Determinism vs. solidarism: the philanthropic approach of foundations

Giacomo Boesso, Fabrizio Cerbioni, Kamalesh Kumar, Giulia Redigolo

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Extant research shows that foundations adopt two broad management approaches for achieving their strategic outcomes. One body of literature focuses on the deterministic approach, in which foundations are managed like for-profit organisations. The other argues for managing foundations with a solidarist approach, in which foundations are guided by the solidarity of interests found in natural interdependencies of various members of the society. Proponents of each of these two approaches argue that their approach would result in generating better social value. Based on the survey of 201 leaders of Italian foundations, and supplemented by data collected from archival sources, this study investigates the association between the approach adopted and performances. Results of the study support the capacity of both approaches to generate positive performances if properly implemented, while, on the opposite, foundations that lack a clear management approach, report lower social performance and asset utilisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-336
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Business Governance and Ethics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • determinism
  • managing foundations
  • solidarism
  • strategic philanthropy


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