Alfonso Gambardella


I am Professor of Corporate Management at the Department of Management & Technology, Bocconi University, Milan, and Co-Director of the ION Management Science Lab at the SDA Bocconi School of Management. I obtained my PhD from the Department of Economics at Stanford University in 1991. My research has focused on the economics and management of technological innovations, the technology strategies of firms, and more recently I have embarked in a long-term research program on strategic decision-making under uncertainty.

Full Professor
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I am currently Department Editor of Business Strategy at Management Science, a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society (SMS), and a Research Fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR).

In 2021, I obtained a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant entitled 'A Scientific Approach to Innovation Management (SAIM) ' (2021-2026).

In 2023, I received the TIM Distinguished Scholar Award from the Technology and Innovation Management Division of the US Academy of Management.

Research interests

For many years I have studied the implications of innovation activities for firm strategies, market structure, and economic growth more generally. Given the uncertainty surrounding innovation decisions, both in firms and economies, I have recently become interested in how firms and entrepreneurs can make better decisions under uncertainty. Through a series of randomized control trials, conducted with Arnaldo Camuffo and other colleagues, we have demonstrated that decision-makers employing a scientific approach (theory and tests) make better decisions. The ION Management Science Lab at SDA Bocconi has taken up this stream of research with the aim at providing micro-foundation for management and strategy, particularly in the context of the ongoing digital revolution. The Lab also focuses on how to make our scientific understanding of strategic decision-making processes practical and useful to managers and entrepreneurs to make their decisions.

Working papers
Camuffo Arnaldo, Gambardella Alfonso, Pignataro Andrea
CEPR Discussion paper 17664-3
Selected Publications
Garbardella Alfonso; Bertoli Giuseppe; Castaldo Sandro; Cillo Paola; Troilo Gabriele; Verona Gianmario

La decisione di innovare: imprese «scientifiche» e sperimentazione nel pensiero di Salvio Vicari

Innovazione e Management: Omaggio a Salvio Vicari G (Ed), Egea, pp.377-380

I teach three Master courses on innovation management and decision-making. Under different angles and technicalities, they show why and how a scientific approach, based on theoretical framing of problems and tests using data, help managers and entrepreneurs to make better decisions. I also teach two executive courses on the topic, adapted to this audience. Finally, I teach a PhD course that tries to help students to use econometrics for business analysis.