Francesco ZIRPOLI

Full Professor
041 234 8786
041 234 8701
Website (personal record)
Department of Management
Where: San Giobbe
Research Institute
Research Institute for Social Innovation
Research Institute
Research Institute for Innovation Management

Francesco Zirpoli is professor at the Department of Management, coordinator of the PhD in Management and scientific director of CAMI - Center for Automotive and Mobility Innovation. Francesco is also co-organizer of the summer program "Organizing for Sustainable Futures: Micro and Macro-institutional Conditions of Transformation" held at VIU, research associate of the Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation, Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, USA and of Istituto di Ricerche sulle Innovazione e Servizi per lo Sviluppo (IRISS), Italian National Research Council (CNR).

Francesco Zirpoli served as Pro-Rector (Research) and as Delegate of the Rector for the PhD Programs at Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.

Francesco Zirpoli graduated in business economics at the University of Naples in 1994. He gained his M.Phil. and PhD in Management from the Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge, U.K. and his Doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Naples "Federico II". He was visiting scholar at the Centre on Organizational Innovation of the Columbia University within the Fulbright Program in 2008. Between 2001 and 2010 Francesco worked as lecturer with tenure at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Salerno.

Francesco Zirpoli’s interests include strategy and organization design with a specific focus on organization boundary decisions, network governance and the organization of innovation processes. 

Francesco's research work has been published in the following journals: Organization Science, Organization Studies, Research Policy, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Sloan Management Review, European Management Review, R&D Management, International Journal of Technology Management, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, International Journal of Automotive and technology Management, Finanza Marketing e Produzione, Economia e Management, Sviluppo e Organizzazione, Economia Politica.

Francesco's research work has been mentioned in The Washington Post, Business Week,The Detroit News and other international newspapers and magazines and in Italian newspapers such as the Sole24Ore, the Corriere della Sera, l'Inkiesta, il Fatto Quotidiano, Il Gazzettino and Il Mattino.

Selected publications

Journal articles:

Becker, M., Rullani F., Zirpoli F. (2021), "The role of digital artefacts in early stages of distributed innovation processes" in Research Policy, vol. 50, pp. 104349 (ISSN 0048-7333),

Becker M., Zirpoli F. (2017), “How to avoid innovation competence loss in R&D outsourcing”, California Management Review,, vol. 59, pp. 24-44 (ISSN 0008-1256).

Whitford J., Zirpoli, F. (2016), “The Network Firm as a Political Coalition”, Organization Studies,, vol. 37, pp. 1227-1248 (ISSN 0170-8406).

Moretti A., Zirpoli, F. (2016), “A Dynamic Theory of Network Failure: The Case of the Venice Film Festival and the Local Hospitality System”, Organization Studies,, Vol. 37 (5), pp. 607-633. 

Whitford J., Zirpoli, F. (2014), “Pragmatism, practice, and the boundaries of organization”, Organization Science,, Vol. 25, Issue 6, pp. 1823-1839, ISSN 1047-7039.

Cabigiosu A., Camuffo A., Zirpoli F. (2013), “Modularity, interfaces definition and the integration of external sources of innovation in the automotive industry”, Research Policy, 2013, link:, vol. 42, pp. 662-675, ISSN: 0048-7333.

Zirpoli F, Becker M. (2011), “The limits of design and engineering outsourcing: Performance integration and the unfulfilled promises of modularity”, R&D Management, , Vol. 41 N. 1, pp. 21-43, ISSN: Print ISSN: 0033-6807; Online ISSN: 1467-9310.

Zirpoli F, Becker M. (2011), “What happens when you outsource too much?”, MIT Sloan Management Review, Vol. 52 n. 2, Winter 2011, pp. 59-64, ISSN: 1532-9194.

Camuffo A., Zirpoli F. (2009), “Product architecture, inter-firm vertical coordination and knowledge partitioning in the auto industry”, European Management Review,  6, 250–264, ISSN: 1740-4754.

Becker M., Zirpoli F. (2008), “Applying organizational routines in analyzing the behavior of organizations”, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Vol. 66, pp. 128-148, 2008, ISSN: 0167-2681.

Becker M., Salvatore P., Zirpoli F. (2005), “The impact of virtual simulation tools on problem-solving and new product development organization”, Research Policy, Volume 34, pp. 1305–1321, ISSN: 0048-7333.

Becker M., Zirpoli F. (2003), “Organizing new product development: knowledge hollowing-out and knowledge integration. The FIAT Auto case”, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Vol. 23, n° 9, pp. 1033-1061, ISSN: 0144-3577.

Zirpoli F., Caputo M. (2002), “The nature of buyer-supplier relationships in co-design activities: the Italian auto industry case”, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Volume 22, n. 12, pp. 1389 – 1410, ISSN: 0144-3577.


“Organizzare l’innovazione. Strategie di esternalizzazione e processi di apprendimento in Fiat Auto”, 2010, collana "Economia e management". Bologna: Il Mulino, ISBN 978-88-15-13751-7.

“Automotive In Transition. Challenges For Strategy And Policy”, 2013, Stocchetti A., Trombini G., Zirpoli F. (eds.), Venezia, Edizioni Ca' Foscari - Digital Publishing (ISBN 9788897735366).

“L’auto dopo la crisi. Chi vince chi perde”, 2011, Francesco Brioschi Editore Volpato G., Zirpoli F. (eds.) (ISBN 9788895399584).