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Factories on the human scale

The most important traits of corporate welfare summed up in a few pages.

A good workplace makes for better work. And the company, the enterprise, not only grows, but develops, produces well-being in addition to balance sheets in the black.  An indicator of the importance of so-called corporate welfare is nothing new but it’s still good to be able to fall back on a method that recalls the guiding principles, the fundamental features. Which is where Il welfare aziendale, by Fabio Bonali, Rosa Anna Maresca, Annamaria Mazzitelli and Mariachiara Melsa comes in. This research thesis was written as part of the Fondazione ISTUD’s 2015–16 Master in Human Resources and Organization.

The work is divided into eight chapters that deal with the topic, starting from its origins and development, then examines the rule of law that must be applied today, then a series of useful indications for its application in the company. The authors then analyse the effects that corporate welfare has on the worker and on the business, with the Italian situation under the microscope. The conclusion is an overview of SMEs that network and a large-scale company like ENI.

The authors conclude that corporate welfare was devised to enhance the wellbeing of workers, while filling in the gaps in the state system, and has evolved into an essential tool that increases competitive advantage in business.

Then  Bonali, Maresca, Mazzitelli and Melsa indicate a method for improving the effectiveness of corporate welfare (extending cooperation among businesses and the state, and B2B), thereby retrieving one of its original definitions, coined by Adriano Olivetti who spoke of the factory on a human scale, explaining that a factory has to look beyond profit margins. It has to distribute wealth, culture, services, democracy. He said “I think of the factory for the person, not the person for the factory, you see? We must overcome the divisions between capital and labour, industry and agriculture, production and culture.  Sometimes, when I’m working late, I see the lights of the line workers on a double shift, office workers, engineers, and I get the urge to go and thank them, to express my gratitude.”

The research undertaken by Bonali, Maresca, Mazzitelli and Melsa is not a milestone in welfare studies but it has two strong points at least: it’s clear and concise, rendering a precise idea of the theme in just twenty pages. To be read and kept on hand.

Il welfare aziendale

Fabio Bonali, Rosa Anna Maresca, Annamaria Mazzitelli, Mariachiara Melsa

Master in Human Resources and Organization, 2015–16

Fondazione ISTUD