Does a positive relationship between the adhesion to a culture of social responsibility and evolved systems of governance exist? And is such correlation more or less significant for small and medium-sized firms with respect to large-sized firms? This paper winds itself around these questions and describes the principle findings that have emerged from the qualitative investigation focused on a selected group of “cohesive” Italian SMEs, in which the nexus between the evolution of corporate governance and socially responsible management practices were examined. The concluding reflections trace the features of a territorial model of socially responsible orientation centered on the best practices of SMEs who are excellent examples of “spirited businesses”.
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