To read this content please select one of the options below:

Blue-collar workers, career success and innovation in manufacturing

Valentina Cillo (Link Campus University, Rome, Italy)
Alexeis Garcia-Perez (Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Manlio Del Giudice (Link Campus University, Rome, Italy)
Francesca Vicentini (Link Campus University, Rome, Italy)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 7 October 2019

Issue publication date: 16 October 2019




The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between employees’ knowledge and organisational performance.


Using a structural equation model, feedback received from 237 blue-collar workers from multinational high-tech manufacturing enterprises in Italy was studied to understand, from a dynamic capabilities perspective, the role of soft skills in the career success of production workers.


The results of the analysis indicate a positive relationship between workers’ commitment to develop their soft skills and their career success, as well as a positive relationship between an organisation’s approach to both knowledge exploration and knowledge exploitation and the prospects for career success of blue-collar workers.

Research limitations/implications

The research has both theoretical and practical implications, as any efforts by researchers and practitioners to find effective ways to motivate the workforce will be likely to lead to a positive attitude towards learning and, ultimately, to improved business performance.


The originality of the paper is the focus on the personality and interpersonal attributes of workforce – blue-collar workers – and how they can affect business performance in highly innovative contexts.



Cillo, V., Garcia-Perez, A., Del Giudice, M. and Vicentini, F. (2019), "Blue-collar workers, career success and innovation in manufacturing", Career Development International, Vol. 24 No. 6, pp. 529-544.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles