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Masters of business culture

Good business culture is also achieved through good masters. Entrepreneurs and managers, but not only. Employees and workers, of course, and also technicians and white collar workers. And that’s not all. Also those who are able to give a theoretical form to the practice of the factory and office are also important – and significantly so. This is the case of Gino Zappa, referred to by many as the “founder” of Business Economics. And with good reason.

To get a better and more thorough understanding of Zappa, and therefore to investigate the evolution of the economy and of business culture, you can now read “Gino Zappa: il fondatore dell’Economia aziendale” (Gino Zappa: the founder of business economics), a beautiful essay written by Stefano Coronella and Lucrezia Santaniello (‘Parthenope’ University of Naples, Italy) and recently published by Ca’ Foscari.

In just a few pages, the first stages of life of Zappa are covered, followed by his most important publications, and then his contribution to business economics is analysed. Certainly, Zappa sees the company and the business from an economic and accountant’s perspective, but, Coronella and Santaniello explain, he also manages to combine these two visions with an organisational perspective too. As regards all this, Zappa manages to provide a summary in the development of the definition of a company, which is referred to in the Ca’ Foscari essay. While maturing his studies, Zappa defines a company as “an economic institute designed to last that, for the satisfaction of human needs, sorts and performs production in continuous coordination, or procures and consumes wealth”. So a complex system, designed to satisfy human needs.

The work of Coronella and Santaniello is a beautiful summary of an important part of economic studies in Italy in the last hundred years, but it is also and above all a glossy overview of a vision of the company and of the business that still has a lot to say today – albeit in an up-to-date manner.

Gino Zappa: il fondatore dell’Economia aziendale (Gino Zappa: the founder of business economics)

Stefano Coronella, Lucrezia Santaniello

in “Le discipline economiche e aziendali nei 150 anni di storia di Ca’ Foscari” (Economic and business in the 150 years of history of Ca’ Foscari), curated by Monica Billio, Stefano Coronella, Chiara Mio and Ugo Sostero, 2018, pages 161-182.