Università della Svizzera italiana Faculty of Communication Sciences ./index.htm

IMCA at the Swiss Summer School

Professors Gibbert and Mengis are happy to offer also this year two doctoral courses on qualitative methods at the Swiss Summer School. If you are interested in learning about case study designs and on visual methods for social sciences, then please visit the workshops program


IMCA PhD Candidate offered Assistant Professor position at Utrecht University, Netherlands

IMCA PhD Candidate Lakshmi Balachandran Nair has been offered the position of Assistant Professor (Methodology and Statistics Department, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences) at Utrecht University, Netherlands. Currently Lakshmi is in her final year of PhD and is planning to defend her thesis in April, 2016. Her research focuses on the methodological sophistication, rigor, and transparency of research methods in management (with a specific focus on qualitative research methods).

Utrecht University is an internationally prominent, research-led university, which has been deemed as #1 in the Netherlands, #17 in Europe and #56 in the world (Shanghai Ranking, 2015). The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University is currently #49 in the world (Times Higher Education World University Ranking, 2016). Lakshmi is planning to join Utrecht University in May-June, 2016.

Congrats, Lakshmi!

Guest Talk: From Free to Fee – New Media Pricing of Ringier

Incumbent business models of media companies are currently challenged by the rise of new media. As part of the Pricing lecture at USI, Dr. Klaus Miller from Ringier AG discussed with students and faculty how Switzerland’s largest internationally operating media company copes with the situation as well as which novel pricing approaches work in the news industry and which do not.

Guest Talk: Ecce Inc.

The founder of Ecce inc. and vice president of Decisyon 360 presented his companies’ marketing research approaches to USI students and faculty on November 25th. Ecce is one of the leading social media monitoring tools for companies. Decisyon 360 is the first-and-only platform that unifies analytics, planning collaboration, and process execution in one workspace. It has recently raised $15 million from US-investors. http://www.eccecustomer.com

Integrating sustainable development into teaching activities

A new externally funded project, called Studium Sustainale, aims to establish a low-entry-threshold teaching format at the master-level merging the concept of sustainable development (SD) with the concept of extracurricular context studies in the tradition of studium generale (Seele & Seele 2012). Generic skills, transformative learning and integrative approaches are integrated by a.) simulation games and b.) scenario method.

Four conceptual building blocks of Studium Sustainale bring together members from the various faculties of USI with external experts on transdisciplinary skills, methods, foundations of sustainable development and application on the university level).

The project follows six goals, three on the university level and three on the academic level. On the USI level Studium Sustainale aims to 1. introduce sustainable development to the UniversitÓ della Svizzera italiana, 2. promote transformative learning and integrative skills by scenario method and simulation games, and 3. create awareness for integrating sustainable development in other teachers curricula and research agendas and thus contribute to university-wide institutional learning and identity building. On the academic level, Studium Sustainale aims to 1. develop a new, extracurricular teaching format for sustainable development called Studium Sustainale to promote strategic visibility of this td-net/USI initiative, 2. bridge theoretical sustainable development with practical research and teaching situations by scenario application, and 3. train transformative and integrative competencies in interdisciplinary and interfaculty teaching with regard to sustainable development.

Guest Talk: AXA Winterthur’s Head of Quality of Service & Retention

Dr. Dirk Weissbrich of AXA Winterthur presented the applied marketing research approaches of Switzerland’s leading insurance company to USI students and faculty. The interactive lecture, held by the Head of Quality of Service & Retention, was followed by a lively discussion with valuable insights into the insurance business from a practicioners’ perspective.


Guest Talk: GDI’s Applied Marketing Research

October 28th. Dr. Mirjam Hauser Presented the GDI’s applied marketing research approaches to USI’s faculty and students. The interactive lecture was part of the Marketing Research class. Mirjam Hauser is a senior researcher at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI). She analyses changes in society, business and consumption, with a focus on consumer behavior, nutrition and home living. For more information visit http://www.gdi.ch/en

IMCA Student Field Projects 2013 Completed

(BIC Management, Students Team, and USI Faculty)

During the final year of their Masters, IMCA students are asked to carry out a consulting project. They may choose from a list of internationally known companies and are tutored by IMCA-faculty members. This semester, one of the projects was to develop a deeper understanding of the Swiss lighter Market for the Worlds leading lighter manufacturer BIC. By applying their theoretical knowledge about conjoint analysis and marketing research methodology, students generated valuable insights for the marketing management of the companies national headquarters in Cadempino, TI. Other field projects were carried out for Armani, SBB/CFF/FFS, Pirelli, and RUAG, among others.

Guest Talk: Pricing in Transportation Industry

The Swiss transportation industry is very specific in many ways. In particular, governmental regulations impost restrictions on the application of many modern pricing approaches like yield managment, price differentiation, or consumer oriented pricing. In his talk at USI on March 6th, RenÚ Zbinden, Head of Strategic Pricing at SBB/CFF/FFS, outlined the current pricing challenges in the Swiss transportation industry to the students of the pricing lecture.

Guest Talk: Crowdsourcing for Innovations

On Thursday, February 21st, Christian Hirsig (CEO of Atizo.com) presented how he and his staff influence the way Swiss companies innovate through his crowdsourcing platform Atizo.com. The platform is mainly used to run ideation contests in which consumers can post their ideas for solutions to a given innovation problem. The ideas are then evaluated by a jury and the best ideas can receive certain financial rewards. Christian Hirsig discussed with the students what the benefits of the platform are and which challenges they are currently facing in the Marketing of Product Innovations class.