Como Lake

Research Methods, Theories and Policies for Navigating the Complexities of the Digital Age

Early Career Summer School

25 – 29 July 2022

Como, Italy

Lake Como School of Advanced Studies

Organised by Politecnico di Milano



The Summer School is a joint initiative with the EIBA – European International Business Academy ( It aims at providing participants with tools to understand and tackle different dimensions of complexity in the current digital age. To do so, examples of traditional and emerging topics will be analyzed (i.e. knowledge creation, GVCs formation, reconfiguration and restructuring, and policy trends – especially in terms of sustainability and green and digital transition), illustrating how to tackle the conceptual and methodological challenges (and opportunities).

The Summer Schools targets Ph.D. students, postdocs and early career researchers.

The school promotes critical reasoning about the purpose of research methods and the possibilities to combine multiple methods to pursue rigorous, reliable and valid results.

Topics and themes to be addressed include:

  • Knowledge Creation across borders;  GVCs and Restructuration of value chains; policy trends in sustainability and digitalization
  • Multiplicity of entities, multiplexity of interaction, dynamism of the global business system
  • Multilevel Econometrics techniques for addressing complexity in IB; Qualitative Comparative analysis with BigData: Machine Learning & Deep Learning; Complex Network Analysis; Mixed-methodologies and triangulation for international policy evaluation
  • Research sustainability and ethics
  • Meet-the-editors session with insights tips on how to write the methodological session in a paper.

The School concludes with sessions organized as a conference, where participants can present their work in a conference-style session and discuss with leading scholars and editors of international journals.

The main course objectives are: 

  • To equip participants with innovative tools (in terms of theoretical approaches, theories, methods) for facing the complexity embedded in traditional and emerging topics in the digital age (new knowledge creation, GVCs formation and restructuring, new policy trends – especially in terms of sustainability and green and digital transition).  
  • To understand the challenges and opportunities provided by new vs. traditional research methodologies (quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods, i.e. Complex Network Analysis, Multilevel Analysis, Machine Learning and Deep Learning, Big Data and New Database, Qualitative Comparative Analysis).
  • To work in small groups to deliver a small piece of policy design and evaluation analysis in the context of sustainability and GVCs. 
  • To expose participants to leading scholars in the fields of international business, innovation and sustainability, and to help participants advance their own research projects.

The structure of the Summer school is the following: mornings will be dedicated to illustrating (and providing tools to address) complexities in the international context as fostered by the digital age; afternoons will be focused on practical experiences for participants facilitated by working in small groups; some team-building evening activities will be also organized to reinforce the liaisons among participants and fostering future collaborations within the community. As the event is organized only in presence, there will be many opportunities for networking between peers and senior scholars. We believe this is a crucially important aspect, especially after three years of online events due to COVID-19 (some PhD students have not had the opportunity yet to participate in any in presence event since the beginning of their PhD). 

Students could be awarded 5 ECTS credits upon the positive evaluation of coursework.


Local Organizing Committee:

Lucia Piscitello, Stefano Elia, Diletta Pegoraro, Tommaso Vallone, Cristina Di Stefano


Scientific Committee:

Lucia Piscitello, EIBA Chair, Politecnico di Milano

Bo Nielsen, University of Sydney and Copenhagen Business School

Catherine Welch, Trinity College Dublin



John Cantwell, Rutgers Business School, USA

Agnieszka Chidlow, University of Birmingham, UK

Marianna Marra, University of Sussex, UK

Silvia Massini, Alliance Manchester Business School (TBC)

Bo Nielsen, University of Sydney

Carlotta Orsenigo, Politecnico di Milano

Torben Pedersen, Bocconi University

Carlo Piccardi, Politecnico di Milano

Lucia Piscitello, Politecnico di Milano

Catherine Welch, Trinity College Dublin

(and others still to be confirmed)


Target and Selection of Participants:

The EIBA-EuSPRI Summer Schools targets Ph.D. students, postdocs and early career researchers. The number of students attending each course is limited to 30.

The school is especially addressed to doctoral students and young postdoctoral scholars.

The programme provides networking opportunities and allows developing global partnerships.


Practical Details:

How to apply

Prospective participants are required to send (by email to:, and a 1-page letter (pdf) organized as follows:

  • name, department/university, current position (PhD student, postdoc, other)
  • educational background
  • research activity and interests
  • motivations for participating in the School

Selection Criteria

The Organizing Committee will consider a number of features including: the coherence of the motivation with the aim and scope of the school, the potential benefit for the student’s research, the timeliness for the development of the student’s career.

Registration Fees

As the Summer school will be a joint event EIBA-EUSPRI, fees will be differentiated according to the following scheme:

  • member Eu-SPRI & member EIBA: Free
  • member Eu-SPRI & non member EIBA: 140€
  • non-members Eu-SPRI & member EIBA: 430€
  • non-members Eu-SPRI & non member EIBA: 550€


Accommodation costs for doctoral researchers and early career researchers from Eu-SPRI member organizations ( will be covered by the School (this includes 5 nights’ accommodation, lunch for 5 days, 1 dinner/social event and coffee breaks).

Some travel grants will be available for doctoral researchers and early career researchers from both EUSPRI and non Eu-SPRI member organizations. Please indicate in your application whether you want to apply for the travel grant.

Applications and Important Dates

  • Call for Application start: 14 February 2022
  • Application deadline: 14 April 2022
  • Notification of acceptance & registration start: 4 May 2022
  • Registration & payment deadline: 4 June 2022


For further information, please contact: and

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