Call for Applications: Medici Summer School – Strategies for the Future of Work

XII Edition of the Medici SchoolStrategies for the Future of Work (June 15-19, 2020)

We are pleased to announce the organization of the XII edition of the Medici Summer School in Management Studies for doctoral students and young researchers which will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, June 15-19, 2020. 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 and 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.

Theme: Strategies for the Future of Work

Over the past few years, the world of work has witnessed many important changes. The digitization and digitalization of products, services and processes have revolutionized how sellers and customers behave, the way firms produce and are organized, and the very notion of value capturing and competition. The experience of working has become more fluid: people seem to have more opportunities to change and combine jobs as the waves of freelancers, contractors and part-time workers participating in the Gig Economy illustrate. Deployment of artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics has provided organizations with opportunities to boost productivity, innovation and growth, and has helped dramatically improve the well-being and quality of life for the vast majority of people around the world. Simultaneously, economic and social disruptions often followed those technological and institutional changes, with lasting results for workers, their families, and their communities. Along the way, new skills, occupations, and industries replaced older employment models, challenging established assumptions and setting novel priorities.

The goal of the XII edition of the Medici Summer School is to zoom in on the strategic challenges that characterize the future of work. Changes in the nature of work in fact, open the door to new ways of organizing, affecting how organizations behave, what managers and workers do at work, the ways people experience their jobs and think about work. For social scientists, the opportunities associated with the study of the future of work allow for exploring new ideas, relationships and logics of organizing. The increasing availability of data also present great opportunities for engaging with unorthodox methodologies that are often needed to tackle complex causal interdependences that cut across social, technical, political as well as disciplinary boundaries.

The School will bring together leading researchers who focus on advancing our knowledge on how work has changed and will change, and the ensuing implications for organizations, workers, and institutions. 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 around the future of work. This theme choice reflects a sense of excitement about what can and has been learned from integrating technology- and organization- related concepts and constructs with those existing in current organizational, managerial and entrepreneurship theories.

Program and Faculty

The host faculty members include representatives from the three cosponsoring 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 are leading strategy, organizations, sociology, and social psychology scholars. The five days of the School are tentatively organized as follows:

  • Day 1, June 15: Lead faculty: Peter Cappelli, The Wharton School
  • Day 2, June 16: Lead faculty: Ruthanne Huising, EMLYON Business
  • Day 3, June 17: Lead faculty: Klarita Gërxhani, European University
  • Day 4, June 18: Lead faculty: Steve Barley, University of California,
    Santa Barbara
  • Day 5, June 19: Lead faculty: András Tilcsik, University of Toronto

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.

Application procedure

The School will admit 20-25 student participants. Applications 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 qualifying 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 Boston, 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 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.
  • Curriculum vitae listing educational background, Ph.D. program, scholarly achievements, nationality, etc.
  • A motivation letter (no longer than 1 page) indicating the applicant’s current research activities and their specific interest in the proposed topic for the 2020 Summer School.
  • A brief recommendation letter from one faculty member of their dissertation committee.
  • Applicants are also encouraged (but not required) to submit an extended abstract or discussion note that they could present during the Summer School. The Selection Committee will evaluate the relevance of this paper to the 2020 School theme.

All application materials should be sent by March 6th, 2020 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 10th, 2020.

More details about the Medici School, theme and application procedure here.

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