A piece of research from ISTAT and from La Sapienza University provides the statistical bases for an improved analysis of an important aspect of manufacturing culture


We work together to achieve better results. Not just from the point of view of the accounts, but also of the ambience in the factory. This assumption, which may appear in certain cases formulaic and banal, that of good relationships between the parties who interact in the organisation of manufacturing, in fact remains one which has not been fully achieved and needs to be so, using tools which require fine-tuning in practice. This is the case, for example, for supplementary company employment contracts. As a manifestation of a particular type of industrial relations culture and thus of corporate culture, supplementary employment contracts still need to be well understood and well exploited.

Laura Bisio, Stefania Cardinaleschi (both from ISTAT) together with Riccardo Leoni (from the University of Bergamo and the CIRET La Sapienza University, Rome), have tried to analyse, from a statistical perspective, the role of the decentralised supplementary employment contract with respect to company productivity specifically in order to achieve an improved definition of the state of the art of this aspect of corporate culture.

The basis of the investigation was the recent database prepared by ISTAT, which contains information relating to companies belonging to the private sector and employing more than 10 people (excluding agriculture).

The research obviously develops its momentum from the framework of the decentralised contracts in Italy, to which is also linked a description of the reference institutional layout, before progressing immediately to a series of working hypotheses for the authors and in particular to the definition of the principal question: how supplementary employment contracts can influence company productivity. Subsequently the research moves on to a section of statistical analysis of the data in order to arrive finally at a series of conclusions.

From this work it transpires, over and above the technical aspect relating to industrial relations and statistical analysis, that in particular, as the authors explain, “productivity is not so much influenced by the specific single practices and subjects set down by contract, as by the entire range of these items, including therein the practice of company bonuses”.With several important specifications. The unilateral awarding of bonuses to staff, for example, “does not have any improvement effect on productivity”. What does count strongly, furthermore, is the organisational layout at the top of the company and the one which relates to the relationships between the company and its ownership.

The work of Laura Bisio, Stefania Cardinaleschi and Riccardo Leoni is certainly not an easy and free-flowing read, but has the merit of providing a sound basis for a series of observations which are extremely helpful in defining a corporate culture which builds up over time, but which must also be set against the rules and industrial relations which influence the formation of a company environment which is in a state of continual adaptation and development.


Contrattazioni integrative aziendali e produttività: nuove evidenze empiriche sulle imprese italiane (Supplementary corporate employment contracts and productivity: new empirical evidence about Italian companies)

Laura Bisio, Stefania Cardinaleschi, Riccardo Leoni

ISTAT “Sistema Informativo sulla Contrattazione Aziendale”(Information System relating to Corporate Contracts) , October 2017