Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale

Smart Working and digitally-enabled forms of work organisation

About the project

Research aims to understand how digital innovation is changing the way of work enabling new organizational models. Smart Working questions the traditional links with working times and locations and gives people a greater say in defining their working conditions, while at the same time making them more responsible for the outcome. Research activities are conducted within the Smart Working and the HR Innovation Practice Observatories of the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano.

Principal Investigators:  Mariano Corso, Fiorella Crespi, Martina Mauri

Researcher team:  Dora Caronia, Luca Gastaldi, Veronica Saletti, Chiara Tamma, Rita Zampieri

Funders: Multiple

Duration: 2010 – onwards

Partners: Multiple


Research aims to understand how digital innovation is changing the way of work enabling new organizational models. More in detail, the main objectives of the current research are:

  • Monitor Smart Working diffusion in Italian private companies (Large and SMEs) and in Italian PA, monitoring the transformation process of the organizations (eg project levers applied, people involved, project phase, benefits gained, …)
  • Understand how digital technologies (eg social collaboration, unified communication, virtualisation, smart office technologies) support Smart Working introduction and identify main opportunities and critical issues in the adoption by providing a classification for targets and needs.
  • Identify Smart Working best practices in Italy
  • Analyze the Smart Working 2.0 meant as a new relationship between the company and the employee and as tool to reshape processes and services.
  • Monitoring the diffusion of a People Strategy that allows organizations to acquire and built fundamental competencies, that are essential for the business to face the Digital Transformation
  • Understand possible applications of the main technology trends, (analytics, social and mobile applications and artificial intelligence) in supporting the HR processes and their impact on the employee journey
  • Monitoring the impact of the Digital Transformation on competencies and jobs in order to foresee the future of work
  • Identify the initiative to develop widespread and collective leadership and entrepreneurship (relevance of smart behaviour inside and outside the office)
  • Analyze the evolution of the workplaces in terms of Smart Working and Smart City (from the role of coworking spaces and business centers to initiatives of private and public spaces’ integration).

Different research methodologies are used, the main ones being case studies, surveys, and quantitative assessment models to evaluate the benefits stemming from new ways of working. Moreover, interactive workshops with companies are organised, in order to share data and experiences useful to feed and tune the analyses developed by the research team.


  • Involvement as experts in the “Osservatorio nazionale del lavoro agile nella Pubblica Amministrazione” and in its Technical Commission that has the task of verifying the progress of the administrations in drafting the organizational plans of agile work (POLA)
  • Data, definitions and concepts from the Observatory were extensively used in the development of the Italian law on Smart Working (Law n°81/2017); during the legislative procedure experts of the Observatory have been involved including an audition by the XI Commission of Chamber of Deputies.
Main Publications
  • Langé V., Gastaldi L. (2020) Coping Italian Emergency COVID-19 Through Smart Working: From Necessity to Opportunity, Journal of Mediterranean Knowledge, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 163–171, ISSN: 2499-930X, DOI: 10.26409/2020JMK5.1.10, https://bit.ly/JMK_2020.
  • De Benedictis A., Lettieri E., Masella C., Gastaldi L., Macchini G., Santu C., Tartaglini D. (2019) WhatsApp in Hospital? An Empirical Investigation of Industrial and Organisational Determinants to Use, PLOS ONE, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. e0209873, ISSN: 1932-6203X, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0209873, http://bit.ly/PLOS_2019.
  • Neirotti P., Raguseo E., Gastaldi L. (2019) Designing Flexible Work Practices for Job Satisfaction: The Relation Between Job Characteristics and Work Disaggregation in Different Types of Work Arrangements, New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 34, No. 2, pp. 116–138, ISSN: 1468-005X, DOI: 10.1111/ntwe.12141, http://bit.ly/NTWE_2019.
  • Frank A.G., Sander N., Gastaldi L., Madini E., Corso M. (2017) An Assessment Model for Virtual Communities of Practice: A Study in the Oil and Gas Industry, Knowledge Management Research and Practice, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 507–522, ISSN: 1477-8238, DOI: 10.1057/s41275-017-0074-6, http://j.mp/KMRP_CoP_2017.
  • Raguseo E., Gastaldi L., Neirotti P. (2016) Smart Work: Supporting Employees’ Flexibility through ICT, HR practices and office layout, Evidence-based HRM, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 240-256, ISSN: 2049-3983, DOI: 10.1108/EBHRM-01-2016-0004, http://bit.ly/SW_EBHRM_2016, highly commented paper in 2017 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence: http://bit.ly/Emerald_2017.
  • Gastaldi L., Appio F.P., Raguseo E., Neirotti P., Martini A., Corso M., Paolucci E. (2015) To Change Work is to Change Twice: An Empirical Investigation of New Working Configurations, 16th International Continuous Innovation Network (CINet) Conference “Pursuing Innovation Leadership”, Stockholm (Sweden), September 13-15, pp. 348–359, ISBN 978-90-77360-18-7, http://j.mp/CINet_2015a.
  • Manca C., Gastaldi L., Corso M., Kauilo M. (2015) Employees Satisfaction in Contemporary Work: A Study on Leadership Behaviours, 16th International Continuous Innovation Network (CINet) Conference “Pursuing Innovation Leadership”, Stockholm (Sweden), September 13-15, pp. 577-588, ISBN 978-90-77360-18-7, http://j.mp/CINet_2015b.
  • Raguseo E., Neirotti P., Paolucci E., Gastaldi L., Corso M., Martini A. (2014) Towards a Smarter Work? Unpacking Complementarities between ICT Adoption, Human Resource Practices and Office Layout, 9th International Forum on Knowledge Asset Dynamics (IFKAD) “Knowledge Management Models for Sustainable Growth”, Matera (Italy), June 11-13, pp. 2984-3001, ISBN 978-88-96687-04-8, http://j.mp/IFKAD_2014_3.
  • Gastaldi L., Corso M., Raguseo E., Neirotti P., Paolucci E., Martini A. (2014) Smart Working: Rethinking Work Practices to Leverage Employees’ Innovation Potential, 15th International Continuous Innovation Network (CINet) Conference “Operating Innovation – Innovating Operations”, Budapest (Hungary), September 7-9, pp. 337-347, ISBN 978-90-77360-17-0, http://j.mp/CINet_2014e.
  • Gastaldi L., Corso M. (2013) Academics as Orchestrators of Smart Working Initiatives, Pre-ICIS Workshop “The Changing Nature of Work: Working Smarter with ICT” (coordinated by the Special Interest Group on Organizational Systems Research Association (SIG-OSRA) of the Association of Information Systems (AIS)), Milan (Italy), December 15, pp. 1-9, http://j.mp/ICIS_2013_SW.
  • Corso M., Gastaldi L., Martini A. (2013) The Role of ICT in the New (Virtual) Working Space: An Empirical Investigation on Enterprise 2.0, in: Lytras M., Ruan D., Tennyson R.D., Ordonez De Pablos P., Garcia Peñalvo F.J., Rusu L. (Eds.) Information Systems, E-Learning, and Knowledge Management Research (4th World Summit on the Knowledge Society, WSKS 2011, Mykonos, Greece, September 21-23, 2011, Revised Selected Papers (Series: Communication in Computer and Information Science, Vol. 278), Berlin (Germany): Springer-Verlag, pp. 546–556, ISBN 978-3-642-35878-4 (DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-35879-1), http://j.mp/WSKS11_Springer.
  • Corso M., Gastaldi L., Martini A. (2011) The Role of ICT in the New (Virtual) Working Space: An Empirical Investigation on Enterprise 2.0, 4th World Summit on the Knowledge Society (WSKS), Mykonos (Greece), September 21-23, pp. 1-7.


  • Companies: 4wardpro, Accenture, Avaya, Cisco, Citrix, CoachHub, Cornerstone OnDemand, Doxa, Google Cloud, TIM, DXC Technology, EF, Gi Group, GS1 Italy, icims, Il Prisma, JLL, Lenovo, Logitech, Microsoft, Monster, New Tech Consulting, Oracle, Phygiwork, Poly, Progetto CMR, Ricoh, Sedus, Speex, Talentia, Tutored, Workday, Workhera, Zucchetti; AHCG, Another Brick, Clever Connect, Dell Technologies, Innovation 4HR, Jointly, Lifeed, EKIP Reply, Reverse, Sistemi
  • Associations: Assolombarda, Assogestioni, Assintel


  • Academic: Smart Working Observatory, HR Innovation Practice Observatory
  • Corporate: A2A, ABB, Amadori, Amplifon, AXA Assicurazioni, Barilla, Beiersdorf Italia, BNL – BNP Paribas, CNH Industrial, Costa Crociere, Credem, Fastweb, Flixibus, Havas Media Group, Heineken, Intesa Sanpaolo, Luxottica, MailUp, Maire Tecnimont, Nestlè, Philips, Poste Italiane, Reale Mutua, SIA, Siemens, Trentino School of Management, Zurich
  • Others: ALFA Liguria, CSI Piemonte, INAIL, Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri, Regione Emilia Romagna, Regione Lazio