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International Purchasing and Supply

Education and Research Association

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A Tribute for Prof. Mario Raffa

23 Mar 2022 13:40 | Frederik Vos (Administrator)

It is with great sorrow and sadness that the IPSERA community has learned of the passing of one of our great founders and incredible members of our community. Professor Alessandro Ancarani, former President of IPSERA, and Professor Attila Chikán, IPSERA Lifetime Achievement Award winner, have written fitting tributes.   


Mario Raffa,  former full professor of Management Engineering at the Federico II University of Naples, passed away on 10 March 2022 at the age of 75. During his long and distinguished career, Professor Raffa has influenced generations of students, scholars and professionals with his teaching skills and ground-breaking scientific research on innovation and entrepreneurship.

He developed his university career in Italy and abroad. In particular, he spent periods of study and research in UK, United States, Japan, as well as in numerous European countries, focusing on the relationship between new technologies, entrepreneurship and organizational change both in private companies and in the Public Administration. In Italy, he paid particular attention to the Campania region with reference to the transformation phenomena of its production system. This attention has led him to actively participate in the political life of his city, also assuming the position of Councillor for Development of the Municipality of Naples from May 2008 to June 2011.

Mario Raffa was a key figure for Management Engineering in Italy. At the Federico II University of Naples, he held, among others, the positions of President of the Board of the Degree Course in Management Engineering (from 1995 to 2002), Director of the Department of Management Engineering (from 2000-2005), Coordinator of the PhD in Management Engineering for several years, Scientific Director of ODISSEO, Observatory of Technological Innovation and Organization. From 2003 to 2008 he was Director of the Start Cup Federico II; in 2007 he was Scientific Director of the PNI-National Award for Innovation.

His research activity - for which he has received several international awards - concerns small innovative companies, subcontracting relationships, industrial organization, entrepreneurship. He was a member and collaborator of numerous national and international scientific associations including the Italian Association of Management Engineering (AiIG) - of which he was President in the two-year period 2003-2005, the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), the European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ECSB), International Purchasing & Supply Education & Research Association (IPSERA) - of which he was one of the founders and the first promoter, as well as chair and co-coordinator of two annual conferences (Ischia, 1997; Naples, 2012).

He has been a member of the editorial board of numerous national and international journals including the Journal of Small Business, the Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, the Journal of Small Business Management.

Since 2009 he has been the first Italian to receive the prestigious White Wilford Fellow nominated by the ICSB - International Council for Small Business, for scientific, cultural and political merits on the issues of entrepreneurship and the birth and development of new businesses. Since 2016 he has been the first Italian to be awarded the European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Fellows for merits in the field of research / teaching in entrepreneurship.

Mario Raffa was a person of great culture and sensitivity, kind and affable and a dear friend of many colleagues. He leaves a void but his lessons and dedication to scientific research will remain forever.

Professor Chikán's Tribute:

I join Professor Ancarani in praising the achievements of Mario and his enormous contribution to global knowledge both with his research and education. He was one of the leading figures of the generation which established global cooperation in purchasing and supply research, most prominently by founding and strengthening IPSERA.

At my invitation he was a frequent speaker of the IFPSM Summer Schools at the turn of the millennium and always fascinated participants by his professionalism and humanity. He was a true European by culture and manner. I feel lucky to have known him. RIP.

Professor Emeritus Attila Chikán

Co-President of HALPIM

Lifetime Achievement Awardee of IPSERA





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