Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss a model to evaluate the top management quality and its impact on the default probability/survival probability of companies operating in the Italian food and beverage industry. The focus is on SMEs and private companies (ie. companies with no external or public rating). The general aim of this paper is to initiate a new field of research enjoying the fast and growing number of information underlying the development of the private lending market (both banking channel and private debt channel) and the recent developments in assessing the managerial styles of leadership. Design/methodology/approach: The methodology used in the research is a mixed method based on quantitative and qualitative analysis. The authors have followed the sequential mixed methods design (Creswell and Plano Clark, 2007; Almalki, 2016) belonging to a practice perspective (Tashakkori and Creswell, 2007). The two components (quantitative and qualitative) are integrated in the combined approach: a final proposed evaluation model is explained and discussed. Findings: According to the experience (and private market best practice) the leadership style has a material impact on the survival probability of a company (and, on the contrary, on the default probability of a company). In other words, the leadership style – other variables be equal – can provide significant information to investors about the future evolution of the financial performance and related credit risk. In the paper, the authors provide a useful model (and tool) in order to capture the above mentioned relationship to support investment decisions in food and beverage industry. Research limitations/implications: While a positive relationship between a participative style of leadership and the financial performance is widely accepted in the literature; there is no published research on the relationship between managerial styles of leadership and default probability/survival probability. There are several workstreams to be performed in future research in order (1) to provide more business evidence and (2) to extent the analysis to further industries (other than food and beverage). The first step is to collect more data and company information on managerial styles of leadership and to start to track, to measure and monitor the evolution of the credit risk over time in each of the four clusters identified in the combined model. Practical implications: The practical implication is to provide a methodological contribution to develop an evaluation model of top management quality to be used for the certification of the quality system. The proposed evaluation model is intended to support both (1) the ISO quality management system certifiers and (2) financial analysts and auditors in order to assess the going concern and the business sustainability and (3) the credit risk assessment and evolution in investment decisions. Social implications: The authors believe that a more deep understanding on the effectiveness of managerial styles of leadership on credit risk can improve the credit and investment allocation and to enhance the borrowing capabilities of the food and beverage industry (with relevant implications on number of employees and size of new investments). Originality/value: This is the first applied research on the link between the default probability/company survival probability and the quality of management in the Italian food and beverage industry.
Top management evaluation in Italian food and beverage industry / Oricchio, G.; Zanda, S.; Gregori, G. L.; Marinelli, L.. - In: BRITISH FOOD JOURNAL. - ISSN 0007-070X. - ELETTRONICO. - 123:3(2021), pp. 1249-1267. [10.1108/BFJ-01-2020-0073]