Institute of Management


MAIN: Management dell'Innovazione

MAIN (Management and Innovation) is a research area within the Institute of Management. In a globalised knowledge economy innovation is more than ever a crucial source for the competitive advantage of firms, other organizations and territories.

Organisations of different types need to continuously adapt to technological turbulence and disruption from both the demand and the supply side, and possibly influence them. This is also a relevant issue for public administrations and cities/regions.

Research carried out by researchers in the MAIN area aims at describing, understanding, explaining and facilitating the management of innovation in private businesses, public administrations and cities/regions. Innovation processes are studied from a technological, managerial, organization, cultural and institutional perspective.

MAIN builds upon a long tradition of business studies in Pisa under the leadership of Prof. Riccardo Varaldo. It has somehow started from large projects, such as the Link National Project (1998-2001), which led to the establishment of a new science and technology pole (now the Institute of Biorobotics), in Pontedera, near Pisa, in close connection with Piaggio, the company which makes the world famous Vespa. In MAIN, professors, researchers and PhD students combine their expertise to increase the opportunities for cross-fertilisation. Most MAIN members have a management background and their individual specialisations cover a wide range of topics, ranging from management of technology, to finance, accounting and international relations. Within this context, research carried out in MAIN is characterised by a multidisciplinary approach, with a strong empirical orientation and commitment to theory building.

Other relevant elements of research at MAIN are:

  • intense interaction with international research centres, such as the Centre for Open Innovation at the University of California at Berkeley;
  • a continuous interaction with small and large established firms, which partecipate to both executive education programmes (Master and PhD courses) and provide new ideas and funds for collaborative research activities;
  • a fruitful collaboration with other Institutes at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, in different technological fields, such as robotics, engineering and life sciences;
  • the active participation of MAIN professors and researchers in networks and organizations where scientific research and theory meet practice and policy making, such as regional and national government initiatives and international institutions.