18.12.2020 10:54 Age: 279 days
By: Kiese

RUB to Co-chair European MOC Chapter in 2021

RUB to Co-chair European MOC Chapter in 2021

The annual workshop of the Microeconomics of Competitiveness (MOC) Affiliate Network did not take place in Boston as usual, but online as anything else during the pandemic. Hosted in professional style as ever by Harvard Business School, the workshop started with an academic paper session. It then proceeded with a series of council meetings and keynotes from leading academics, such as Prof Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (London School of Economics and Political Science) on “the revenge of places that do not matter”, and politicians like Phil Hogan, former European Commissioner for agriculture and rural development, and subsequently trade. Besides returning attendee Prof Kiese, this year’s workshop was for the first time attended by new MOC instructor Simon Rohde, who participated in a special “rookie track” that included an overview of cases and an introduction to Harvard’s trademark case teaching method. The online format allowed for the participation of RUB’s former staff members and MOC guest instructors Christian Hundt and Julian Kahl as well.

Besides five functional councils on curriculum, global impact, institutes, knowledge generation and membership, the MOC network is organised into regional chapters for Asia, Europe, and Latin America. One outcome of the workshop is that RUB is going to chair the European MOC chapter in 2021 together with Prof Dominika Kuberska from the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (Poland). Until the next annual workshop in December 2021, they will organise a workshop and quarterly online meetings for European MOC members to facilitate knowledge exchange and deepen co-operation in teaching and research.

The workshop ended with the traditional award ceremony, although this was somewhat less ceremonial that in the good old days of physical workshops. The annual student project competition was won by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) this year with a report analysing the competitiveness of the Scottish Whisky Cluster. Although this had been studied before, changes in the business environment, such as Brexit, warranted a fresh look and convinced the jury. RUB’s submission to the contest, an intellectually sparkling report on the Las Vegas Entertainment Cluster, was shortlisted among the best twelve papers. As the overview shows, no university managed to win the award twice. Since their surprise success with the Frankfurt financial services cluster in 2016, RUB will keep trying every year to write another little piece of history.


Table: MOC Student Paper Award: Timeline of Winners



About MOC

Prof Michael E Porter and his team at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School developed MOC in a multi-year effort. First introduced to other universities in 2002, the course explores the determinants of economic development from a microeconomic perspective, putting firms centre stage. The course is entirely based on case studies investigating the sources of competitiveness at the levels of firms, clusters and territorial entities ranging from supra-national regions via nations and sub-regional nations to cities. It is free from mathematical formulas and abstract modelling.

The 2019 MOC Impact Report[1] revealed that 536 affiliate faculty members at a record 126 universities worldwide currently teach the course. Cumulatively, more than 70,000 students have taken the course. Affiliate faculty network members have been involved in 710 cluster initiatives and 814 national and regional competitiveness initiatives. They developed more than 400 case studies on clusters and competitiveness, and undertook 918 competitiveness research projects.

RUB joined the MOC network in 2013. Preparations are currently under way for the twelfth MOC class to be offered in the Summer Term of 2021. As usual, the course will take place weekly every Monday afternoon from 14-17 hours. Until 31 March, 2021, Master-level and PhD students from all programmes are invited to register with matthias.kiese(at)rub(dot)de, stating name, study program and matriculation number. Places will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.

Bochum, 18 December 2020                                                                   Prof Dr Matthias Kiese


Further information on MOC at HBS and RUB is available at:




MOC_PM_2020-12-17.pdf341 K