The value and significance of corporate community relations : an Italian SME perspective

Palazzo, M, Foroudi, P, Siano, A and Kitchen, PJ 2017, 'The value and significance of corporate community relations : an Italian SME perspective' , The Bottom Line, 30 (4) , pp. 330-344.

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Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the link between community of place and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Lombard industrial districts in Italy.
Design/methodology/approach
A brief literature review of international authors from the stakeholder approach and Corporate Community Relations (CCRs) field is presented. This paper refers to a survey of Lombard industrial districts conducted by ALTIS. The data were collected via a telephone survey from 834 firms.
Findings
The main finding is that managing CCRs is of major importance for company success. The results of the survey show that there are some tools and actions that Italian industrial district SMEs use to interact with their particular communities of place to develop effective and coherent relationships with their stakeholder groups. Moreover, although the survey shows that though SMEs do implement different CCR activities, they are not able to communicate these effectively through systematic communication strategies. However, the narrow sample includes only a sample of some Lombard districts. Nonetheless, the findings indicate that effective CCR seems to confer competitive advantage based on stakeholder responses and rewards sought.
Research limitations/implications
The framework could assist in supporting CCR developments between industrial districts as various players would know how to improve CCR activities. One further suggestion is that University and Research Centers could have a role to play in creating and communicating codified knowledge concerning community relations in industrial districts, while other public players still have to develop specific tasks in improving infrastructures.
Originality/value
This study is in line with the main focus of CCR, which is in striving to meet stakeholder and societal needs. However, industrial district SMEs have to learn how to communicate their CCR activities from the examples set by large Italian companies. The paper links the notion of CCR with tools and actions to develop meaningful relationships with both community of place and interest. Moreover, considering the survey results, a new framework for local player roles is proposed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: General Business, Management and Accounting, Library and Information Sciences
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Journal or Publication Title: The Bottom Line
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0888-045X
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: Publications Router
Depositing User: Publications Router
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2018 12:41
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2018 12:41
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/44980

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