Course 2023-2024 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Class timetable
Exam timetable
Go to class group/s: 31
CLEACC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/08)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Synchronous Blended: Lessons in synchronous mode in the classroom (for a maximum of one hour per credit in remote mode)

Mission & Content Summary


Public utilities - water, waste, power, gas providers – play an important role in fulfilling basic public needs, at both local and national level, and in strengthening the competitiveness of countries and cities. However, managing public utilities is rather complex: water and energy crises, pollution, development of renewable energy sources, opposition for new infrastructure, stakeholder engagement are some of the major issues that intersect with more or less successful liberalization and privatization policies. In addition, in recent years the world has been witnessing a Green Transition, which entails two main processes of change: the Energy Transition and the Circular Economy. These processes are the “fil rouge” of the whole course. Within this framework, the classes delve deeper into the specificities of Public Utilities and into the tools to govern and manage them. Details will be provided on the key trends that affect Utilities Management, such as the impact of the technological change and Internet of Things. The course has both a national and international perspective. Top managers, regulators and public administrators are invited to deliver a lecture on their experience while case studies based on real business cases will be discussed by the Professors in class.


The course is composed of three different pillars: (i) introduction to the course related to the description of the specific context of Public Utilities and their evolution over time; (ii) a focus on the three main sectors in which public utilities operate, providing some insights on key trends, and (iii) governing and managing the public utilities, focusing on the key organizational aspects on which public utilities should invest.

Within the first pillar, some fundamental concepts on Utilities Management, and its evolution over time will be provided.


Within the second pillar, there will be a specific focus for each of the three markets in which Public Utilties operate (electricity, water and waste management). Among the topics we can cite:  the prosumer model and the new businesses in the context of the Energy Transition, energy Efficiency in manufacturing and buildings, competing in highly regulated industries, the European Water and Waste Sectors in the framework of the Circular Economy.

Concerning the third pillar, more insights on how to effectively deal with the governance and the management of the Public Utilties will be provided. In this perspective, the course will discuss how to deal with stakeholders and how to create and communicate effectively a strategy for Public Utilties while addressing the key features of corporate governance systems in the Public Utilties context. 


At the end of the course, students will be able to recognize the key trends that characterize the evolution of the public utilities context, developing skills on how to handle these trends dealing with both the organizational model and key managerial processes.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...

At the end of the course, the students will be able to:

  • Define the concept of Energy Transition and Circular Economy
  • Describe the most important legislation and regulation regarding the energy, water and waste sectors in the Green Transition
  • Describe the main strategic and managerial problems of the energy, water and waste sectors
  • Identify the issues related with stakeholder management and funding of instructure for the energy, water and waste sectors
  • Identify the main Renewable Energy Sources, their cost and benefits
  • Illustrate the most important innovations in the energy, water and waste sectors


At the end of the course student will be able to...

At the end of the course, the students will:

  • Know what a public utility is and its evolutional trend over time (Introduction to the context);
  • Recognize the main features and trends that characterize the three sectors – energy, water and waste – in which public utilities operate (Focus on key sectors);
  • Understand the key factors that characterize the management of public utilities in terms of the corporate governance model and its logics (governing the public utilities);
  • Understand the key factors that characterize the management of public utilities in terms of the strategic planning process (managing the public utilities);
  • Understand the key factors that characterize the management of public utilities in terms of the organizational model and its innovation trends (managing the public utilities);
  • Understand the key factors that characterize the management of public utilities in terms of the human resource management process (managing the public utilities).

Teaching methods

  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments


  • Guest speaker's talks: managers of utilities illustrating their work.
  • Case studies: real business scenarios that will be analysed by the students and discussed in class with the Professors, with reference to specific topics regarding the course.
  • Individual assignments: students presenting particular topics regarding the course.

Assessment methods

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


The student’s final evaluation is based on:

A pro-active course participation thanks also to interactive didactic tools and possible individual assignment (1-3 points)

Two partial exams (30 points each) with short answer questions and essay questions. The exams are based on the the slides provided by the professors. Each partial exam accounts for 50% of the final grade. 


An additional point will be provided to students according to thir active participation in class during lessons.



A final written exam, with short answer questions and essay questions, based on the slides and other teaching materials provided during the course.

Teaching materials


The materials for both attending and non-attending students are:

  • Textbook (not compulsory): Gilardoni, A. (2020). The Italian Utilities Industry: success stories and future perspectives. Springer (downloadable for free from the Bocconi Library website);
  • All readings and case studies specified within the Syllabus for each class.
  • Slides and other materials discussed in class by the Professors.
Last change 06/12/2023 17:04