attractiveness of a location.
    • Apply the appropriate tools and methodologies learnt in class.
    • Suggest recommendations for policy makers and firms to enhance the sustainability of the case analyzed.
    • Organize and present effectively the relevant outcomes. The deliverable consists both of a power point presentation and a final report.
  3. Final written exam (40% of the final grade), based on a case study, which aims to assess the student’s learning level of the theoretical models and their application to a given situation.


Written exam, (100% of the final grade) based on a case-study and open questions related to the reference materials, which aims to assess the student’s learning level of the main concepts, methods and tools detailed in the teaching material as well as the ability to analyze some implications related to them through their application to the case study.

Teaching materials


  • Case studies and reading materials uploaded on the e-learning platform.
  • Selected chapter of: M. PORTER, On Competition, Harvard Business School Press, 1998.


  • Case studies and reading materials uploaded on the e-learning platform.
  • M. PORTER, On Competition, Harvard Business School Press, 1998.
Last change 29/04/2019 11:25