IULM Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione di Milano
Recent publications
This study investigates whether and how pairing two firms with the same priority – either a customer or a selling orientation – affects the two sides of the dyad's ability to ensure firm-level outcomes from Relationship-Specific Investments (RSIs). We find that pairing firms with a customer orientation positively moderates the effects of RSIs on the firm's performance of both the buyer and the seller. Conversely, pairing firms with a selling orientation has negative influence on RSIs effects, but only for the seller's performance. We discuss this study's contributions to the body of research on RSIs and strategic orientations and, specifically, to literature that focuses on the joint effect of strategic orientations across firms. Additionally, we highlight the implications of our findings for research on inter-organizational relationship development and, particularly, for the task-contingent interpretation of the homophily effect.
Over the past few years, many studies have shown how territoriality can be considered a driver for purchasing agri-food products. Products with certification of origin are perceived as more sustainable, safer and of better quality. At the same time, producers of traditional products often belong to small entities that struggle to compete with large multinational food corporations, having less budget to allocate to product promotion. In this study, we propose a neuromarketing approach, showing how the use of these techniques can help in choosing the most effective commercial in terms of likeability and ability to activate mnemonic processes. Two commercials were filmed for the purpose of this study. They differed from each other in terms of emotional sequence. The first aimed primarily at eliciting positive emotions derived from the product description. The second aimed to generate negative emotions during the early stages, highlighting the negative consequences of humans’ loss of contact with nature and tradition and then eliciting positive emotions by presenting cheese production using traditional techniques as a solution to the problem. Based on the literature on the emotional sequences in social advertising, we hypothesised that the second commercial would generate an overall better emotional reaction and activate mnemonic processes to a greater extent. Our results partially support the research hypotheses, providing useful insights both to marketers and for future research on the topic.
Passion for work is an important individual factor related to the quality of working life. Flow at work is an optimal experience in which the individual is immersed in, loves and enjoys the work. The aim of the study is to investigate the relationship between passion for work (harmonious and obsessive), flow at work (as a mediator) and exhaustion in a sample of Italian nurses. About 270 nurses participated in the study: this profession is characterized by intrinsic motivation but is also subjected to fatigue and distress. The results show that harmonious passion increases flow at work which, in turn, decreases exhaustion; moreover, flow mediates the relationship between harmonious passion and exhaustion. Obsessive passion has no significant effect on flow at work, but directly increases exhaustion. The study shows that harmonious passion and flow at work contribute to alleviate exhaustion, while obsessive passion instead increases feelings of distress.
The present study provides evidence for a valid and reliable tool, the Academic Quality at Work Tool (AQ@workT), to investigate the quality of life at work in academics within the Italian university sector. The AQ@workT was developed by the QoL@Work research team, namely a group of expert academics in the field of work and organizational psychology affiliated with the Italian Association of Psychologists. The tool is grounded in the job demands-resources model and its psychometric properties were assessed in three studies comprising a wide sample of lecturers, researchers, and professors: a pilot study (N = 120), a calibration study (N = 1084), and a validation study (N = 1481). Reliability and content, construct, and nomological validity were supported, as well as measurement invariance across work role (researchers, associate professors, and full professors) and gender. Evidence from the present study shows that the AQ@workT represents a useful and reliable tool to assist university management to enhance quality of life, to manage work-related stress, and to mitigate the potential for harm to academics, particularly during a pandemic. Future studies, such as longitudinal tests of the AQ@workT, should test predictive validity among the variables in the tool.
The rapid diffusion of the Covid-19 worldwide has accelerated the need for companies to address the sustainability issue at different levels, as nowadays the attention of stakeholders with respect to this theme has grown considerably. As a result, companies had to set up CSR communication strategies to build and strengthen their legitimacy and reputation. Among the communication channels to convey messages of firms’ CSR initiatives, social media are becoming increasingly important and, particularly, Twitter is the social media platform where more CSR-related content is generated. By adopting the theoretical lens of constitutive communication of organization, the aim of this paper is to investigate with a textual approach how the CSR communication in the energy sector has evolved in the post Covid-19 scenario. Specifically, our attention will be focus on: (1) the exploratory analysis based on the hashtags; (2) the identification of CSR communication topics and (3) the proposal of topics network in order to discover subgroups of topics. Findings of this research show that the CSR communication on Twitter has undergone changes compared to the pre Covid-19 era. Particularly, we identified 11 CSR related-topics which, as the proposed topic network demonstrates, are interconnected. On the one hand, our results corroborate previous research regarding some CSR-related issues; on the other hand, we identified some topics such as safety, people and work which have exploded in Twitter conversations in the post Covid-19 scenario. Finally, this study provides managerial implications for professionals dealing with CSR communication, digital communication and social media marketing activities.
Can citizens impact the broader discourse about an organization and its legitimacy? While social media have empowered citizens to publicly question firms through large volumes of online evaluations, the high heterogeneity of their evaluations dilutes their impact. Our empirical study applying a threshold vector autoregressive model (TVAR) analysis of 2.5 million tweets and 1,786 news media articles tests the condition by which the heterogeneity of online evaluations converges and influences the broader media discourse. Although social media evaluations do not initially influence media legitimacy, they become influential after reaching a tipping point of refracted attention, which is created by high volume and convergence of individual evaluations around few aggregative frames. Thus, social media storms may influence the broader discourse about an organization when this discourse converges and reaches a tipping point, rather than merely through the massive participation of citizens.
Italy was the second country to be affected by COVID-19 in early 2020, after China. The confrontation with the pandemic led to great changes in the world of work and, consequently, to the personal world of workers. In such a challenging situation, it is essential to be able to rely on resources that facilitate individual coping. The aim of this study was to understand the association between personal resources (optimism and humor) and exhaustion, and the role of self-compassion in this relationship. A structural equation model (SEM) was used to test the hypotheses on a heterogeneous sample of 422 Italian workers during the first lockdown in April-May 2020. The results revealed that optimism and humor were positively associated with self-compassion; optimism and humor also had a negative association with exhaustion; and self-compassion had a mediating role between the two personal resources and exhaustion. These results confirmed the importance of personal resources in maintaining workers' wellbeing during a challenging period such as the pandemic. The present study also contributes to the body of knowledge on self-compassion, a relatively new construct that has been little studied in the organizational field.
In the light of the increasingly massive implementation of technology in retail settings, the present research aims at exploring the relationships between interacting factors of the retail servicescape: human interaction, automated service, and atmosphere, and their impact on customer satisfaction regarding the service. We develop a theoretical framework to understand the relationships between the single components of the servicescape and we empirically test our framework within the context of retail banking services. We develop a moderated mediation model on a sample of 1346 retail banking customers. We find that the human factor mediates the relationship between self-service technologies and satisfaction, and that this mediation is negatively moderated by a favourable perception of the banking service atmosphere. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
#Boycotts represent digital advocacy attempts in which users publicly punish an organization as a lurata (i.e., jury), which assesses the guilty intent, the mens rea (i.e., guilty mind), from a set of visible acts, the actus reus (i.e., wrongdoings). Yet, we know little about the quasi-legal narratives advocated by users. To this aim, we developed a mixed method study of the #deleteuber boycott on Twitter. Our findings suggest that while users advocate both an Uber-specific and a shared mens rea of Uber with sharing economy firms or the tech giants of Silicon Valley, the latter narrative is the most prominent one; its use depends on whether users are part of a lurata of influencers or not. These findings provide a contribution to studies on public affairs that focus on online activism, boycotts in social media and digital advocacy because they increase our understanding of the opaque legal motivations that provoke boycotters. Also, they highlight that social media blurs the boundaries between boycotts directed at the firm from the boycotts arising indirectly due to the shameful acts of the industry or peers.
In this study, we analyze the interaction between smartphones and their users as contingencies of reinforcement underpinning social behavior. We posit the introduction of a nudge: an environmental intervention meant to guide behavior that can be easily avoided in a social context. Our experiment takes us to an Italian pub with the hypothesis that a simple environmental factor (a basket featuring a social cue) will contribute to a reduction in digital social interactions in favor of physical social interactions. Data were collected employing a momentary time sampling where we recorded an increase in estimated time with no smartphone interactions and a decrease in estimated time with all the customers seated at one table using their smartphones in the experimental condition. These results were significant and suggest that the nudge was effective at reducing smartphone use among the patrons. Moreover, the estimates of these digital interactions were shorter for the statistical unit when compared to the control. Together, the results of study demonstrate that a nudge can reduce smartphone use in contexts of social interaction. However, it may be difficult to sustain alternative behavior without providing consequences that reinforce its future occurrences.
This article aims to a preliminary reassessment of the silk veil preserved in the Treasury of Trieste cathedral. The cloth is unparalleled in Byzantine as well in western medieval art, in that it is painted with tempera on both sides. It depicts a youthful martyr in a court costume, and bears an inscription that identifies the saint as St. Just. Since its alleged recovery from a reliquary in the early nineteenth century, the cloth has been often addressed by the scholars, who ascribed it either to a Byzantine or to a local master and dated it between the eleventh and the fourteenth century. Despite being referred to in several more general studies, it has been rarely considered individually. In this paper I address the many questions that the Trieste veil raises, including problems of chronology, provenance, function, and iconography. After careful observation and based on both primary sources and visual evidence, I argue that it was produced in Byzantium, possibly at an early date, to serve as a liturgical implement; later, it was brought to the West, where the saint was given a new identity and the cloth was reused as a banner after being painted on the reverse.
Tourism driven by classical and opera music is a very promising and undervalued segment for many destinations. This letter outlines the current and potential demand for music tourism from a sample of classical music and opera lovers, shedding light on the characteristics of this type of traveller and their travel habits. A cluster analysis identifies 4 clusters with significant differences in terms of attitudes toward music-related journeys and the results are discussed in order to advance some strategic suggestions for the development of destinations and for promoting innovative collaborations between the tourism and performing arts sectors.
Between 1929 and 1930 the Der Kreis journal hosted a debate among art historians and museum directors on how art copies were changing the museum landscape. The so-called Hamburger Faksimile-Streit constitutes a crucial moment in the Weimarian theoretical debate on the categories of copy and original, culminating a few years later in Benjamin’s well-known essay on the work of art. After examining the theses of the main participants in the debate, this article focus on the position of curator and museum director Alexander Dorner – the only one advocating for the non-superiority of originals over copies in art museums – and on his relationship with Walter Benjamin’s later theories.
In a perspective that, as stated by Shaun Moores (2012), can start from media studies and somehow overcome them, the concept of media environment, namely the idea that the media create environments where to be and places where to live experience, can be enhanced with new elements. Through an analysis that differentiates places from experiencing places of affection, the hypothesis that moves us, and that we will try to demonstrate, is that there are digital places of affection, that is, web environments capable of developing affection like in certain places in the real world. According to the definition, and according to common sense, an affection is a constant sentimental inclination towards a person or thing for which one has, nurtures, conceives positive emotions.
In this paper, we analyze the relationship between artistic interventions in the public space and their impact on urban cultural commons. We focus on the case study of the Muri Liberi street art project in NoLo, a semi-peripheral neighbourhood of Milan traditionally characterized by a multi-ethnic, low-income resident population and now witnessing the early signs of socio-economic transformation. We propose a comparison with a case of art-based regeneration in another semi-peripheral neighbourhood of Milan, the Ortica district, specifically the Or.Me project. We study how the analyzed street art projects functioned, in the NoLo case, as a symbolic appropriation of the public space of the neighbourhood that bypassed its longtime residents and undermined their local urban commons, as a likely premise to future gentrification of the neighbourhood; in the Ortica case, we show instead how a community-based public art project in a similar context can foster social cohesion and improve a functional relation between the local community and its commons. We comment on how disregarding the political implications of artistic ‘beautification’ projects negatively impacts the social sustainability of art-driven urban renewal projects and delegitimizes the social credibility of public art as an anti-hegemonic practice.
For decades, from design theory to urban planning and management, from social sciences to urban environmental science, cities have been probed and analyzed from the partial perspective of single disciplines. The digital era, with its unprecedented data availability, is allowing for testing old theories and developing new ones, ultimately challenging relatively partial models. Our community has been in the last years providing more and more compelling evidence that cities are complex systems with emergent phenomena characterized by the collective behavior of their citizens who are themselves complex systems. However, more recently, it has also been shown that such multiscale complexity alone is not enough to describe some salient features of urban systems. Multilayer network modeling, accounting for both multiplexity of relationships and interdependencies among the city’s subsystems, is indeed providing a novel integrated framework to study urban backbones, their resilience to unexpected perturbations due to internal or external factors, and their human flows. In this paper, we first offer an overview of the transdisciplinary efforts made to cope with the three dimensions of complexity of the city: the complexity of the urban environment, the complexity of human cognition about the city, and the complexity of city planning. In particular, we discuss how the most recent findings, for example, relating the health and wellbeing of communities to urban structure and function, from traffic congestion to distinct types of pollution, can be better understood considering a city as a multiscale and multilayer complex system. The new challenges posed by the postpandemic scenario give to this perspective an unprecedented relevance, with the necessity to address issues of reconstruction of the social fabric, recovery from prolonged psychological, social and economic stress with the ensuing mental health and wellbeing issues, and repurposing of urban organization as a consequence of new emerging practices such as massive remote working. By rethinking cities as large-scale active matter systems far from equilibrium which consume energy, process information, and adapt to the environment, we argue that enhancing social engagement, for example, involving citizens in codesigning the city and its changes in this critical postpandemic phase, can trigger widespread adoption of good practices leading to emergent effects with collective benefits which can be directly measured. 1. Introduction Cities offer one of the most challenging test beds for any complexity-oriented modeling approach. The reason is simple: they present a multiscale structure integrating a multitude of social and technological subsystems. While being large enough to be amenable to macromodeling, at the same time, they are not large enough to be exclusively approached at that scale, thus raising ambition for detailed microstructural analysis and understanding. For these reasons, the modeling and analysis of cities sit naturally at the mesoscale, at the edge between micro and macro, and offer an ideal environment for the development of “statistical mechanics” of human interaction. On the basis of these premises, it is paradoxically not surprising that the most authoritative and celebrated account of how cities “work,” which has informed a countless number of different approaches and analysis of all sorts, is Jane Jacobs’ book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” [1], which is essentially an autoethnography of the experience of the city par excellence, New York City, that is, an approach that could not be farther away from conventional scientific standards: subjective observations about a single city through time. Despite its lack of “hard scientific” method, the book has been so influential and was celebrated to become a sort of conceptual map for all scientists aiming at building solid scientific explanations and analyses of the urban dynamics. Such influence stems from its unique capacity of summing up, through the author’s gaze, so many different, subtly related aspects of the essence of cities’ functioning and living. Not incidentally, one of its major insights among many is that cities thrive only if they are able to maintain their own form of highly idiosyncratic complexity. If they fall for structural oversimplification and loss of diversity, they decay and possibly eventually die. Traditional top-down planning practices have not successfully passed the urban complexity test, due to their inability to credibly address the mutability of social interactions in urban settings through their rigid schemes and their consequent tendency to micromanage environmental complexity rather than enable its generative potential [2]. Moreover, Jacobs’ lesson reminds us that the complexity of the city is not only about the manifold aspects of the urban environment and their interrelations but also about the complexity of our own mental representation of the city. Jacobs’ insights are also about what planning means for the city and about the subtle balance between self-organization and intelligent design, and here too there is enormous inspiration for readers who are accustomed to think in complexity science terms. There are, therefore, at least three different dimensions of complexity that one should keep in mind thinking of the city: the complexity of the urban environment, the complexity of human cognition about the city, and the complexity of city planning. A comprehensive approach to urban complexity should be able to encompass all three and even more so in the complex postpandemic scenario with which all cities will have to cope in the coming years. 2. Modeling Urban Complexity Research on the complexity of urban environments has a long tradition, and although its roots are difficult to trace back, a fundamental text is Christopher Alexander’s “A City Is Not a Tree” [3]. In this short, insightful essay, later developed into a book [4], Alexander makes use of biological analogies to explore the inherent geometrical properties of urban organization, largely prefiguring the complexity science of the next two decades. As shown in his later book [5], Alexander clearly understands the relationship between the emergent macrostructures of the city and the microlevel of building construction patterns and their compositional space grammar, thus characterizing architectural building rules as subject to adaptive pressures. Alexander then goes further on [6] to identify vernacular architecture as a self-organizing system of space organization which reflects an extremely complex system of socioenvironmental cognition and constitutes an ideal bridge between the complexity science of urban environments and that of their mental representations. Finally, in the monumental 4-book series, “The Nature of Order” [7–10], Alexander arrives at an all-encompassing evolutionary synthesis of human and biological organization structures, where he finally investigates issues such as why certain human settlements have more “life” in them than others. One might think of a city’s “liveliness” in terms of an ensemble of emergent structural properties that result from the coevolution of built environments and human interaction, following a logic that closely resembles that of biological design. It is from these bases that the literatures on shape grammars [11], space syntax [12], and their inevitable confluences [13] take off, building the premises of a computational approach to urban form and function. The marriage with the concurrently upcoming complexity science would not only be inevitable [14, 15] but necessary, with the urban dimension becoming one of the natural testing grounds for fractal [16], agent-based [17], and cellular automata modeling [18] of the emergent order properties of multiscale systems, once again naturally coalescing into a unified theory of urban complexity [19]. Complexity-based approaches to urban issues have since then proliferated to practically every sphere of city life [20, 21]: transportation systems [22], utilities and infrastructure [23, 24], pollution [25], and crime [26], just to limit ourselves to a few examples. These approaches have allowed the development of much deeper insights into the nature and effects of structural interdependencies across urban environments [27], also deriving from the unique tension between the general nonlinear effects typical of all urban environments with local, specific factors and dynamics [28, 29]. The rapidly increasing availability of large databases and the big data revolution in social and urban sciences has further boosted this tendency, leading to a new wave of complexity-oriented urban science which is likely still in its early phase [30], and it is consequently challenged by the need of developing proper analytical methods for the extraction of reliable behavioral information [31, 32]. There is therefore room to expect that the application of complexity science to the modeling, analysis, and understanding of urban systems is a long-term scientific endeavor rather than a transitory phase and that this will have profound effects on many dimensions of science, society, and the economy. From a complexity science perspective, cities cannot be simply viewed as structures in space but also as functional systems of flows and networks [33]. In 1961, Gilbert used a special class of networks, namely, random geometric graphs, to model the structure of spatially embedded networks and the effects of spatial constraints on the system [34]. The core idea is to consider spatially distributed nodes representing, for instance, geographic areas which are connected to each other if their distance is within some spatial scale used as a reference. This class of models is desirable for studying the structure and the function of complex systems like a city, consisting of areas connected by transportation infrastructures [35]. Nowadays, network modeling and analysis of urban ecosystems is a widely adopted framework to cope with the complexity of cities and of their societies at different scales [36]. The analysis of the Boston underground transportation system through the lens of global and local efficiency in information flows revealed that its underlying logic of construction is, in fact, a small-world principle [37]. Complex networks have been used for geographical modeling and, by means of combined cellular models of land and behavior, it has been shown that they provide a compelling framework for growth dynamic that is consistent with large-scale regularities, such as fractality or power-law scaling relations [38]. The analysis of the dual graph representation, where roads and junctions are mapped into nodes and edges, respectively, of six urban street networks characterized by different patterns and historical roots revealed their unique connectivity patterns with respect to nongeographic systems [39]. Network science has been used for spatial analysis of the topology of Singapore inferred from human-generated data, by identifying city hubs, centers, and other elements which are essential to characterize urban interactions. Results from longitudinal analysis suggest that Singapore is rapidly developing towards the designed polycentric urban form [40]. An example of network analysis in action is shown in Figure 1. (a)
Over the years, the territorial origins of agri-food products have become a consolidated marketing model which stand as an alternative to mass production. References to territory, whether on packaging or in advertising, have become an increasingly popular way for marketers to differentiate products, by attributing specific characteristics to them, derived from specific cultural identities and traditions. The aim of this study is to capture the possible differences between two groups, Italian and French, in the perception and intention to buy products with certification marks. We tested a multi-group structural equations model, assessing the mediation of the Perceived Product Safety (PPS) between Packaging with reference to Territoriality (PT) and Intention to Buy (IB). Our findings show that in both groups PT has a positive association with IB and PPS and that PPS has a positive association with IB. The difference is the mediation of PPS, present only in the Italian group. This opens important considerations on the role of the perception of safety, particularly in the pandemic period, in the presentation of products, particularly in products with certification marks linked to sustainability and territoriality.
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1,861 members
Emma Zavarrone
  • Humanities Study
Elanor Colleoni
  • Faculty of communication, public relations and advertising
Riccardo Manzotti
  • Faculty of communication, public relations and advertising
Aurelio G. Mauri
  • Faculty of Turism, events and local business
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Milan, Italy