Title: Italian small and medium values-based companies: towards a new way 'of being' business?

Authors: Mara Del Baldo

Addresses: Department of Business Studies, University of Urbino 'Carlo Bo', Via Saffi, 42, Urbino 61029, Italy

Abstract: The aim of this work is to reflect on the relationship existing between ethics-based entrepreneurial values, the values associated with local territories and the best practices of small and medium-sized enterprises in promoting pathways to sustainable development. The attention herein is focused on a territory's intangible assets (social capital) and on human relations (relational capital), which may be considered facilitators that inspire a way of doing business capable of meeting human needs, creating and strengthening shared values, and generating a virtuous cycle of company and community prosperity. After a brief description of the theoretical framework of reference, the qualitative analysis of two Italian companies is carried out. These firms, strongly embedded in their local socio-economic environment, reveal the capacity to cooperate in constructing the common good and offer precious testimony to a different, more successful way of doing business or being businesspeople, and building the socio-economic environment.

Keywords: values; ethics; sustainability; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; Italy; entrepreneurial values; entrepreneurship; sustainable development; intangible assets; social capital; human relations; relational capital; local areas.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSS.2013.058463

International Journal of Society Systems Science, 2013 Vol.5 No.4, pp.337 - 354

Available online: 26 Dec 2013 *

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