Context-Specific and Firm-Specific Factors and Their Effect on Banking Credit Policies in Post-Unification Southern Italy: A Case Study

Pina Puntillo, Franco Ernesto Rubino, Domenico Rocco Cambrea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper presents a case study based on the credit policies of a southern Italian bank, named “Cassa di Risparmio di Calabria”, which operated between 1861 and 1998. We opted to investigate the role of “Cassa di Risparmio di Calabria” because historical researchers considered it, in the years following the unification process of Italy, the most important local bank in southern of the country. In order to analyze the credit policies of the Cassa di Risparmio di Calabria, we employed an interdisciplinary approach, using Canergie and Napier’s framework, which allows us to investigate both contextual and firm-specific factors that affected the way in which the firm adopted its credit policies emerging from bookkeeping. To address the research question of the paper a case study has been used. This methodology fits very well with the purpose of this paper because it offers the possibility of investigating a firm's policies from a practical rather than a theoretical point of view, through the exploration of a complex phenomenon in a specific context.. The use of a case study provides scholars a rich source of data from a real setting with the aim to deepen the understanding of the investigated phenomena. To address the research question, we used moreover archival sources, both accounting and non-accounting documents, as well to several statutes and notary protocols, old books, journal and ledgers. The findings highlight the important part of the local bank in contributing to the economic development of the area and its role in improving the human conditions within the territories under its jurisdiction, as well as the great importance to socio-educational investments. Diversely, from the qualitative analyses it emerges the marginal support to the manufacturing and commercial activities. The article contributes to enlarging the knowledge of the functioning of the credit sector in southern Italy after unification. The originality of the article lies in the use of an interdisciplinary approach, specifically the Canergie and Napier framework, to analyze credit policies of a bank.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-267
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • credit policies, Southern Italy, banking sector


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