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Subtle corporate success

A study by the Bicocca University investigates some of the conditions which lead to good entrepreneurial results

The success of a good business depends on the entrepreneur and on his team, but also on other factors. Conditions, personal history, environment often make the difference. Obviously, there are exceptions everywhere, but what determines the work and the results of an entrepreneur is also a context in which family and family culture also count. To understand this better, reading “Imprenditorialità e crescita delle piccole imprese familiari artigiane. Analisi di un campione di artigiani artistici fiorentini” (Entrepreneurship and growth of small family-run craft-based companies. An analysis of a sample of Florentine artistic craftsmen) by Niccolò Gordini and Elisa Rancati (from Bicocca University in Milan) should prove interesting. The text relies on research conducted, focusing attention on a particular type of business – Florentine artistic craftsmanship -, yet it provides results that can also apply to other areas.

The thesis at the basis of the work is simple:  “The growth of small family-run artistic craft-based companies – the authors explain -, is strongly affected by the level of entrepreneurship of the craftsman. The personal characteristics of the entrepreneur and the number of generations involved in running the company can be significant variables capable of affecting the level of entrepreneurship and the growth of the company itself”.

The demonstration of this proposition starts with an analysis of the “literature” on this topic, then includes a statistical analysis of the sample of Florentine companies concerned by the analysis. Yet the text is made easier to read by the use of certain tables and charts which sum up the fundamental steps of the research, such as, for instance, the summary chart of the “personality traits” used to measure entrepreneurship.

The results are partly unexpected. According to both authors, for instance, the strictly personal traits of the craftsman entrepreneur are not the only things that affect the level of entrepreneurship, whereas, secondly, family involvement has a positive and significant effect on entrepreneurship and, lastly, entrepreneurship is a key factor to guaranteeing the growth of small family-run artistic craft-based companies. One of the concluding steps summing up the work is significant. “Entrepreneurship represents (…) – the authors explain -, the answer to the growing complexity and dynamic aspect of global markets, an answer that does not need to be solely understood as explosive innovation: small incremental changes in the proposition of value can in fact also constitute an effective way to facilitate compliance between supply and demand and promote growth”. In short, being a genuine entrepreneur may also mean a subtle condition in acting, one that appears insignificant but concretely determining.

Imprenditorialità e crescita delle piccole imprese familiari artigiane. Analisi di un campione di artigiani artistici fiorentini (Entrepreneurship and growth of small family-run craft-based companies. An analysis of a sample of Florentine artistic craftsmen)

Niccolò Gordini, Elisa Rancati (Bicocca University in Milan)

www.researchgate.net, May 2016