Purpose: The aim of this study is to provide empirical evidence of the relationship between intellectual capital and economic performance, with focus on social cooperative enterprises that work in non-profit sectors. Design/methodology/approach: A survey was developed and administered in Italy. A final sample of 151 social cooperative enterprises participated in the study. Data was collected on intellectual capital measures, social enterprise activities and economic and mission-performance outcomes. Findings: Two hypothesis that proposed a positive association between intellectual capital sub-components (human capital, structural capital and relational capital) and the economic and mission-performance of social cooperative enterprises were tested. Findings highlight that human capital contribute to explain economic performance which is positively affected by the presence of graduate employees and the value added per employee. However, economic performance is negatively affected by the yearly training per employee. In addition, human and relational capital contribute to explain the mission-based performance which is positively affected by the yearly training, the value added per employee and the quality of relationships with customers. However, the mission-based performance is negatively affected by the relationships’ quality with the reference territorial community. Therefore, relational capital would seem to affect only the mission-based performance, instead human capital influences both dimensions of corporate performance. Structural capital does not affect the social cooperatives’ performance. Practical Implication: Some of the results in this study are particular to this research setting. It is therefore important for senior leaders of social cooperative enterprises to take the results of general IC literature with a grain of salt. Whereas most of the academic literature generally supports the positive relationship of all IC sub-components (i.e., human, structural and relational capital) with performance outcomes. This is not the case in this particular study. Originality/ Value: This is the first empirical study that has examined the linkages between IC sub-components and performance outcomes in social cooperative enterprises in Italy.

Intellectual capital and financial performance in social cooperative enterprises

Massimo Ciambotti;Federica Palazzi;Francesca Sgrò
2018-01-01

Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this study is to provide empirical evidence of the relationship between intellectual capital and economic performance, with focus on social cooperative enterprises that work in non-profit sectors. Design/methodology/approach: A survey was developed and administered in Italy. A final sample of 151 social cooperative enterprises participated in the study. Data was collected on intellectual capital measures, social enterprise activities and economic and mission-performance outcomes. Findings: Two hypothesis that proposed a positive association between intellectual capital sub-components (human capital, structural capital and relational capital) and the economic and mission-performance of social cooperative enterprises were tested. Findings highlight that human capital contribute to explain economic performance which is positively affected by the presence of graduate employees and the value added per employee. However, economic performance is negatively affected by the yearly training per employee. In addition, human and relational capital contribute to explain the mission-based performance which is positively affected by the yearly training, the value added per employee and the quality of relationships with customers. However, the mission-based performance is negatively affected by the relationships’ quality with the reference territorial community. Therefore, relational capital would seem to affect only the mission-based performance, instead human capital influences both dimensions of corporate performance. Structural capital does not affect the social cooperatives’ performance. Practical Implication: Some of the results in this study are particular to this research setting. It is therefore important for senior leaders of social cooperative enterprises to take the results of general IC literature with a grain of salt. Whereas most of the academic literature generally supports the positive relationship of all IC sub-components (i.e., human, structural and relational capital) with performance outcomes. This is not the case in this particular study. Originality/ Value: This is the first empirical study that has examined the linkages between IC sub-components and performance outcomes in social cooperative enterprises in Italy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2654607
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