An Italian Business Model for Engaging Organisations to Social Wellness: A Focus on the for Benefit Companies

  •  Maria Antonella Ferri    
  •  Maria Palazzo    


In 2015, a new kind of company was introduced by law in Italy: the forBenefit Company (fBComp). Such kind of firms is characterized by a relevant novelty: they are for-profit companies whose statute explicitly recognizes the impact of managerial decisions on the wellness of society as well as on shareholders. This study focuses on fBComps as organizations which bases their survival on social legitimacy. Such public recognition can be achieved through creating relationships with social and economic actors (Golinelli, 2010). The objective of the current paper is to open up to a scientific and methodological discussion about the contribution that the social behavior of a company can give to its sustainable survival in light of the logic of diffused value co-creation. The study analyzes the fBComp as a new “social” business model (SBM), which evolves and goes far beyond the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) phenomenon. This topic posits some main research questions: is that a new form and method for value-production and distribution? How does it affect existent corporate governance logics? Results illustrate how this business model operates in practice, or, in other words, the practical applications for the concept of business for-benefit (Rawhouser, Cummings, & Crane, 2015). By conducting a desk analysis, based on a content analysis, using the results of the first Italian Report on fBComp, the contribution draws a portrait of this business model’s main features and explains how or if it impacts management practices, shareholders and other kind of stakeholders.

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