Anticipating technological futures in rural enterprises

Fuller, Ted and Warren, Lorraine (2016) Anticipating technological futures in rural enterprises. In: 14th Rural Entrepreneurship Conference, 15-18 June 2016, University of Lincoln.

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Anticipating Technological Futures in Rural Enterprises
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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate ways in which rural enterprises prepare for their futures with respect to technological developments. It sets out a methodological framework for operationalizing the notion of Anticipation and applies this to data from interviews with a range of rural small enterprises
The methodology takes an anticipatory perspective. Anticipation is conceptualised as processes that mediate between knowledge and action; how knowledge is ‘used’ to guide and motivate practices.
The data is drawn from eleven case studies of small enterprises in rural areas, based on interviews with the principals and follow-up engagement with the firms to help them shape their digital strategies.
Analysis to date, initially published at the ISBE conference in 2015 and subject to more data and analysis for this paper, highlights the particular concerns and focus of the business owner-managers with regard to their identify and practices the digital economy. This analysis also helps to reveal the more precise nature of the mediating quality of anticipation between knowledge and action in rural entrepreneurial contexts in a digital economy. This mediation, termed ‘modelling relations’, appears to focus on the boundary conditions of the enterprise, i.e. the limits of its relationships with stakeholders and with technologies; testing in various ways how these can be modified to create greater value. External resources, such as the university play a part in this process of experimentation or testing.
The work allows us to understand the actual challenges being addressed by rural enterprises, rather than taking a supply-side perspective on what these might be. In particular it helps us understand how these challenges are constructed, anticipated and responded to. This knowledge is likely to be of value to other rural enterprises in that they can learn and judge what anticipatory practices might help them to achieve their prospects. This in turn will have effect on the design of rural business models

Keywords:rural enterprise, Digital economy, Business models, antiicipation, anticipatory work
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:28243
Deposited On:07 Aug 2017 10:04

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