USI confers an Honorary Doctorate to Linda Argote


Institutional Communication Service

9 May 2020

At the the XXIV Dies academicus of Università della Svizzera italiana, which took place on 9 May and for the first time digitally, the annual doctorate honoris causa was conferred to Linda Argote, Professor at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University (USA).

Linda Argote, David M. and Barbara A. Kirr Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory, and Director of the Center for Organizational Learning, Innovation and Knowledge at Carnegie Mellon, received the Honorary Doctorate in Economics - by proposal of the USI Faculty of Economics - "for her pioneering contribution to the study of organisational learning and to the understanding of the organisation as a fundamental nexus between the  individual and society".

In her 40 years of career, Prof. Argote has shed light on the mechanisms through which organisations generate and transfer knowledge, improve their productive efficiency, and innovate, thus contributing to economic and social progress. The individual and group fundamentals of this learning have been explored through a systematic and multidisciplinary research program combining the fields of social psychology, business organisation, and economics.

"Is is an incredible honour to receive an Honorary Degree from Università della Svizzera italiana", Prof. Argote declared. "A few years ago I was invited to spend a week the USI Institute of Management and Organisation, and I was impressed by the quality of the research done, and by the spirit of collaborative inquiry that pervaded the institute led by Professor Filippo Carlo Wezel".

In her speech given for the Dies, Prof. Argote shared some elements taken from her research activities: "The ability of organisations to learn from their own experience and from the experience of others is critical to their performance. One of the things they learn is 'transactive memory', which is the knowledge of who knows what and who is good at what. This knowledge allows organisations to match the member with the task they are best qualified for, and also members know who to consult for advice".


Prof. Argote's full speech, introduced by the Rector of USI Boas Erez, is available in English with Italian subtitles here: