Cooperatives as Innovators in the Argentinean Information Industry
Posted: 22 Oct 2012
Date Written: September 10, 2010
This paper explores the role of cooperatives as innovators and promoters of the information and communications industries in Argentina. We used the open business model literature to help us understand their motivation to innovate and the modus operandi of these organizations in a less developed country. We relied on five case studies from various communities in Argentina. In-depth interviews were conducted with directors of these organizations. We found that cooperatives operate in a similar manner as open businesses, and this has allowed them to respond effectively to their circumstances and engage in innovation inspired by the difficulties they face. Their innovation is driven by their interest in fulfilling the needs of their communities and the regulatory environment, which sometimes has protected them and sometimes challenged them. We recommend cooperatives be given similar rights to resources as those in the private sectors; that they be provided access to the universal services fund, and that they address the concerns about their “anticompetitive behavior” by using the Argentinean anticompetitive law. We think cooperatives should be given credit and support for driving innovation and for having a decisive socio-economic impact in their communities.
Keywords: Open innovation, cooperatives, information and communications industry, Argentina, Latin America, telecommunications regulation
JEL Classification: F41 ,K23, H42, L31, L63, L96, M14, O3
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