American Journal of Applied Sciences

Social Impact as an Intangible Driver in Assessing Economic Value: An Application to the Italian Third Sector

Cosentino Antonietta, Bongiovanni Laura, Cesari Alberto and Di Stefano Cristina

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2017.1152.1166

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 14, Issue 12

Pages 1152-1166


Many studies have focused on Intellectual Capital (IC) applied to the Third Sector in the past few years. Despite the growing interest in intellectual capital in the field, the concept remains unclear.  Few scholars and practitioners deal with the subject, however, as far as we know there are no studies that show the relationship between social impact generated by non-profit organizations and IC. This is the first study to be focused on this topic. This paper aims to fill the gap in the literature and demonstrate the relation between social impact and IC in the Social Work Integration Cooperatives (SWICs). This paper contributes to the literature by theoretically arguing that the measurement of social value improves SWICs’ economic value as a consequence of improvements of relationships and trust with external stakeholders (intangible assets). To ground our theoretical hypothesis, we measure the social impact value achieved by Italian SWICs through an aggregate analysis.  That is the starting point and the findings can generate further research from both non-profit practitioners and scholars through the measurement of hypotheses over time.


© 2017 Cosentino Antonietta, Bongiovanni Laura, Cesari Alberto and Di Stefano Cristina. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.