parallax background

Convegno annuale Sinergie-SIMA 2020

7 e 8 Settembre 2020 Pisa (PI)

Dear friends,

The development of the Covid-19 pandemic is causing significative changes to our lives. As organizers of Sinergie SIMA Management Conference we have carefully evaluated all the options, including cancellation of the 2020 conference. Eventually, we decided to keep our event running in 2020, but with two important differences: we will postpone to 7th-8th of September in the hope that the situation will be less critical after the summer, and we will hold a virtual event which will allow all participants to attend both plenary and parallel sessions online.

We hope that these changes will keep the scientific debate running and ensure that all participants will have the opportunity to discuss their work during the conference and diffuse their ideas. In addition, since Covid-19 is an important global threat and major societal challenge, we are including a thematic session on Covid-19 and management in the hope that the conference will provide a platform for new ideas about how to manage this threat. We will contact you again in a few weeks with additional details on the new conference format, please examine carefully this call for paper for new registration rates and extended deadlines. With our very best wishes for your continued health, safety and security,

Sandro Castaldo, SIMA – Marco Frey, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna – Elisa Giuliani, University of Pisa – Marta Ugolini, Sinergie


Sinergie and Sima’s common aim is to develop the contribution of Italian scholars to the international debate on management issues. Since 2016, Sinergie and Sima work together to organize the annual conference, a scientific event based on Sinergie over 30 years’ experience and on Sima academic network.

The Sinergie-Sima conference is therefore a well-established scientific meeting that brings together scholars from the field of management to present and discuss their research in a collaborative and friendly environment.

This year the conference has switched to digital, alternating plenary and parallel sessions that will address the conference topics and will be delivered fully online. Keynote speakers will participate in webinar plenary sessions, contributing with their expertise. This year a virtual paper development workshop is also organized, to provide authors with guidance in the submission to journals. If allowed at the time of the Conference, the attendance of a limited group of delegates in Pisa will be facilitated.


Contemporary societies are at a crossroads: on the one side, governments are under pressure to achieve ambitious economic goals; on the other, economic growth is raising a range of severe social and environmental challenges, which are part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda.

Never before has capitalism been challenged so intensely.

How can we address these issues without undermining economic growth?

How can firms and universities contribute to more equitable and responsible national and regional development processes through their business strategies and operations?

To this end, how do companies interact with non-market actors, including governments and other public organizations

How can consumers, end users and citizens contribute to the creation and redistribution of value through their actions and decisions?

The 2020 Conference hopes to address these very timely questions through stimulating discussion and to advance the knowledge around two sub-themes:

Company contributions. This theme focuses on the positive and negative impacts that firms generate on society and the environment. It will include analysis of companies’ social responsibilities and responsible investment, along with new forms of social entrepreneurship (e.g. hybrid organizations, B-corps, etc.) through to multi-stakeholder engagement to address key societal challenges. This theme will also include: (I) discussion of the validity of win-win business models (e.g. Bottom of the Pyramid; Creating Shared Value) and the ‘business case’ approach to corporate sustainability; (II) analyses of the dark side of companies’ strategies and innovative efforts, their wrongful or otherwise defined irresponsible business conduct via their connections also with distant suppliers in global value chains; (III) attention to how final consumers are playing increasingly active roles in driving markets, corporate conduct and even governmental policy. This is being achieved, for instance, through individuals’ hybrid forms of market interactions (platforms, sharing communities, etc.) and social exchanges and engagement campaigns (social media, activism, etc.).

University contributions. For several decades, close attention has been paid to the contribution of universities and public research more generally, to local, regional and national economic development and to innovation processes. More recently, based on the focus on the valorization of research results, the wider context has received more attention as part of the “universities’ third mission”.

This effort is extending knowledge generation and knowledge dissemination beyond academic boundaries, and demonstrating how this is having economic and social impact beyond traditional types of knowledge transfer such as patents, licenses, new high-tech startups, etc. Universities are pursuing the shift from linear transfer of knowledge from research to external users, towards co-creation of knowledge. Academic institutions need to engage with societal needs and market demands to contribute to recent debates and address the strong critiques of the future of capitalism and calls for an updating of the existing economic paradigm by integrating the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

This theme will also include discussion of new knowledge transfer tools to enhance the connections between companies, research organizations and other non-market actors, and discuss the role of universities in the global North and South.

The Sinergie-SIMA 2020 Conference will focus on a contemporary grand societal challenge: that is, how companies and universities can create public value, in a time when efforts from all parts of the society are needed. Special attention will be paid to socially relevant strategies and related stakeholder/public engagement models that have been developed and implemented. A new thematic session is being planned on management in the post Covid-19 era. The conference welcomes both theoretical and empirical qualitative and quantitative contributions. It also encourages the submission of business case studies.

ORGANIZATION OF THE 2020 CONFERENCE – New dates and virtual sessions

The main topic of the conference will be discussed in alternating plenary and parallel sessions to be held on September 7 and 8 2020. The plenary sessions will centre on contributions from well-known academics and professionals who will participate in the debate as keynote speakers, discussants or interviewees. In the parallel sessions, the full papers, selected in a double-blind peer review, will be presented.

One or more sessions will be dedicated to presentation of extended abstracts to give conference participants the opportunity to present their research and receive comments and suggestions from the session chair and discussants.

Both plenary and parallel sessions will be organized online. Presenters will be asked to pre-prepare a digital presentation of their work. More details on this new format will be provided in the acceptance letter and in the programme. The official language of the conference is English. Submission of full papers and extended abstracts in Italian will be welcome and a selection will be included in specific sessions.



Based on the general theme of the 2020 Conference and the two specific sub-themes, we provide below a tentative list of topics that might be addressed by the full papers and extended abstracts:

  • Management challenges in the post-Covid-19 era
  • Company resilience and risk management in the face of global threats
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Responsible management and finance
  • Responsible and green innovation
  • Hybrid organizations and B-corps
  • Bottom of the Pyramid
  • Creating Shared Value
  • Corporate sustainability
  • Corporate social irresponsibility and wrongdoing
  • Corporate corruption
  • Sharing economy
  • Gift economy
  • Social media
  • Working consumers
  • Consumer activism
  • CEO activism
  • Social and environmental upgrading in global value chains
  • Greenwashing and symbolic behaviour
  • Consumer communities
  • Knowledge exchange and collaboration
  • Knowledge and technology transfer
  • Knowledge exchange intermediaries
  • Knowledge-based regional development
  • Entrepreneurial universities
  • Academic entrepreneurship
  • Student entrepreneurship
  • Universities and knowledge co-creation
  • Academic contribution to Agenda 2030
  • High-tech entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial teaching and learning
  • Stakeholder and public engagement
  • University-Industry cooperation
  • University-industry R&D

In addition to papers and extended abstracts that address the 2020 Conference themes, scholars are invited, also, to submit proposals for research in various management studies related areas; these will be discussed in the following possible thematic sessions:

  • Strategic management and Corporate governance
  • Innovation and technology management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • International business
  • Tourism and culture management
  • Business case studies
  • Small and family business
  • Retailing & Service management
  • Operations & Supply chain
  • Strategic communication
  • Marketing
  • Sustainability

Originality: Only unpublished papers that have not been submitted for publication or that have not been already published as conference proceedings will be considered for presentation at the Conference and inclusion in the subsequent conference proceedings. At the time of submission, authors must certify the originality of their work.

Full paper submission

Paper submissions for the Sinergie-SIMA Conference should be formatted using the word conference template published online at Papers should be a maximum of 10.000 words and should include the following information:

  • Title
  • Author(s) qualifications, scientific discipline, email address and mobile phone number – this information is for the exclusive use of Sinergie’s administration
  • Contributorship statement in the case of co-authored papers
  • Acknowledgements
  • References to the research on which the paper is based
  • Structured abstract (no more than 250 words) containing the following information: objectives of the paper, methodology, findings, practical implications, limitations of the research and originality
  • Key words
  • References

To assure quality of editing, especially of tables, graphs and figures, it is common to use a Microsoft Word format, compatible formats are accepted as well.

File in .bmp, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .gif formats can create problems in editing. If possible, please avoid these formats and provide files containing additional tables and graphs in their original format (e.g., xls).

Footnotes should be used only for comments, to provide more detail or not alternative considerations; they should not contain bibliographic information.

It is recommended to avoid changes in the title of the paper and in the composition of the authors, once submission is completed.

Extended abstract submission

The extended abstracts may be in the form of a report on a completed research project or a description of an ongoing or near completed research project. The conference will provide a valuable opportunity to benefit from debate among peers: thus, extended abstracts describing ongoing research projects must clearly identify their conceptual development, objectives and methodological frameworks. Also, authors must indicate clearly that the research is “work-in-progress”. Extended abstracts should be a maximum of 5.000 words and a minimum of 3.500 words. For editing rules, please follow Full Paper submission directions.Please name the file “EA+name”, to facilitate its tracing as an extended abstract.

Full papers and extended abstracts, together with declarations (templates in, should be sent as email attachments to Laura Ciarmela, editorial staff member of Sinergie, at

For full papers

Papers will undergo a double-blind peer review process in order to evaluate the possibility to include them in the Referred Conference Proceedings, to be selected for publication in Sinergie Italian Management and to be awarded a prize. After the peer review, papers may be accepted outright, or accepted subject to revision based on reviewers’ suggestions, or considered as extended abstract or rejected. Authors of papers that require revision based on reviewers’ suggestions will have time to make the necessary revisions/improvements and to resubmit the amended version of the paper. This will be subjected to editorial review, after which author(s) will receive notification of the final evaluation.

For extended abstracts

The Scientific Committee will evaluate the extended abstracts. The same procedure will be used to evaluate full papers if the authors explicitly waive publication in the Referred Conference Proceedings.


This year, a limited number of authors will be able to benefit of a Paper Development Work- shop (PDW) during the Conference. The PDW is designed to provide authors with guidance and expertise in the development of their manuscript for potential submission to a top-tier international management journal. This PDW is oriented at authors of fully developed papers who seek advice aimed at strengthening and improving their papers. It is also open to papers in the “Revise & Resubmit” stage, whose authors may find useful the interaction with the audience of the PDW to improve their responses to referees. The PDW will be organized as follows: (a) authors of selected papers are expected to give a short presentation of their paper (also possibly focusing on the main referees’ comments and answers to them); (b) each paper will receive comments from a scholar who is expert in their area of investigation. More instructions about the organization of the PDW will be provided to the authors of the accepted papers at a later stage. Because of time limitations, the PDW organizing committee will make a selection of the submitted papers and inform the authors accordingly.

Requirements for submissions to PDW:

  • The paper is written in English.
  • The paper focuses on a subject that is connected to the conference theme.
  • Conceptual, qualitative and quantitative papers will be equally given consideration in the selection process.
  • Preference will be given to papers whose authors include at least one young scholar (less than 40 years old) available to present at the PDW during the Sinergie-Sima conference.
  • The authors are invited to indicate in a note on the front-page the paper’s target journal(s), and, in the case of R&R papers, the journal where the paper is under consideration at the time of the submission.
  • How can I submit a paper to PDW?

Papers should be submitted by sending an email to and c.c to Please indicate “PDW Sinergie Sima 2020” in the email. Please also note that each applicant should submit only one paper.

Given the new circumstances, we decided to re-open the call for papers. The new deadline for submitting papers for consideration is 18 May 2020 and authors of accepted papers will be notified on the 22 of June, when they will also be given instructions about how to prepare for the online presentation.

Submitted papers must follow the conference instructions for submission.

Authors of already submitted papers should not resubmit the paper again by the new deadline but should expect notification of acceptance or rejection by 22 June. Papers rejected from the PDW are automatically included in the conference programme and will be allocated to the regular parallel sessions. Please note that they will not be included in the conference proceedings.

What Should I Do if My Paper is Accepted to PDW?

Submitting authors will be notified of the results of the PDW review process by 22 June 2020, and will need to confirm their participation in the PDW by 30 June, 2020.

Please note that authors will need to register for the Sinergie SIMA Management conference in order to participate in the PDW..


Elisa Giuliani University of Pisa

Valentina De Marchi University of Padova

Francesco Rullani Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

Conference Proceedings

Unless publication is explicitly waived by the author(s) at the time of paper submission, all full papers accepted for presentation at the conference will be published online in the refer- red Electronic Conference Proceedings and copyrighted with ISBN and DOI codes.

The extended abstracts presented in specific conference sessions will be published online in a separate volume of Conference Proceedings and copyrighted with an ISBN. Conference Proceedings will be published in open access form on the Sinergie website ( after the conference. Before uploading the material, it will be edited to ensure quality; the costs of this editing work will be borne by Sinergie.

All paper authors (in the case of multiple co-authors, at least one author) must present and discuss the paper and/or the extended abstract during the conference online parallel sessions. Failure to present and discuss will result in the paper or extended abstract being excluded from the Electronic Conference Proceedings.

Papers submitted to the PDW will not be included in the conference proceedings (this applies to both accepted and rejected papers).

Publication in Sinergie Italian Journal of Management

A selection of the papers addressing the specific theme of the conference (Grand challenges: companies and universities working for a better society) will be made by the Scientific Committee for inclusion in a 2021 Sinergie Italian Journal of Management special issue.

Sinergie is ranked “C” by ANVUR for VQR 2011-2014 and is ranked “A” by AIDEA among Italian business administration journals (

The papers selected for publication in the special issue will be announced during the concluding live plenary session, broadcasted online; their authors will be acknowledged with an award. Publication in Sinergie Italian Journal of Management is free of charge.

Further publication opportunities

A number of the papers presented at the conference will be eligible for submission to the Journal of Management and Governance (ISSN: 1385-3457 print version – ISSN: 1572-963X electronic version – publisher: Springer) following a fast-track publication review process. The Journal of Management and Governance is ranked “B” by ANVUR for VQR 2011-2014 and is ranked “A” by AIDEA among Italian business administration journals (

Business case studies will be eligible for publication on Pearson web platform.

The conference website will provide information on further publication opportunities in the Journal of Management and Governance and other international journals.

Awards and recognitions

The 3 best among 8/10 selected papers within the specific theme of the Conference will be acknowledged by the Scientific Committee with an award during the closing session of the Conference.

11 commended paper awards (one for each of the SIMA thematic areas: Strategic management and corporate governance; Innovation and technology management; Entrepreneurship; International business; Tourism and culture management;

Sustainability; Small firms and family business; Retailing and service management; Operations and supply chain; Strategic communication, Marketing) will be acknowledged by the Scientific Committee during the closing session of the Conference.

All paper presenters as well as session chairs will receive a certificate acknowledging their contribution to the conference.

Conference Chairs

Sandro Castaldo, Bocconi University

Marco Frey, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Elisa Giuliani, University of Pisa

Marta Ugolini, University of Verona

Former chairs

Claudio Baccarani, University of Verona

Gaetano M. Golinelli, Sapienza University of Roma

Scientific and International Coordination

Angelo Bonfanti, University of Verona

Daniele Dalli, University of Pisa

Arabella Mocciaro Li Destri, University of Palermo

Andrea Piccaluga, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa

Scientific Committee

Federico Brunetti, University of Verona

Luigino Bruni, LUMSA, Roma

Francesca Cabiddu, University of Cagliari

Mario Calderini, Politecnico di Milano

Michele Cano, University of West Scotland, UK

Peggy Chaudry, Villanova University, USA

Maria Colurcio, University of Catanzaro

Valentina De Marchi, University of Padova

Irene Henriques, York University, Canada

Charles Hofacker, Florida State University, Usa

Gennaro Iasevoli, LUMSA, Roma

Emanuele Invernizzi, IULM University, Milano

Beatrice Luceri, University of Parma

Alberto Mattiacci, Sapienza University of Roma

Patricia Moura e Sa, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Maria Rosaria Napolitano, University of Napoli Parthenope

Antigoni Papadimitriou, Western Kentucky University, Usa

Roberto Parente, University of Salerno

Alberto Pastore, Sapienza University of Roma

Tonino Pencarelli, University of Urbino Carlo Bo

Alessandra Perri, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

Francesco Rizzi, University of Perugia

Francesco Rullani, Ca Foscari University of Venice

Elita Schillaci, University of Catania

Philip Shapira, Alliance Manchester Business School, UK; Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Paola Signori, University of Verona

Annalisa Tunisini, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano

Alfonso Vargas, University of Huelva, Spain

Tiziano Vescovi, Ca Foscari University of Venice

Donata Vianelli, University of Trieste

Antonella Zucchella, University of Pavia

Organizing Committee

Antonella Angelini, University of Pisa

Eleonora Annunziata, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa

Matteo Corciolani, University of Pisa

Alberto Di Minin, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa

Alessandro Gandolfo, University of Pisa

Cristina Marullo, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa

Federica Nieri, University of Pisa

Nora Annesi, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa

Gianluca Biggi, University of Pisa

David D’Acunto, Free University of Bozen

Leopoldo Trieste, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa

Chiara De Bernardi, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa

Organization and editorial staff

Fabio Cassia and Nicola Cobelli, University of Verona

Laura Ciarmela (

Adele Ferragamo (

Ada Rossi (

Registration and invoicing

Annalisa Andriolo (

Iscriviti alla nostra newsletter

Non inviamo spam! Leggi la nostra privacy policy per avere maggiori informazioni.