Information and Knowledge Society

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.

Dr Inma Rodríguez Ardura


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 Mayo Fuster Morell  


The NOUTUR group takes an experimental and dynamic approach to tourism and leisure as social phenomena with real impacts and trajectories, combining frontier theory with empirical research focused on social utility and impact. NOUTUR adopts a multidisciplinary conception of tourism as a powerful agent of change. In empirical terms, the group employs methodological triangulation combining qualitative and quantitative approaches to challenge contemporary myths in key specific areas, at different scales of analysis. The group addresses recent societal concerns that tourism as a phenomenon has become consolidated in different spaces, proposing options for improving its competitiveness and sustainability.

Priority research topics:

1) Collaborative economy and tourism

2) Social and cultural impacts of tourism at a regional & local scale

3) Tourism marketing & destination image

4) Management of natural resources for tourism

5) Tourism planning

6) New technologies applied to tourism

Dr Lluís Garay Tamajón


I2TIC | Interdisciplinary Research on ICT

I2TIC is made up of professors, researchers and doctoral students from various fields of knowledge in the social sciences, and its main research objective is the analysis of the determinants and results of the ICT uses (first and second digital wave) in employment, business, the economy and society.  i2TIC is an interdisciplinary, interuniversity and international research group that brings together 20 researchers from 12 Universities and research centers. The i2TIC research network also includes 15 doctoral students and specific research collaborations with 50 researchers from all over the world. The foundational spirit of i2TIC is that of innovative research both in its material purpose (interdisciplinary analysis of the uses of ICT in its different waves), as well as in its formal object (orientation to results through collaborative and network research). I2TIC was born in 2008 and was recognized by the Agency for the Management of University and Research Grants (AGAU R) as an Consolidated Research Group (SGR 2017 143). Our research themes cover:

1) ICT, digital behaviour, entrepreneurship an innovation (technology acceptance models, digital behaviour, entrepreneurship modelling, and product, process and organizational innovation)

2) Digitization, robotics, productivity and employment (specially in small and medium enterprises, SMEs)

3) ICT, people, organizations and labour (knowledge work, job quality, job sastifaction, new work organization and human resources practices, career development, business ethics, firm justice, and well-being).

4) eHealth and Telemedicine (predictors and outcomes, models and metrics, policies, and occupational health)

5) Sharing economy, collaborative consumption, platform and peer-to-peer business, and contingent -gig- work

Dr Joan Torrent Sellés


T.URBA | Urban Transformation RG

We are a collective of researchers from different backgrounds in social sciences, environmental studies, humanities, architecture, planning and STS. TURBA explores the geographies of digital capitalism and bottom-up alternatives. We focus on three research areas: (1) the urbanization of digital capitalism with special attention to new technologically mediated urban models; (2) the processes of reconfiguration of environmental governance and social‐ecological resilience against the backdrop of technological and social change; and, (3) the processes of collaborative creation of knowledge and technology in digital and non‐digital environments, and on educational, scientific or social environments. 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 (resilient cities, urban water governance, politics, finance and technology)
  5. Sustainability education, transformational learning and knowledge co-production in the city (citizen science, climate change policy co-production, digital co-creation, etc.)
  6. Studies about the present neoliberal transformation of science and technological innovation - both in terms of organization and content implications - and about alleged alternative ways of carrying out scientific and technological initiatives, such as open science, citizen science, small and slow science or maker projects.

Dr Ramon Ribera Fumaz


Organization of businesses and intangibles

Dr Enric Serradell López



Dr Fernando Álvarez Gómez


Labour economics

Dr Elisabet Motellón Corral


Corporate social responsibility

Dr Lluis Garay Tamajón


Technological applications for business and organization management

Dr Francisco Lupiáñez Villanueva