Programme Aims & Structure (ESOL)

Economic Sociology, Organization and Labour Studies

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Programme Aims & Structure

 

Programme

The Ph.D. in Economic Sociology, Organizations and Labour Studies (ESOL) is a joint programme of the Department of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Milan, the Department of Economics at the University of Bergamo, and the Department of Economics and Management at the University of Pavia. The Collegio Carlo Alberto (Turin) also contributes to the Programme with scholarships, training, and supervising faculty.

The Programme is based at the University of Milan.

The ESOL multidisciplinary Faculty Board includes professors from the Programme's four funding institutions (University of Milan, University of Bergamo, University of Pavia, and Collegio Carlo Alberto) as well as scholars from other Italian universities (University of Turin, University of Brescia, University of Bologna, University of Genova, University of Macerata, University of Valle D'Aosta, and University of Milan-Bicocca).

With several joint supervision and visiting programmes for both outgoing and incoming students, the ESOL Programme cooperates with prestigious Universities in other European countries, such as Linköping University (Sweden), Sorbonne Université (France), University of Groningen (the Netherlands), University of Agder (Norway), and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain).

 

Aims & Structure

The ESOL PhD Programme aims to train students in both substantive competencies and advanced methodological skills from different disciplines and fields, all critical to the study and regulation of economic phenomena, organizations, and labour. 

 

The duration of the Programme is four years. The Programme includes three main phases. 

 

First Phase: 1st year and part of the 2nd year

The 1st year and part of the 2nd are spent in activities at the NASP Graduate School in Social and Political Sciences. These are mostly based in Milan, but may partly occur in the cities where the other ESOL partner institutions are located (Bergamo, Pavia, Turin). In particular, some seminars and training activities are organized within the doctoral hub NASP-Collegio Carlo Alberto in Turin.

After admission, a study plan for each student is designed according to their interest in one (or more) of the 4 main research areas in the Programme. 

Students must earn at least 39 credits with compulsory coursework, exams, and class projects. They are also expected to participate in a series of international and peer seminars, conferences, and summer schools designed every year based on students' and faculty members' interests. 

At the beginning of the 2nd year, and of each subsequent academic year, students must present a research progress report and discuss it with the ESOL Faculty.

During the first year, students also select their main research area of interest from the 4 ESOL areas. Based on this selection, a supervising team of at least two Faculty members is composed. This may be a multidisciplinary team and may include faculty from multiple ESOL areas.

 

Second Phase: 2nd, 3rd and 4th year

Part of the 2nd and 3rd years is spent in other European or international universities for visiting periods. During this time students typically also attend in-depth courses, advanced seminars, and international academic conferences. Finally, a significant portion of students' work in this phase is devoted to completing their PhD research project, drafting their PhD thesis, and writing academic papers on related research. 

The 4th year is entirely devoted to thesis preparation. The final thesis is submitted to the Faculty Board at the end of the 4th year for admission to external review.


Third Phase: thesis review and VIVA

The third phase includes the thesis review process, subsequent revision & completion and, ultimately, the VIVA

The dissertation is reviewed by two external referees who may:

i) admit the candidate to the VIVA; ii) require amendments and revisions. In the latter case, up to six months may be allowed to revise the thesis before admission to the VIVA. 

The examining committee is usually composed of three members.

 

The Programme's research areas

The ESOL PhD programme covers 4 main broad research areas:


Behavioural and Computational Sociology

The PHD faculty in this area focuses on the understanding of socio-economic behaviour following experimental and computational methods. It is linked to the BehaveLab, a new centre for research and training on behavioural sociology that includes laboratory facilities for performing behavioural research. It follows quantitative methods and uses agent-based modelling and network analysis to examine the interplay of individual behaviour and network dynamics in determining complex aggregate social patterns.

Research in Behavioural and Computational Sociology is particularly focused on three broad sub-areas:

(a) the behavioural foundations of socio-economic behaviour, often with a behavioural game theory approach;
(b) the role of social networks and their formation and dynamics to explain aggregate social patterns;
(c) the influence of social patterns on social behaviour.

Exemplary topics include cooperation and social norms, inter-personal trust in strategic settings, social dynamics & social evolution, reputation & gossip as decentralised social control mechanism, instrumental and expressive ties in economic interaction, social networks and social capital, social emotions and economic behaviour, advice, professional and financial networks, social determinants of health and ageing, opinion dynamics and collective behaviour.

Employment Relations & Labor Law

The PHD faculty in this area is a research group which explores different aspects of labour markets, industrial relations and individual employment relationship dynamics drawing upon diverse social sciences, mainly economic sociology and labour law, and employing an interdisciplinary approach and comparative methodology.

Research in the Employment Relations and Labour Law area is particularly focused on the following broad sub-areas:

(a) the impact of labour market and industrial relations institutions and collective action on terms of employment and working conditions;
(b) the developments in labour and employment relations at national, local and company levels, especially from a comparative perspective;
(c) the impact of technology on employment and industrial relations and on individual and collective rights;
(d) the protection of human and social rights in the (national and international) labour market and within the employment contractual relationship;
(e) the supranational and national policies to increase the quantity and quality of jobs.

Exemplary topics belonging to one or more of such sub-areas include the protection of privacy of workers; new forms of subordination in the gig economy; risks and opportunities of remote working; intra and extra UE competition on employment conditions and salaries; collective representation in immaterial workplaces; collective representation at supranational level; effects of globalization development and crisis on employment and industrial relations; collective representation of non-standard workers; new forms of collective action and protest; UE and national policies to fight risks of employment precariousness, discriminations and inequalities.

Organization Studies & Human Resource Management

The PHD faculty in this area is a pluralistic research group which explores different aspects of organizational dynamics drawing upon diverse social sciences (such as sociology, economy, psychology, management, and anthropology) and employing both quantitative and qualitative methodologies

Research in the Organization and HR Management area is particularly focused on three broad sub-areas

(a) the complex interplay between organization, management, HR,  and social and environmental sustainability;
(b) the role of technology in today's workplaces;
(c) the complementarities between collective and individual dimensions of employment relationships at the workplace level.

Exemplary topics belonging to one or more of such sub-areas include employee well-being, inequalities in and through workplaces, HRM and (economic, business, social and environmental) performance, job insecurity, organizational design in digitalized firms, HRM in hybrid work settings, technology and creative/craft work, human capital management, employee turnover, compensation policies, employee freedom and employee voice and silence.

Social Stratification, Occupations and Education

The PHD faculty in this area includes scholars interested in all aspects of social stratification and socio-economic inequality, including the institutional as well as the socio-demographic dimensions. We work mostly, but not exclusively, with quantitative methods, including the statistical analysis of both survey and administrative micro-data, and experimental approaches based on the counter-factual paradigm.

Research in the Social Stratification, Education and Occupations area is focused on the empirical study of the distribution of resources among individuals and social groups in contemporary societies, its change over time and space, and its intergenerational transmission. We are interested in the socio-economic mechanisms producing as well as reducing status inequality, including public policies and the welfare state; mating and family formation; group processes creating identities and discrimination; spatial patterns of diffusion and segregation; geographical mobility.

Exemplary topics include concepts and theories of inequality; life-course analysis; poverty; gender and ethnic differences in stratification processes; changes in the occupational structure; social-demographic patterns of inequality; inequality of educational opportunities; vocational training and skill formation; the school-to-work transition; higher education; labour market and career processes; unemployment and active labour market policies; income and wealth inequality. A comparative perspective is welcome, as well as attention to the micro- and meso-mechanisms producing the macro phenomena.

 

Aims & Structure

The ESOL PhD Programme aims to train students in both substantive competences and advanced methodological skills from different disciplines and fields, all critical to the study and regulation of economic phenomena, organizations, and labour.

The duration of the Programme is four years. The Programme includes three main phases.

First Phase: 1st year and part of the 2nd year

The 1st year and part of the 2nd are spent in activities at the NASP Graduate School in Social and Political Sciences. These are mostly based in Milan, but may partly occur in the cities where the other ESOL partner institutions are located (Bergamo, Pavia, Turin). In particular, several seminar and training activities are organized within the doctoral hub NASP-Collegio Carlo Alberto.[LP1] 

After admission, a study plan for each student is designed according to their interest in one (or more) of the 4 main research areas in the Programme.

Students must earn at least 39 credits with compulsory coursework, exams, and class projects. They are also expected to participate in a series of international and peer seminars, conferences, and summer schools designed every year based on students’ and faculty members’ interests.

At the beginning of the 2nd year, and of each subsequent [LP2] academic year, students must present a research progress report and discuss it with the ESOL Faculty to be admitted to the second year.

During the first year, students also select their main research area of interest from the 4 ESOL areas. Based on this selection, a supervising team of at least two Faculty members is composed. This may be a multidisciplinary team and may include faculty from multiple ESOL areas.


 [LP1]Può andare bene?

 [LP2]Forse meglio mettere così, perché questo paragrafo descrive cosa succede nel primo e secondo anno…. Se però pensate che sia troppo pesante, torniamo al più snello: At the beginning of each academic year

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