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Bottom-up or top-down: which is the best approach to improve CSR and sustainability in local contexts? Reflections from Italian experiences

Listed author(s):
  • Mara Del Baldo


    (Department of Economics, Society & Politics, Università di Urbino "Carlo Bo")

  • Paola Demartini


    (Department of Management and Law, University of Rome 3, Italy)

This paper reflects on the theme of sustainability and territorial social responsibility, which, in this context, is defined as a pathway promoted by a plurality of public and private actors, forand non-profit, who find that social cohesion and the relationships that are cultivated in the place from which these diverse “protagonists” come, are the drivers in the construction of shared territorial governance. The efficacy of such processes in the local context (communal, provincial and regional) is predicated on the culture and on the values that the diverse, networked stakeholders-actors accumulate in their territory (meso level). In developing this theme, the paper is divided into several parts. The first part describes the theoretical context, which is illustrated by an enumeration of experiences realized at the local level in Italy. We then focus our analysis on the experience of territorial governance promoted in the Marches Region. This project was selected as a case study because it is emblematic of the Italian context; the territory is characterized by the diffuse presence of small businesses in the socio-economic fabric and by the proactive role of the local government. The case allows us to evaluate this paper’s fundamental proposition, that the policies of the European Commission and the Government of Italy for promoting Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability are not concretely effective when they are not fostered by regional authorities together with local private actors. Furthermore, public initiatives, to be effective, should take into consideration the influence of local culture, the social milieu, and economic factors shaping the environment in which public-private networks arise.

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File Function: First version, 2012
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Paper provided by University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini in its series Working Papers with number 1204.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision: 2012
Handle: RePEc:urb:wpaper:12_04
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  1. Donolo Carlo, 2005. "Dalle politiche pubbliche alle pratiche sociali nella produzione di beni pubblici? Osservazioni su una nuova generazione di policies," Stato e mercato, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 33-66.
  2. Charkham, Jonathan & Simpson, Anne, 1999. "Fair Shares: The Future of Shareholder Power and Responsibility," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292142.
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