The theory and the practice of local development, at least in Italy, are still dominated by the opposition between top-down and bottom-up approaches. Besides its interpretative sterility, this opposition is only apparent when it comes to policy making since, by definition, no true bottom-up policy ever could be “designed” ex ante. Here we take seriously Tendler’s (1982) suggestion to tackle development issue from an organizational standpoint and, consistently, we consider local development as a heuristic, boundly rational (Simon, 1947), collective process of actions and decisions. In particular, we equate local development to organizational change, i.e. a change in the common end, in the knowledge and competencies, in the rules of coordination and control (Thompson, 1967) that occurs in a geographical area or in one of its portions or layers. This theoretical framework informed a two-year action-research conducted in a southern Italian region in which the authors - as a team of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development - Department for development policies - gave methodological support to the design and implementation of 5Meuro investment on the regional artistic and creative scene. The paper gives a synthetic narrative account of the process, and draws some methodological propositions on how to connect culture and cultural policies to local development.
Fabbri, Tommaso e Canova, L.. "Local Development Through Culture: An Organizational Perspective" Working paper, SSRN (Social Science Research Network), 2010.