Keywords: corporate governance, CSR champions, corporate social responsibility, small and medium-sized enterprises, SMEs, sustainable territorial model, Italy
Corporate social responsibility and corporate governance in Italian SMEs: towards a 'territorial' model based on small 'champions' of CSR?
Does a positive relationship between the adhesion to a culture of social responsibility and evolved systems of governance exist? And is such correlation more or less significant for small- and medium-sized firms with respect to large-sized firms? This paper winds itself around these questions and describes the principle findings that have emerged from the qualitative investigation focused on a selected group of 'cohesive' Italian small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), in which the nexus between the evolution of corporate governance and socially responsible management practices were examined. The concluding reflections trace the features of a territorial model of socially responsible orientation centred on the best practices of SMEs, 'convivial enterprises' who are excellent examples of 'spirited businesses'.