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Non-profit entities between generalistic vs. specialistic approaches on a systematics of levels of definitions and classifications

  • Autori: Costa, M; Guzzo, G
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: Capitolo o Saggio (Capitolo o saggio)
  • Parole Chiave: Non-profit, Generalism, Specialism
  • OA Link:


This paper starts from the absence of a theory of Non-Profit Entities (NPE)in proper accounting or 'business economics' approaches. Accounting was traditionally developed by and for firms and is only roughly approaching the non-profit dominium. In doing so, we experience either an excessive generalism or excessive specialism. Hence, we seek a multi-level setting of the problem: general properties or 'characteristics' for entities in general, special properties or 'characterisations' for NPEs, and further properties of the main classes of NPEs. The chief outcome is the definition of based on the production of 'social' value and a further classification between NPOs and 'social' firms and, likewise, between the typical stocks and flows dealt with. A special emphasis on the Italian language literature and the 'business economics' approach is stressed throughout the paper