Economics, business and labor

As the processes of globalization and economic and political restructuring have been consolidated, the change in production models (based on the intensive and extensive incorporation of ICT) and new consumer guidelines, the global crisis and the subsequent post-recession period have highlighted the problems of maintaining a global economy with growth rates that can sustain the creation of employment inclusively and sustainably. These challenges are giving form to new economies, production systems, business models, and forms of work and consumption. This line of research studies precisely how these new forms are emerging through new socio-technological configurations to respond to the global challenges stated. In particular, the search for these transformations is defined as applied in specific contexts or sectors of activity such as tourism, entrepreneurship, knowledge-intensive organizations and on different scales (global, national and regional-urban).

Collaborative Economy

The Department of Busines and Economics has set up a strategy to focus on Collaborative Economy as its main research area. From this standpoint, research addresses the economy of sharing and collaborative consumption as a conceptual umbrella that integrates various phenomena related to new forms of exchange. Its distinctive hallmark is the possibility of sharing without the need to own the objects, products or services that are exchanged, irrespective of whether sharing involves monetary compensation or not. This exchange orientation is reinforced by the accelerated growth of digital platforms and applications, which provide the means to highly accessible, flexible and easy to share consumption. In particular, the different economic, social and regulatory aspects related to these new exchange practices are analyzed, with special attention to the field of tourism. The collaborative aconomy is addressed by all the research groups below. If you are interested in this orientation for your thesis, ask any of the RG directors for advice.

Research group and topic areas / Thesis proposal


Research group websites

DIGIBIZ | Digital Business Research Group

The Digital Business Research Group (or DigiBiz) studies the transformational processes related to digital business, and their interplay with the online consumer. DigiBiz is recognised as a Consolidated Research Group by the Catalan government (2014-SGR- 571). DigiBiz develops the following areas of doctoral research:

1) Collaborative economy and online platforms: business models and challenges
2) Human resources management: flexible work arrangements, virtual work, quality of work-life, work-related informal learning.
3) Financial capability and entrepreneurship.
4) Digital marketing and consumer behaviour: user’s experiences and engagement on social media, the impact of eWOM on consumer’s decisions.

Dra. Rodriguez Ardura, Inma


DIMMONS | Digital commons and collaborative economy

The central research line is linked to commons, and more concretely commons as organizational form (commons-based peer production, collaborative economy, digital social economy or social innovation). The group has a multi-methods, comparative and action oriented approach. Frontair innovation is highly valuated such as incorporating collaborative practices, agile dynamics and openness to the research organizing. Problem solving type of research connected to social challenges and ongoing processes. Group directed by Mayo Fuster Morell – Ramon y Cajal researcher at IN3 – UOC and faculty affiliated at Berkman center (Harvard University). Key research themes are:

1) Commons economics and the configuration of a new production model based on open knowledge

2) Commons politics and political innovation in emerging areas of public policy, conflict and social mobilization.

3) Commons future - Commons potential scenarios linked to highly innovative frontier open up by technological development (Internet of things, big data).
Dr. Fuster Morell, Mayo N/A

LNT | Laboratory of New Tourism

The researchers in this group study the following subject areas:

1)  Competitiveness and innovation in tourist destinations and companies.

2)  Tourist activity and social responsibility.

Dr Gonzlez Reverte, Francesc


I2TIC | Interdisciplinary Research on ICT

The I2TIC research group focuses on the analysis of economic and social uses of information and communications technology and knowledge flows. Broadly speaking, our interdisciplinary research addresses two main types of analysis: 1) the analysis ex-ante, ie, research on the personal determinants that explain the use of ICT and flows knowledge; and 2) the ex-post analysis, ie the direct and indirect effects (overflow and externalities) that the use of ICT and information flows produce on certain economic and social results. i2TIC is a research group and has a network of 50 researchers spread over 14 universities and research centers nationally and internationally. Our themes cover:

1) Determinants of ICT use by individuals, companies and organizations.
2) ICT, innovation and entrepreneurship.
3) ICT, productivity and competitiveness (especially in small businesses).
4) ICT, people, organizations and labor (human capital, job knowledge, work organization, human resources, quality of work, wages, job satisfaction and industrial relations).
5) ICT, health and well-being (welfare, nutrition, well-being and social and occupational health)
6) New economics of transactions and quantum economy (economic behavior of new agents and new quantum functions of the economy).

Dr Torrent Sells, Joan


T.URBA | Urban Transformation RG

T.URBA gathers a collective of researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds who try to overcome the traditional divisions between planning, social and environmental sciences. Our research explores the intertwined complexity of social, economic, cultural, political, technological and environmental processes that produce and transform the contemporary city. Our research questions are: what are the material and discursive changes in the production of the city? What are the power geographies that articulate these changes? What centrality does the environment and technology play in the production of new urban forms? Can more socially just and inclusive alternatives emerge? Priority lines:

1)     Theoretical challenges of urban transformation and global change (degrowth, sovereignty, liberalism, commons, cyber-libertarian, etc.).
2)     Territories, identities, nationalism and democratic challenges.
3)     New socio-technological and socio-environmental models and practices (smart city, sensous city, sharing economy, urban gardening, agroecology, etc.).
4)     Urban political ecology.
5)     Urban water governance, politics, finance and technology
6)     Citizens’ science, education, co-creation and the city

Dr Ribera Fumaz, Ramon


MOBTECH | Mobile Technologies and (G)local Challenges

The researchers in this group study the following subject areas:

1)    Communication networks and social change.

Dr Fernndez Ardvol, Mireia


Organization of businesses and intangibles

Dr Serradell Lpez, Enric



Dr lvarez Gmez, Fernando


Labour economics

Dr Motelln Corral, Elisabet


Corporate social responsibility

Dr Garay Tamajn, Lluis Alfonso


Technological applications for business and organization management

Dr Lupiez Villanueva, Francisco