Descrizione Progetto


In 2012, within the framework of corporate social responsibility, the Italian Antitrust Authority introduced a rating system, the legality rating, to recognize and promote companies that respect legality standards and to stimulate legally responsible behaviors on the market. In practice, this recognition is performed by attributing the so-called «stars» (ranging from one to three) to the complying companies that managers can then incorporate into their communication strategies to signal to the stakeholders’ levels of legally responsible behaviors of their companies. In practice, however, only a few companies effectively communicate their legality rating, while the majority is yet to be convinced of the benefits such communication can bring. Accordingly, in this paper, through content analysis, and quantitative analyses, including a chisquare test, ordinary linear regression, and principal component analysis, we explore the advantages of the legality rating communication in terms of the increase in relative asset growth for Italian service companies that have been attributed the legality rating by an Italian Antitrust Authority. Overall, we found that service companies communicating their legality rating were more likely to observe an increase in their relative assets’ growth over time. Moreover, we found that the relationship between legality rating communication and the level of relative asset growth is likely to be negatively moderated by the size of the company and positively by its age.