Call for Applications: Medici Summer School

IX Medici Summer School, June 19 – June 23, 2017

Theme: The Organization of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

We are pleased to announce the organization of the 9th edition of the Medici Summer School in Management Studies for doctoral students and young researchers which will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 19 – June 23, 2017. The school is organized and sponsored by Alma GS (University of Bologna), HEC Paris (Society and Organizations Research Center and the HEC Foundation), and MIT Sloan School of Management (Economic Sociology PhD Program).


The Summer School is designed to promote doctoral education and research in organization theory and related fields (economic sociology, management studies, strategy) and contribute to the development of enlightened practice in the management of business organizations. The Medici Summer School advocates a special focus on cross-fertilizing research across North American and European traditions. The Summer School is a unique educational program for qualified doctoral students interacting with thought leaders in the management field who have shared their knowledge and wisdom on frontier research topics.

The Medici School combines lectures and research seminars by prominent international scholars with active engagement by participating students. Every day of the one-week program is scheduled to end with the presentation of students’ research related to the topic of the School, with a panel of senior faculty providing feedback. There is no fee to participate. Selected candidates will be fully covered in their accommodation expenses provided that they stay the full week. However, transportation is not covered by the organizers.

The Summer School will begin on Monday June 19 with a welcoming lunch and will conclude the morning of Friday June 23.


The purpose of “The 2017 Medici Summer School” is to bring together a group of researchers who share a concern for advancing our knowledge about the organization of innovation and entrepreneurship. In particular, our goal is to discuss cutting-edge research that sheds new light on the theoretical mechanisms and processes that explain how innovation processes work and can be improved; and on the mechanisms and processes responsible for new venture formation. This choice of theme reflects a sense of excitement at the various new institutions that have arisen to support innovation and entrepreneurship—including hackathons, crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, contests, accelerators—as well as promising new lines of research that have opened up due to these settings as well as in response to developments such as the increasing demand for “authentic” products and services, and the increasing call to improve the practice of science by applying scientific methods to research on scientific practice. Among the various reasons to convene a summer school on this topic is that these developments and research discussions tend to cut place across the institutional settings that have been the traditional domains of the disciplines. This array of topics is not only relevant for the advancement of theory and research in organization theory, but it also has important practical implications for employees, groups of individuals, communities and society as a whole.

Keeping in mind that innovation and entrepreneurship are broad topics in the social sciences, we will discuss research from different disciplines at certain levels of analysis (individuals, groups, organizations, and even regions). Some of the topics and questions we will likely discuss include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Is there really anything new in the various new institutions that have developed to support innovation and entrepreneurship, and are significant revisions in theory necessary?
  •  If innovation requires departure from existing categorical codes, how can we reconcile efforts at promoting innovation with the literature on categorization?
  •  What do new developments teach us about the social ingredients necessary for promoting entrepreneurship?
  •  What are the implications of the social media technologies for firm hierarchies?

Overall, the goal of the 2017 edition of the Medici Summer School is to shed light on the organizational mechanisms underlying innovation and entrepreneurship. The 2017 Medici Summer School will therefore help students untangle a complex theoretical landscape, defining the questions, identifying open puzzles, and delineating the central ideas for a future agenda devoted to the understanding of the organizational bases of inequality. To this end, the 2017 Medici Summer School brings together interdisciplinary scholarship at multiple levels of analysis to understand the phenomena of social valuation within and among organizations. By learning from different theoretical and empirical approaches, we believe attendees will substantially enrich their particular research agendas within the broad topic of organizations and stratification.

Program and Faculty

The host faculty members include representatives from the three cosponsoring institutions. Host faculty at this year’s summer school include

Emilio J. Castilla, Roberto Fernandez, and Ezra Zuckerman (MIT), Simone

Ferriani and Gianni Lorenzoni (Bologna), and Rodolphe Durand (HEC Paris).

In addition to the host faculty, the Summer School will bring together guest faculty who consist of leading strategy, organizations, sociology, and social psychology scholars. The five days of the Summer School will be tentatively organized in terms of the following themes, with the following guest faculty:

Day 1, June 19: TBA. Lead faculty: Rodolphe Durand, HEC Paris, France.

Day 2, June 20: TBA. Lead faculty: Mary Tripsas, Boston College, USA.

Day 3, June 21: TBA. Lead faculty: Toby Stuart, University of California, Berkeley, USA.

Day 4, June 22: TBA. Special MIT-Harvard Panel on Cutting Edge Research on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, including Fiona Murray (MIT) and Karim R. Lakhani (HBS), USA.

Day 5, June 23: TBA. Lead faculty: Ethan Mollick, University of Pennsylvania, USA.

Each faculty member will be in residence at the School for several days, allowing ample time for one-to-one sessions, knowledge sharing, and networking opportunities.

A typical day will feature a guest faculty member presenting on their research, an integrative session led by a host faculty member that explores links among the guest faculty research, and a workshop in which the host and guest faculty work with students to flesh out their own ideas, both theoretically and empirically.

Overall, students will advance in their own research via:

1. Exposure to the cutting edge of research in this area.

2. Open discussion of key research challenges experienced by the faculty in their own research.

3. Direct feedback on how to tackle complex questions of both theory and empirics.

Application Procedure

The School will admit 20-25 student participants. Applications for these slots are welcome from current Ph.D. students in Management, Strategy, Organization Theory, Economic Sociology, and related disciplines from universities worldwide. Students for the Summer School will be selected in accordance with the quality of their doctoral curricula, research interests, and application materials. Applications from students who have completed at least two years of doctoral training will be considered, with preference given to those who have satisfied their course requirements and exams but have not yet embarked on their dissertation research. Applications from post-docs will also be considered.

There is no application or participation fee. Student participants will be responsible for covering their own travel expenses to and from HEC Paris, but the Summer School will cover all accommodation and board expenses during the week of sessions provided that students attend the entire week.

Applications should include:

a. A simple statement declaring that the applicant is interested in being considered for admission to the Summer School together with the applicant’s contact information: email address, telephone, and mailing address. All of this should be in the body of an email sent to the address below.

b. Curriculum vitae listing educational background, Ph.D. program, nationality, etc.

c. A motivation letter (no longer than 1 page) indicating the applicant’s current research activities and his/her specific interest in the topic of the 2017 Summer School.

d. A brief recommendation letter from a member of their dissertation committee.

e. Applicants are also encouraged (but not required) to submit an extended abstract or discussion note that they will present during the Summer School. The Selection Committee will evaluate the relevance of this paper to the 2017 School theme.

All application materials should be sent by March 30, 2017 exclusively via email to the following address: with application Medici Summer School in the subject of the email. For any specific inquiry or clarification please also contact Admitted candidates will be notified by April 15th, 2017.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.