Research Project Proposals
Management & Security

Research Projects in the Management and Security CV


Reference: Francesco Avallone

The research line aims to deepen the understanding of the dynamics, practices, and impacts of transparency and compliance in mandatory and voluntary financial and non-financial reporting of financial and non-financial firms. The primary objective is to examine how companies communicate their financial and non-financial performance and to evaluate the effectiveness of existing regulations in promoting transparency and accountability. Areas of focus include the analysis of financial communication, the study of sustainability reports (ESG), and specific investigations into risk disclosure. Additional areas of interest concern compliance with regulatory frameworks and assessing the effect of transparency on investor behavior, corporate reputation, and overall stakeholder relations. Another area of interest involves the use of AI-generated content (genAI) to enhance transparency and verify communicated information. The research will adopt a multidisciplinary approach that combines quantitative and qualitative methods. Case studies, empirical analyses, interviews with experts are employed.


Reference: Elisa Bonollo

Research in this area entails the impact of the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on accounting and auditing practice. The spread of AI applications may produce a relevant transformation in the accounting and auditing industry. The application of AI facilitates the automation of repetitive tasks, thereby enhancing productivity and minimising human errors, but it can also affect other activities in the accounting practice. Potential research areas include the use of machine learning algorithms to analyse large volumes of accounting data, thus identifying trends and anomalies to improve fraud detection and financial trend forecasting. Another key area is the application of AI in financial advisory services, where it can provide tailored and strategic insights to businesses. A critical area of this research concerns the secure and ethical integration of AI technologies, with particular attention paid to regulatory compliance and the protection of sensitive data. Moreover, it is imperative to examine the potential risks associated with workforce displacement, job losses, reduced interpersonal communication, and the emergence of a "surveillance society." To address these issues comprehensively, the research employs a multidisciplinary approach that integrates both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The investigation involves case studies, empirical analyses, and interviews with experts.


Reference: Silvia Bruzzi

In recent years, awareness has grown about the level of vulnerability the supply chains of the current globalized economy are exposed to. Today world economy is characterized by a strong geographic interdependence among supply chains, industries, and countries with an increasing exposure of all the actors to disruption events. Supply chain vulnerability has been pushed to the fore since the beginning of this century, because of external factors, such as increasing major disrupting events, but also of performance-driven supply chain strategies. Also digital technologies can represent both a solution to make supply chains safer and a risk driver, causing lock-in effects and exposure to new disruptions. Particular attention is paid to the concept of supply chain resilience, for the systematization of which much research needs to be done. In this context, the research line aims to contribute to the understanding of the dynamics and the search for solutions capable of making economic systems, supply chains, and enterprises’ operations more resilient, with particular attention to the European economy, which is particularly under stress today, with the aim of contribution towards the social and economic security of the Continent.


Reference: Silvia Bruzzi

Energy security is the top priority in the current global geopolitical situation. Energy is upstream of all economic systems and all supply chains; therefore, its stability in terms of supply and utilization technologies is fundamental for broader social and economic stability. The situation appears particularly critical for the European Union, which, lacking the sources that fuel its economy, as the world's largest energy importer, is in a situation of severe vulnerability. The green transition now in progress is seeking to reduce the dependence of economic systems on fossil fuels through the development of renewable sources, but it will not solve the European Union’s dependence. The opportunities offered by renewables cannot be exploited massively by most of the European territories, much depending on the morphology configuration, weather conditions and population density. Moreover, minerals needed for the energy transition are even more concentrated than fossil sources. The research line addresses different topics from an economic-managerial perspective to investigate solutions to govern the current transition, promoting security: transition and transformation of economic systems, conversion of energy supply chains and industrial supply chains, management of mature technologies and development of new ones (e.g., green hydrogen), and end-users access to energy


Reference: Angelo Gasparre

This research line explores the dynamic interplay between digital technology, organizational change, and work transformation with a specific focus on the multifaceted concept of security, as articulated in the literature of organization studies. As digital technologies rapidly evolve, they enact significant shifts in organizational structures, processes, and cultures. It aims to examine how the adoption of these technologies are reshaping traditional work environments, influencing organizational behavior, and fostering new forms of collaboration and productivity. A key component of this research is understanding how organizations address various dimensions of security, and the safeguarding of employee well-being in digitally transformed workplaces. By investigating case studies and leveraging theoretical frameworks, the research seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding of how digital innovations facilitate organizational change and resilience while ensuring security. This line aspires to contribute to the broader discourse on the future of work and inform strategies for managing technological transitions in organizations, ensuring they are secure and sustainable.


Reference: Giulia Leoni

In today's business activities, cyber-attacks and digital violations have become increasingly frequent, heightening the need for organizations to enhance their capability to prevent and resolve such issues. Cybersecurity risk management has emerged as a vital component of broader risk management efforts, focused on identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks associated with digital threats that can compromise the security, integrity, and availability of business information, programs, and networks. Effective cybersecurity risk management is essential for protecting sensitive information, maintaining customer trust, and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. However, little is known about current cybersecurity risk management practices in businesses and other organizations (including the public sector), particularly regarding their cyber risk assessment processes, risk disclosure to the public, and market reactions to such disclosures. This line of research encompasses the study of major cybersecurity risks and their impacts on the performance of businesses and other organizations, recent practices and regulations related to cybersecurity risk management, and the analysis of cybersecurity risk disclosure practices. Research in this area will utilize both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.


Reference: ReferenceerereLorenzo Mizzau e Teresina Torre

This research line explores the impact of recent social and technological transformations on both, at a macro level (global and local, industrial), the organization of labor, and, at a more meso and micro levels, the organization of work within organizations. Indeed, the rapid evolution of digital technologies has led to a deep reconfiguration of contractual and psychological relationships between individuals and organizations, enacting significant shifts in reciprocal expectations, motives, legal obligations or circumvention, and different possibilities that have yet to be analyzed in their behavioral and ethical implications. This research line aims to examine how these transformations are influencing organizational behavior, and creating potential opportunities for both higher employee autonomy and discretion (potentially leading to higher job and life satisfaction), and lower control and transparency in terms of reciprocal obligations, paving the way for lower satisfaction as well as precarity and exploitation.

With strong grounding on empirical research and informed by a variety of theoretical frameworks (e.g., actor-network theory, process labor, creative and cultural work, sociotechnical approach), this research line aspires to contribute to the broader discourse on the future of work and inform strategies for managing social and technological transitions within organizations and workers’ associations, looking at their sustainability in terms of performance, wellbeing, and ethical implications.


Reference: Laura Nieri e Francesca Querci 

Research projects in this line aim to investigate how systemic, systematic, and idiosyncratic risks are identified, measured, and managed by enterprises in an evolving context, as well as the effects of risky events on enteprises' goal setting and performance. A focus is made on climate risk and financial instruments that allow businesses to manage transition towards environmental, social, and governance sustainability, as well as facing physical risks. Research in these fields balances the need of a deep theoretical grounding with the added value of a strong applied empirical analysis.


Reference: Lara Penco

Strategic management was born the 1960s, thanks to the seminal publications by Chandler (1962), Ansoff (1965) and Andrews (1971). During this period, several approaches have emerged. Hoskisson et al. (1999) popularized the metaphor of the pendulum, identifying that strategic management has always tended to analyse the factors of success either inside or outside a firm (external vs internal). How to adapt these strategic management approaches to the topic of crisis/safe and security issues? It is necessary to recognize that the current environment brings to a temporary competitive advantage and firms need to continuously reconfigure assets, people, and capabilities to move from one opportunity to the next as the advantage source shifts away. In this environment, coopetition strategy, i.e.  the simultaneous existence of cooperation and competition between firms and organizations, represents a third strategic option (other than competition and cooperation strategies). Wenzel et al. (2020) propose four strategic responses to a crisis, e.g. retrenchment, persevering strategy, innovating and exit. During a crisis is relevant also to pursue and implement the crisis management issues, such as the crisis communication.


Reference: Lara Penco

Trust reduces complexity and risk (Luhmann, 1979; Luhmann, 1991). Trust is a mitigating force able to create certainty also in situations characterized by uncertainty and vulnerability. Trust influences people and organizations to pursue a specific behavior (Roh et al., 2022a), acting as a mitigating factor of perceived risk in crisis scenarios. In this vein, trust represents a countervailing power against risk, positively influencing the individual and organizational behaviours. As a foundational element within mechanisms to mitigate risk perception, there is a need to develop trust theory and knowledge, both within organizations and externally. This is important to meet new challenges such as environmental and social responsibility, decent and sustainable work, securing global supply chains, responsible management of diverse employee populations, and innovation in the provision of services (e.g., health, defense, disaster management) and to foster collaboration and manage vulnerability even in the face of increasing complexity.


Reference: Alberto Quagli

The attention to potential impacts of global risks on companies, as well as the impact from actions driven by the adoption of national interest policies by states, represent themes that have been poorly investigated by academia and scarcely considered by businesses. This line of research aims to delve deeper into these issues to reduce the existing knowledge gap and to raise awareness among companies about these issues. Particular emphasis is placed on the evolution of risk management policies and the role of the risk manager within companies, in order to enhance companies' understanding of phenomena that are typically unusual in identification and often unlikely in their occurrence, hence usually not intercepted by enterprise risk management tools. The theme of national interest is closely linked to the operations of companies, especially those operating in sectors deemed of national interest. In this case as well, the theme deserves particular attention, especially in light of the current geopolitical context, to prevent the manifestation of significant and devastating risks at the national level. The research will adopt a multidisciplinary approach combining quantitative and qualitative methods. Case studies, empirical analyses, interviews with industry experts, and large-scale surveys among companies and policymakers are employed.


Reference: Francesca Querci e Laura Nieri 

The increasing pressure from innovative technologies applied to financial services pushes financial intermediaries to unprecedented changes. The research line aims to investigate how financial intermediaries' business model is evolving and reshaping strategies and approaches to embrace innovative technologies. The research specifically targets: entry of fintech companies and banks' competitive environment dynamics; bank-fintech competition; bank-fintech strategic collaborations; bank-fintech mergers and acquisitions; corporate venture capital implemented by banks. The drivers of bank strategies towards fintech companies are analysed, considering issues related to changing regulation, country- specific factors, and bank-specific characteristics. In addition, the effects of banks' strategies towards fintech companies are investigated, both on performance and risk.


Reference: Paola Ramassa

Accounting fraud represents the most severe form of financial reporting manipulation, potentially leading to scandals that result in contamination and a subsequent decline in the credibility of financial reporting. Despite te regulatory efforts, this complex phenomenon is challenging to prevent and contrast, leading to significant economic damage and societal repercussions. The primary objective of research in this area is to deepen the understanding of these fraudulent activities to enhance prevention and deterrence. Research topics encompass the determinants of fraud, how they are enacted and detected, as well as the resulting effects and consequences. This perspective is inclusive of both firms and public and private actors responsible for oversight, such as auditors and enforcers, across all stages of accounting fraud and scandals. Key interests include the perpetration and concealment of fraud, the operation and failure of controls, the impacts on the involved actors (i.e., firms, controls, and stakeholders), and the corporate responses in an accountability perspective. Studies in this field may employ both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.


Reference: Riccardo Spinelli

Business ethics intersects with organizational security, ensuring ethical and secure business practices. This interdisciplinary field integrates ethical principles, social responsibility, and security measures, addressing complex challenges at the nexus of morality and protection. Core elements include ethical decision-making, corporate governance, social impact, and risk management, crucial for navigating ethical dilemmas while safeguarding organizational integrity. Research delves into topics such as ethical leadership, data privacy, fraud prevention, and employee well-being, alongside emerging areas like cybersecurity policies, surveillance technologies, and the ethical implications of AI in security contexts.


Reference: Riccardo Spinelli

Incorporating security into organizational sustainability and environmental management ensures a comprehensive approach to responsible business practices. This multidisciplinary field integrates environmental concerns, social responsibility, and security measures. Core elements include sustainable resource management, environmental impact assessment, social equity, stakeholder management and engagement, sustainability communication, and risk mitigation strategies, such as disaster preparedness and cybersecurity measures. These components collectively contribute to building resilience, fostering trust, and promoting sustainable development within organizations.


Reference: Teresina Torre e Angelo Gasparre

AI is becoming increasingly pervasive in managerial contexts, as pioneering research already predicted in the 1950s. It is offering great promise in supporting managerial tasks and functions, contributing to their deep change. Human resources management is one of the most critical and thorny field on which AI is intervening. The application of AI in the human resources field can have various uses; if we focus on improving processes, these applications have the main purposes of facilitating HR management, automating its operations. At the same time, it is opening a lot of challenging questions, relevant both from the theoretical point of view and from the empirical one, to understand what is happening and how to manage it. This stream of research is pursued with the collaboration of scientists in the field of information system.

Five  grants are available:

(*) 3 grants funded by Università degli Studi di Genova. 

(*) 1 funded by Camere di Commercio delle Riviere di Liguria. The research topic of this grant is Analysis of the development conditions of the territory, through support to economic entities in the transition to the digital economy 

(*) 1 grant funded within PROGRAMMA REGIONALE FONDO SOCIALE EUROPEO+ 2021-2027 PRIORITÀ 2 - ISTRUZIONE E FORMAZIONE - ESO 4.6 (OS-f) (in collaboration and co-funded by Fondazione CIMA). The research topic of this grant is : Organizational change and digital transition supporting for a more effective and efficient organization.