Business Coordination in Zappa’s Studies and in Managerial Theories, from Porter to Davenport The present paper investigates enterprises’ business coordination, confronting the theory developed by the Authors of the Zappian School and the theoretical paradigms of managerial studies advanced in the last fifteen years of the twentieth century. Following in the steps of Zappa’s theory, business coordination is investigated by looking at three interconnected levels: 1) Unit operations; 2) processes; 3) combinations. Operations are deemed elementary actions. Operations of the same kind are organized and managed within productive processes (transformation, sale, buying and so on), which, in turn, can be grouped with each other. Different processes are coordinated variously within the economic combinations of the firm. For the aspects concerning the studies of management, the focus of analysis revolves onto the concept of Value Chain (Porter, 1985) and onto process management (Davenport, 1993; Hammer and Champy, 1993), insofar they question the multiple forms of complementarity and interdependence (linkages) within the activities of the firm. Through the comparison between the above-cited theories of Management and those of the Zappian School, the following inferences were drawn. 1. Management studies have progressively approached a unitary and systemic conceptualization of operations management, the cornerstone of Italian business economic studies. 2. General lines elaborated by exponents of the Italian Business Administration academia remain currently valid and very representative for the phenomenology of the firm.
Keywords: Economia aziendale; Gino Zappa; value chain; business process improvement; business process innovation.