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Increasingly “responsible” businesses

A thesis presented at the University of Padua serves as a useful handbook on corporate governance

Corporate social responsibility remains the core theme of much of the debate over the changes that must be made to current models of industrial production, and of the policies that need to focus on this issue. The social responsibility of industrial firms is a complex subject that needs constant fine-tuning, as well as sharp summarisation to get a sense of where we stand on this issue. This is the purpose of Alessio Amadei’s thesis, which has been presented at the M. Fanno Department of Economics and Business Sciences at the University of Padua.

“Governance e responsabilità sociale nelle società italiane quotate: un’analisi empirica della disclosure aziendale” (Governance and social responsibility in Italian listed companies: an empirical analysis of corporate disclosure) is the title of his work, which serves as an accurate summary of the current state of the art of corporate governance. Amadei begins by examining the many changes that are taking place in the production system, to which proper corporate management can provide an effective response.

“Corporate governance,” he says “is a vehicle through which companies can implement their CSR policies.” He then sets himself the task of understanding whether the debate on CSR “translates into real, operational choices by companies.” The question, then, is whether – beyond the theory – there is genuinely adequate “practice”.

Another of Amadei’s goals in this work is to “identify the governance characteristics that facilitate the implementation of CSR policies, with a view to promoting the dissemination of socially virtuous models and behaviours.”

As such, the thesis begins by focusing on the situation as it stands, before taking a closer look at the effects of corporate governance on corporate social responsibility. Amadei then presents the results of an empirical survey on the corporate disclosures of 219 Italian listed companies. The research focuses on establishing whether or not companies seek out CSR experts as part of the process used in order to select their managers and directors.

Alessio Amadei’s work has the great merit of organising the key ideas and data on some of the most important aspects of modern business management: it serves as a sort of handbook that is extremely useful to read and keep close to hand.

Governance e responsabilità sociale nelle società italiane quotate: un’analisi empirica della disclosure aziendale (Governance and social responsibility in Italian listed companies: an empirical analysis of corporate disclosure)

Alessio Amadei

University of Padua, M. Fanno Department of Economics and Business Sciences, Batchelor’s Degree in Economics, 2020