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Territorial business ethics

In a thesis, the story of what can happen when companies and the social environment find the right formula to grow together

 

An area that practices the ethics of business. It happens, and not so infrequently. The theme to be addressed is the identification of a framework through which companies, workers and the surrounding social environment find the correct formula to develop innovation. The same thing always applies: above and beyond the theory, we need to study the facts. This is what Sara Arduino and Giulia Granzino did with their thesis ” Successo imprenditoriale e attenzione etica verso i lavoratori” (Entrepreneurial success and ethical attention to workers), defended as part of the 15th Master’s in Local Development at the University of Eastern Piedmont.

The work is the product of field research aimed, the two authors explain, towards investigating the presence in the Asti area of Piedmont of companies that have already developed entrepreneurial success together with ethical attention to workers, the public, the area and the environment. Arduino and Granzino investigated attentive businesses, wanting to identify the characteristics of the territorial and social context (work ethic, community relationships, presence of trust, know-how, etc.) that facilitate and encourage ethics and sustainability in business.

The work therefore first of all identified the criteria of ethics and excellence (also from the perspective of the theoretical framework), which were subsequently sought out in the territory and in the businesses that populate it, looking above all at those identified as possessing good practice in terms of excellence and ethics in the area. Among these companies, the two researchers then carried out a more careful investigation (meetings-interviews, questionnaires, etc.) with the aim of taking a closer look at the real core of the business ethics that are put into practice. Alongside the theory and in addition to the results of the field survey, it is the story of examples of companies set alongside one another, also known outside the area and others completely rooted in it: Alplast, D. Barbero, Cantine Bava, Bosca, Ca’Mariuccia, Fra Production, Fratelli Durando, Gancia, Michele Chiarlo, Mista, Mollificio Astigiano, Nobil Bio Ricerche, Saclà, Piccole Aziende Crescono…, Albergo Etico.

In addition to all this, the work also aimed towards preliminary analysis of the possibility of creating (in particular by involving the companies already identified as agents of local “ethical” experiences and local institutions) structures for collective action to intervene “ethically” in the critical areas of the local economic system.

The work of Sara Arduino and Giulia Granzino may not be a milestone in the study of ethics and corporate social responsibility, but it has the merit of providing a snapshot of what happens in an area that can act as an example for others.

In the conclusion, the authors write: “If on the one hand it is unrealistic to think of the existence of an ethical logic distinct from a logic of profit (…), it is important first of all to avoid the risk that the existence of balance sheets and/or ethical codes within companies is dictated more by financial needs than by a deep-rooted interest in aspects of virtue.”

 

Successo imprenditoriale e attenzione etica verso i lavoratori
Sara Arduino, Giulia Granzino
University of Eastern Piedmont, Master’s in Local Development, 15th Edition, Academic Year 2018/2019

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