The economic and financial viability of sheltered employment centres: Is the level of managerial professionalization a determining factor for profitability?
The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether sheltered employment centres (CEEs) which have a higher rate of professionalization of their managers have better economic returns than those that have a lower one. A questionnaire has been drawn up for their managers. After collecting the answers, an index of professionalization classifies the CEEs with managers of high, medium and low levels of professionalism. This index is then correlated with the main financial ratios of companies. The results show that companies with the highest level of managers’ professionalization, on average, have higher economic returns than companies with medium and low rates, although the difference is not very high. This study is an important contribution to academic literature, as it is the first to examine the professionalization of CEE managers. Finally, this paper is not short of limitations. The number of responses is small but there are similar studies with similar response rates. Additionally, the scarcity of responses may suggest that there is a lack of interest about the utility of professionalization by some CEEs managers because, perhaps, they do not have the necessary competences to understand its importance in management. This study has some main implications for stakeholders: first, CEEs must pay more attention to the professionalization of their management team, because professionalization can lead to meeting its goals and guaranteeing the firm’s growth. Second, training programs in skills and attitudes should be designed to strengthen these competencies. Moreover, managers of social firms should know that the establishment of strategic plans will be useful to identify new opportunities in the market. Given the important role of these social firms for the employment of people with disabilities, training programs should be promoted by government in order to ensure the professionalization of these companies. This research is an important contribution to the literature on this subject because there are no studies about the level of professionalization of CEEs, companies that represent an important value for the economy of a country.
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