Course 2012-2013 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) - CLAPI (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  |  SECS-P/07) - EMIT (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

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

Course Objectives

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. While sound macroeconomic policies, stable legal and political institutions, and improving social conditions create the potential for competitiveness, wealth is actually created at the microeconomic level. The sophistication and productivity of firms, clusters and the dynamic business environment represent a key variable that governments sustain and support with actions. The course, briefly discusses firms’ and clusters’ strategies and actions to support their competitiveness and then focuses the analysis on the complementary role of governments in making it happen. In addition it focuses on specific public policies that may have a positive impact on competitiveness as environment and energy policies.

A global framework analyzing the determinants of public management interventions are presented and discussed. This course presents many tools and techniques that public agencies have developed to play an active and key role in the competitiveness arena, efficiently coordinating public resources and actions with firms’ and clusters’ initiatives. Its distinctive characteristic is that it takes a complementary perspective: the role of government in supporting actions of firms and clusters for competitiveness. Furthermore it discusses strategies and actions.

Course Content Summary

The general objective of the course is to give students relevant insights into various aspects of setting up public policies, programs and actions to better understand the actual needs of firms and clusters and to support their initiatives. It also discusses which combination of actions a public agency should provide, with whom and how it should interact and collaborate to achieve its objectives and those of the firms and clusters effectively.

The course has been designed both for students interested in corporate strategy and internationalization of firms and clusters and for students interested in public management for competitiveness, innovation and economic development. Its content bridges between theories of traditional corporate strategy and public management concepts to harmonize the language and to stimulate dialogue between public and private stakeholders interested in a common objective: competitiveness. The presentation of real world case studies further enhances the link between theoretical frames and practical actions.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Attending students

The final grade is determined by weighting grades for the following components:

30% Case study discussions and class participation

30% Group Project report and presentation

40% Final written exam


Non attending students

Written exam based on the course pack and the text book material.


  • M. PORTER, On Competition, Harvard Business Review Book, 2008

The course mixes teaching lectures, guest lectures and plenary debates about case studies.

Students are requested to read the case study in advance. Discussion questions about each case study in the syllabus are made available in the course pack. Students are asked to prepare the discussion, to turn in brief responses to each case discussion, and actively interact in class discussion.

Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


Last change 29/03/2012 16:29