Call for Applications: XI Medici Summer School

XI Medici Summer School, June 16 – June 21, 2019

Theme: Commercialization of Culture and Science

We are pleased to announce the organization of the 11th edition of the Medici Summer School in Management Studies for doctoral students and young researchers which will be held in Paris, France, June 16 June 21, 2019. The school is organized and sponsored by Bologna Business School (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 Sunday June 16 with a welcoming evening cocktail and will conclude Friday June 21 in the afternoon.


Culture and science are often thought of as radically different domains. But among the things they share is a tension with organizations and markets. Rare is the scientist or the cultural producer who declares that they are motivated by profit; and rare is the account of science or culture that begins with the role of the organizations and institutions that facilitate its production and distribution. And yet especially in today’s world, where the commercialization of scientific discovery is widely thought to be of critical importance; and where many more are pursuing careers in art worlds than ever before, such organizations and institutions have a crucial role to play.

For social scientists, the challenges and opportunities associated with the commercialization of culture and science offer extraordinary opportunities to explore new ideas, relationships and logics of organizing while also having a positive impact. They also present opportunities to engage with unorthodox methodologies that are often needed to tackle complex causal interdependences that cut across social, technical, political as well as disciplinary boundaries.

The purpose of “The 2019 Medici Summer School” is to bring together leading researchers who are focused on advancing our knowledge on the organizations and institutions that serve as vehicles and as settings for the commercialization of science or of culture. In particular, our goal is to discuss cutting-edge organizational research that sheds new light on theoretical mechanisms, processes as well as methodological approaches that can enhance our understanding of major questions. This theme choice reflects a sense of excitement about what can and has been learned from comparing and contrasting the domains of science and culture and how each intersects with the market.

Some of the topics and questions that will be discussed include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • What are the key institutions responsible for commercialization success?
  • How do players in the domain respond to massive uncertainty regarding the valuation of ideas and products?
  • What is the role played by norms against the pursuit of profit?
  • What strategies are available for various players in each “value chain” and what are associated challenges?
  • How do new ideas and approaches arise in the domain given the particular challenges associated with the domain?
  • To the extent that culture and science are similar as vehicles and settings for commercialization, what does this teach us about their similarities and differences?
  • How has each domain changed as a result of increased commercialization?
  • What role do social networks play in facilitating or impeding commercialization?
  • What role do universities and non-profit institutions play?

Overall, the goal of the 2019 edition of the Medici Summer School is to shed light on the role of organizations and institutions as vehicles and settings for the commercialization of culture and science. The 2019 Medici Summer School is to equip students with theoretical and methodological tools that will enable them to untangle a complex theoretical landscape, define the key questions, identify open puzzles, and delineate the central ideas for a future agenda devoted to understanding the commercialization of culture and science. To this end, the 2019 Medici Summer School brings together interdisciplinary scholarship at multiple levels of analysis to shed light on organizational tensions and market challenges associated with the commercialization of culture and science. By learning from different theoretical and empirical approaches, we believe attendees will substantially enrich their particular research agendas

Program and Faculty

The host faculty members include representatives from the three co-sponsoring institutions and those who have been organizing the Summer School over the years. Host faculty at this year’s summer school include Ezra Zuckerman Sivan and Emilio J. Castilla (MIT); Simone Ferriani and Gianni Lorenzoni (Bologna); Rodolphe Durand (HEC Paris); and Gino Cattani (NYU).

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 as follows:

Day 1, June 17: Lead faculty: Deepak Hedge, NYU Stern School

Day 2, June 18: Lead faculty: Gary Alan Fine, Northwestern University

Day 3, June 19: Lead faculty: Denisa Mindruta, HEC Paris

Day 4, June 20: Lead faculty: David Hsu, U Pennsylvania Wharton School

Day 5, June 21: Lead faculty: Damon Phillips, Columbia University

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 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Curriculum vitae listing educational background, Ph.D. program, nationality, etc.
  3. 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 2019 Summer School.
  4. A brief recommendation letter from a member of their dissertation committee.
  5. 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 2018 School theme.

All application materials should be sent by April 10, 2019 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 25th, 2019.

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.