Course 2014-2015 a.y.



Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 19
ACME (6 credits - I sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 19 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

The course:

  • analyze the relationship between ownership, governance and management in cultural industries, cultural institutions and heritage;
  • examine governance structures and mechanisms, given the juridical boundaries related to the government owned, non profit and private status;
  • explore corporate level strategies of cultural firms and institutions;
  • analyse the relationship between ownership and governance structures, economic and financial viability and corporate strategy;
  • explore cultural entrepreneurship and the conditions of sustainability of different types of entrepreneurial ventures.

At the end of the course students know the most relevant theories of corporate strategy and governance, and are able to identify and address the crucial issues companies in content industries and cultural institutions are facing to guarantee continuity and convergence of interests and expectations by very different categories of stakeholders. Moreover, students  address in a critical way the issue of what is the value created by content and cultural industries and institutions and how it can be protected in light of some key environmental trends (specifically digitalization, globalization, drastic reduction of public and private funding).

Course Content Summary

The course builds upon existing know-how on principles of business administration, management of nonprofit organizations, management of public administration, principles of public and private law to provide participants with the theoretical background necessary to understand:

  • ownership, governance, management, control in media companies, cultural institutions, no profit institutions;
  • stakeholders management in the media as well as in cultural institutions;
  • cooperation between private and public actors;
  • institutional structure and economic and financial viability in entrepreneurial ventures and established organizations;
  • institutional structure and corporate strategy;
  • the principles of corporate level strategies.

The course provides 6 credits. Attendance is not compulsory, but is warmly recommended, as the program is highly interactive. By February 20th students are asked to enrol in a group project first group activity. Failure to do this automatically gives students the status of non attending.

The program is conceptually divided into 3 areas:

  • corporate governance.
  • Corporate strategy. 
  • Sustainability and value creation.


Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

This is a highly complex and rich graduate level course, in which issues of governance and corporate level strategy are discussed with referral to very diverse situations, i.e. companies and non profit institutions. Unlike an undergraduate class, the issues under evaluation are not so much related to having read the material, rather to the ability of the students to identify controversial issues associated to the topics discussed in class and to be proactive in searching information, assessing alternative points of view, synthesising results.Students attending the course will be graded on the following elements:

Students attending the course

Students not attending the course

Final written essay

Max 15 points

Written essay



Max 6 points (3+3)

Individual assignment

Max5 points

Faculty evaluation

Max 4 points

  • Final written essay: based on the theories discussed in class, the essay addresses issues or cases related to cultural firms or institutions and accounts max 15 points. Failure to reach at least 8 points automatically leads to a failure in the whole exam. The essay may be substituted by open ended questions. Written essays are graded by the faculty.
  • Simulation: during the last two sessions a simulation takes place. Students are divided into two groups and then in subgroups and each subgroup is given in due time background information and assignments to simulate in class the dynamics between different stakeholders involved in strategy formation and governance of a major newspaper. Each attending student participates in one simulation. The outcome of the simulation is a ppt by each subgroup. Simulation is evaluated by faculty and peers. Failure to participate in the simulation determines automatically the status of non attending student. The maximum grade for the simulation is 6 points.
  • Individual assignments: each student will choose one case to be discussed in class and will hand in a max 3 pages answer to the questions highlighted in the syllabus for that session. Individual assignment will account for max 5 points of total grade and will be graded by faculty. Assignments are due the day of class, before the class starts. Please send it via mail to Students may decide to hand in more than one assignment. All are graded and the one with the highest grade is kept. It is advised to privilege quality to quantity. Failure to have at least a score of 3 on individual assignment will determine a failure in the exam.
  • The remaining 4 points max are assigned discretionally by the faculty for active class participation, extra work in simulations, quality contribution to the common work.

Students non attending the course are graded solely on the written essay, but they have to provide examples from the cases discussed in the website and refer to both the material published in the e learning platform and in the reading package. Students may switch from attending to non attending, but they have to state it before handing in their FINAL written essay.

Moreover , students who do not hand in the individual assignment are considered non attending students.


Attending and non attending students

Materials available on Bocconi e-learning

Reading package

Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 10/07/2014 11:44