Development Perspectives of Relational Capital in Women-Led Firms

  •  Paoloni Mauro    
  •  Valeri Marco    
  •  Paoloni Paola    


The purpose of the paper is to analyze the strategic role of relational capital for the achievement of sustainable development in Italian micro and small tourist businesses run by women. The paper focuses on the tourism enterprises because that sector constitute 10 % of the Italian GDP. The qualitative research methodology that has been used is that of case study research (Yin, 2009). Such process consisted in a survey with an ad-hoc questionnaire developed to analyze the distinctive features of a woman-owned micro and small enterprise that can be identified with the CAOS model (Paoloni, 2011). The paper applies the CAOS model examining the personal characteristics of the female entrepreneur (C); the environment in which the in SMEs operates (A); organizational and managerial aspects (O); and the motivations for manage a new business (S). This model is able to link these factors and classify different types of connections, it is possible to identify the kind of existing relations. The paper intends to help address a gap in the existing literature regarding the management and governance of tourism firms run by women. The paper can contribute to improving the competitiveness Italian enterprises studying how women entrepreneurs manage her business.

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