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Transfer to Transform. Leveraging Firm’s Knowledge to Mold Corporate Foundation’s Effectiveness

Mechanisms, Roles and Consequences of Governance: Emerging Issues

ISBN: 978-1-78350-705-4, eISBN: 978-1-78350-706-1

Publication date: 19 July 2014



This article aims at investigating knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) between founder firms and corporate foundations (CFs), looking at mechanisms able to enhance CFs’ orientation of effectiveness.


We analyze 50 questionnaires collected through a survey of CFs based in Italy (redemption of 42.7% of the total). We use a number of regressions to verify the change of explained variance moving from a basic model with control variables (enter method) and a model including KTE mechanisms with an impact on orientation to effectiveness (stepwise method).


The analysis produced a model which underlines the influence of knowledge transfer mechanisms in stimulating orientation to effectiveness. The adoption of specific knowledge transfer mechanisms by founder firms can have a significant influence on how CFs manage their effectiveness. Three mechanisms emerge from the study as elements with a positive impact.

Practical implication

The results apply to nonprofit or public bodies, especially if we consider partnerships or organizational networks. The individuated criteria for selecting a positive KTE could drive similar choices of other nonprofit bodies.

Social implication

The study individuates a set of practices that are potentially able to influence positively the orientation to effectiveness of CFs, and the capacity to perform their activities and respond to social needs more successfully.


This research considers CFs as founder firms’ subsidiaries, with a growing strategic importance. This research reveals how KTE mechanisms can foster the development of orientation to effectiveness if implying interaction, firms’ commitment, autonomy, and alignment with the firms’ strategy and CFs’ purposes.



Minciullo, M. and Pedrini, M. (2014), "Transfer to Transform. Leveraging Firm’s Knowledge to Mold Corporate Foundation’s Effectiveness", Mechanisms, Roles and Consequences of Governance: Emerging Issues (Studies in Public and Non-Profit Governance, Vol. 2), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 181-203.



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