Business model innovation in a global digital economy, an anticipatory perspective to researching rural enterprises

Fuller, Ted, Warren, Lorraine and Rahman, Mahfuzur (2015) Business model innovation in a global digital economy, an anticipatory perspective to researching rural enterprises. In: ISBE Annual Research Conference 2015, 11-12 November 2015, Glasgow.

Fuller 2015.pdf
Fuller 2015.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


A conceptual framework for the empirical analysis of some effects on rural enterprises of “the digital economy”, linked to the concept of an anticipatory system. The superficial context is the expansion of ‘superfast’ broadband into rural areas through public subsidy. The more significant research objective is to explore ways in which rural enterprises are sustained in a digital age, for example by innovation and what processes are employed in achieving such sustainability. How does being enterprising include anticipation and to what effect?

Prior Work
The focal point of the research is the notion of the ‘business model’ e.g. (Amit & Zott, 2001; M. Morris, Schindehutte, & Allen, 2005; Alexander Osterwalder, Pigneur, & Clark, 2010) and the related influences that rural contexts and broadband may have on the capacity of an SME to sustain itself, either through competitiveness or in value captured (Chesbrough & Rosenbloom, 2002). The work also builds on Fuller and Warren’s programme of research on complexity and emergence in small and medium enterprises, e.g. (Fuller, Warren, & Argyle, 2008; Fuller, Warren, & Norman, 2011; Warren & Fuller, 2015)

The conceptual framework is built from the literature on complexity, emergence and anticipation. It is used experimentally on three case studies of rural enterprises, where the focus is broadband and internet technologies and globalisation.

The object of study is a range of rural enterprise business models; firstly through a descriptive lens of business model structures as they relate to each firm’s global and local contexts, secondly through an analytical lens of value creation/capture and a thirdly through a methodological lens of anticipation (Poli 2012) as a precursor of responsible innovation, e.g. (Bocken, Short, Rana, & Evans, 2014; Stilgoe, Owen, & Macnaghten, 2013; Yunus, Moingeon, & Lehmann-Ortega, 2010).

The usefulness and limitations of the framework are discussed, as is the extent to which enterprises’ anticipatory capacity (Ahlqvist et al., 2012; Poli, 2010) relates to digital technologies. Indications of early findings from empirical case-based research are included.

The implications of this theory-building from extant literature is that some profound changes are taking place in the environment of rural enterprises, over which they have limited power. Opportunities for value creation exist but the development of the agential anticipatory capacity should be at the heart of entrepreneurship education and business support.

The framework is offered as a tool for researchers in this field in order to expand their analytical capacity. The concept of anticipatory capacity is introduced to link the informational aspects of the digital economy with the sense making and entrepreneurial behaviour of rural enterprise management.

Keywords:rural, Anticipation, Business model, Responsibility, anticipatory capactiy
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
N Business and Administrative studies > N200 Management studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
Related URLs:
ID Code:19701
Deposited On:28 Nov 2015 19:49

Repository Staff Only: item control page