Relational Skills and Corporate Productivity in a Comparative Size Class Perspective

35 Pages Posted: 30 May 2023

See all articles by Leonardo Becchetti

Leonardo Becchetti

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics

Sara Mancini

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Department of Economics and Finance

Nazaria Solferino

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics

Date Written: May 29, 2023

Abstract

Based on results from the different fields of the game theoretic literature on strategic interactions and social dilemmas, gift exchange and procedural utility, we argue that corporate social responsibility and relational skills i) with other firms; ii) between employers and workers iii) among workers and iv) with stakeholders are associated to positive effects on productivity. We test our research hypothesis in a comparative perspective on small, medium and large sized Italian firms. We find that size matters when investigating the impact of relational skills on added value per worker after controlling for relevant concurring factors. The identified significant skill related components are: i) corporate policies considering strategic workers’ wellbeing; ii) team working attitudes considered as priority soft skills when hiring workers; iii) initiatives in favour of the productive network operating in the same local area; iv) involvement of stakeholders in CSR projects. Our findings show that the fourth component (stakeholder involvement) is positive and significant for all (small, medium and large) size classes, while the first (workers wellbeing) for small and medium firms, the second (team working) applies mainly to medium firms, and the third (initiative for the local productive network) to medium and large firms. Instrumental variable estimates on the relational skill principal component suggest that a causality link exists beyond these significant correlations. Our conclusion is that scale has an inverse U-shaped effect on the impact of team skills, weakens the impact of gift exchange mechanisms, while it reinforces those of investment in the local productive environment on added value per worker.

Keywords: social dilemma, gift exchange, procedural utility, corporate social responsibility, corporate size

Suggested Citation

Becchetti, Leonardo and Mancini, Sara and Solferino, Nazaria, Relational Skills and Corporate Productivity in a Comparative Size Class Perspective (May 29, 2023). CEIS Working Paper No. 557, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4461760 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4461760

Leonardo Becchetti (Contact Author)

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
I-00133 Rome
Italy

Sara Mancini

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Via columbia 2
Rome, Rome 00123
Italy

Nazaria Solferino

University of Rome Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia n.2
Rome, rome 00100
Italy

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