School of Information Studies
School of Information Studies
Cooperatives: Drivers of the Argentinean
Information Industry
...
School of Information Studies

                    Objectives

• Explore the role of cooperatives as
  innovators and prom...
School of Information Studies
                    Background: ICTs, innovation and
                    economic developmen...
School of Information Studies
                    Background: telecom cooperatives in
                    Argentina
• In t...
School of Information Studies

                    Research Questions
1. What impact do cooperatives have on
   innovation...
School of Information Studies
                    Theoretical Framework: Open
                    Innovation
• Open Innova...
School of Information Studies

                    Methods
• Exploratory qualitative analysis of
  cooperatives in Argenti...
School of Information Studies
                    Description of the Cooperatives in
                    this Study
      ...
School of Information Studies
                    Findings: Cooperatives have
                    innovative business proc...
School of Information Studies
                    Findings: Cooperatives have innovative
                    decision-maki...
School of Information Studies
             Making alliances, diversifying
             services and spreading risk
• Coope...
School of Information Studies
                    Findings: telecom reforms have been
                    a mixed blessing...
School of Information Studies

                    Conclusions
• Cooperatives have engaged in innovation as
  business sur...
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Cooperatives: drivers of the argentinean information industry

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Garcia Murillo, Martha; Espinoza-Vasquez, Fatima - cooperatives; drivers of the argentinean information industry

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Cooperatives: drivers of the argentinean information industry

  1. 1. School of Information Studies School of Information Studies Cooperatives: Drivers of the Argentinean Information Industry Martha Garcia-Murillo, Ph.D Fatmia Espinoza May 14th 2010
  2. 2. School of Information Studies Objectives • Explore the role of cooperatives as innovators and promoters of the information and communications industries in Argentina. • Explore their business model and understand their ability to face challenges of new telecom environment © 2010 Garcia-Murillo, Espinoza mgarciam@syr.edu
  3. 3. School of Information Studies Background: ICTs, innovation and economic development • Information and communication technologies (ICTs) promote economic and social development. • Telecom reforms have spurred investments in urban areas, but less so in rural markets. • In Latin America cooperatives and other small-scale market entrants have played an important role in the introduction and development of ICTs in rural areas. © 2010 Garcia-Murillo, Espinoza mgarciam@syr.edu
  4. 4. School of Information Studies Background: telecom cooperatives in Argentina • In the 1940’s government nationalized telephone operator as a strategy to develop the industry. Rural communities were left unconnected. • Telecom cooperatives flourished in rural areas, tolerated by the incumbent • By 1965 there were over 100 cooperatives • With the 1990 reforms, when ENTEL was privatized, cooperatives were able to strengthen their business and make new alliances. • Today: over 300 cooperatives provide telecom services © 2010 Garcia-Murillo, Espinoza mgarciam@syr.edu
  5. 5. School of Information Studies Research Questions 1. What impact do cooperatives have on innovation in the information industry in Argentina? 2. What are the reasons that may have prompted cooperatives to engage in innovation? Has their modus operandi in an open business model contributed to their success/ failure? 3. Does Argentina have a regulatory framework that can foster or hinder innovation in these smaller organizations? © 2010 Garcia-Murillo, Espinoza mgarciam@syr.edu
  6. 6. School of Information Studies Theoretical Framework: Open Innovation • Open Innovation (OI) acknowledges the reality of globalization, distributed knowledge, and ubiquitous communication media. • OI takes advantage of external resources and ideas and incorporates them into their business processes. • We think cooperatives can be considered a special case of an open business. © 2010 Garcia-Murillo, Espinoza mgarciam@syr.edu
  7. 7. School of Information Studies Methods • Exploratory qualitative analysis of cooperatives in Argentina. • In-depth semi-structured interviews with high level officials at five cooperatives in various regions of the country. • Elicited information on company origins, their innovations, and the rationale for innovating. • Interview transcripts were analyzed using computer assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) © 2010 Garcia-Murillo, Espinoza mgarciam@syr.edu
  8. 8. School of Information Studies Description of the Cooperatives in this Study Coop Type of services provided Pseudonym Coop A •Public telephony •Analog and IP Telephony Coop B •Telephony (local and international), and Internet Coop C •Public, Local, National, and International phone and Internet services Coop D • Telephony, Internet, Broadband, data transport, home security systems, Coop E •Telephony •Internet (ADSL) •Interconection to Bahia Blanca © 2010 Garcia-Murillo, Espinoza mgarciam@syr.edu
  9. 9. School of Information Studies Findings: Cooperatives have innovative business processes • Innovation in the way they conduct business. Alliances allow them to generate higher levels of volume, which can benefit their clients and give them leverage. These alliances are done through associations. • Cooperatives have diversified their services and entered new markets, built their own infrastructure and managed their own networks. © 2010 Garcia-Murillo, Espinoza mgarciam@syr.edu
  10. 10. School of Information Studies Findings: Cooperatives have innovative decision-making and open boundaries • The boundaries between cooperatives and their environment are more permeable, they can have a strong influence in the community and vice-versa. • Cooperatives have open memberships and decision-making that is done with some sort of representation: "... each customer becomes a partner, much like a shareholder who can vote to choose the council who leads the business. This generates a strong local identity, utilities are distributed ........and the community appreciates it." (Manager, Coop B). © 2010 Garcia-Murillo, Espinoza mgarciam@syr.edu
  11. 11. School of Information Studies Making alliances, diversifying services and spreading risk • Cooperatives often pool their resources to accomplish their objectives. • They cross subsidize among a portfolio of very diverse services. • However managing the alliances has not been easy: 1) each of them is by nature highly independent 2) lack of technical expertise in some of the smaller cooperatives often makes them much more risk-averse. © 2010 Garcia-Murillo, Espinoza mgarciam@syr.edu
  12. 12. School of Information Studies Findings: telecom reforms have been a mixed blessing • At first, cooperatives were granted monopoly protection over local market (same as privatized incumbent) • In 2000 markets and interconnection rates were liberalized • The current broadcasting and telecommunication laws prohibit cooperatives from offering cable TV and wireless (Decree 22285/80). © 2010 Garcia-Murillo, Espinoza mgarciam@syr.edu
  13. 13. School of Information Studies Conclusions • Cooperatives have engaged in innovation as business survival strategy • Diversified product portfolio, introduced new business models, engaged in open cooperation with neighbors to develop shared infrastructure • Decision-making is open to community members • Boundaries are often permeable between cooperative and community in general • Regulatory environment does not properly acknowledge role that cooperative play in local economic development © 2010 Garcia-Murillo, Espinoza mgarciam@syr.edu

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