Blue‐collar workers, career success and innovation in manufacturing

Valentina Cillo, Alexeis Garcia-Perez, Manlio Del Giudice, Francesca Vicentini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between employees’ knowledge and organisational performance.Design/methodology/approachUsing a structural equation model, feedback received from 237 blue-collar workers from multinational high-tech manufacturing enterprises in Italy was studied to understand, from a dynamic capabilities perspective, the role of soft skills in the career success of production workers.FindingsThe results of the analysis indicate a positive relationship between workers’ commitment to develop their soft skills and their career success, as well as a positive relationship between an organisation’s approach to both knowledge exploration and knowledge exploitation and the prospects for career success of blue-collar workers.Research limitations/implicationsThe research has both theoretical and practical implications, as any efforts by researchers and practitioners to find effective ways to motivate the workforce will be likely to lead to a positive attitude towards learning and, ultimately, to improved business performance.Originality/valueThe originality of the paper is the focus on the personality and interpersonal attributes of workforce – blue-collar workers – and how they can affect business performance in highly innovative contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-544
Number of pages16
JournalCareers Development International
Issue number6
Early online date7 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2019


  • Career
  • Career development
  • Knowledge management
  • Organizational performance
  • Structural equation modelling


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