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This chapter analyses information and communications technology (ICT) based service innovations for supporting rural community enterprises. Despite much research and practical effort having been devoted to ICT-enabled services for rural development, a major limitation in such rural applications is the lack of a clear and systematic analysis to capture the characteristics of rural ICTs and to guide the development of collaborative partnership and systems solutions for ICT-based service innovation. Through a detailed analysis of an ICT-enabled rural financial service case in Lishui, China, it is identified that ICT-enabled rural services demonstrate a strong element of multi-stakeholder collaborative innovation. Rural ICT solutions are developed as a result of synergy-based partnership among different organisations with shared goals, interests, capabilities and resources. In addition, ICTs are not only outcomes of collaboration, but also the platform to facilitate collaborative service innovation and to help integration of different services for holistic solutions. Furthermore, ICT devices, applications, and infrastructures are embodiment or carriers of rural services. Such characteristics of ICT-enabled service innovation are essentially in line with the Product-Service System (PSS) concept and paradigm. Based on the case analysis, it is argued that a synergy-based PSS model for community transformation can be adopted to provide a systematic process to guide the rural ICTs and ICT services development.
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- Key Characteristics of Rural ICT Service Innovation: A Case Analysis of ICT-Enabled Rural Financial Services in China
David A. Ness
- Chapter 7
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