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Title: Digital access through smartphones and well-being of BoP women: insights from a field study in India
Authors: Parthiban, Rishikesan
Jaikumar, Saravana
Basak, J.
Bandyopadhyay, Somprakash
Keywords: Consumer technologies
Rural BoP women
Socio-technical intermediary
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: SCOPUS
Information Technology and People
Emerald Group Holdings Ltd.
Abstract: Purpose: The authors study the effect of access to smartphones on the socio-economic well-being in the case of rural base of the pyramid (BoP) women. While smartphone access may have its benefits, the paper suggests augmenting access with a sociotechnical intermediary (STI) that facilitates training and online community building to enhance the well-being outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: The authors conducted a survey from three groups of women from rural West Bengal (India) � (1) who do not own smartphones, (2) who have their own smartphones and (3) who receive smartphones and STI support (over two years). The authors evaluate the effect of access to smartphones and STI support on social well-being (including structural social capital and empowerment) and economic well-being (including entrepreneurial intent and subjective economic well-being). Findings: The analysis results suggest a high relationship between smartphone ownership and higher structural social capital, empowerment (in terms of freedom of movement) and entrepreneurial intent. The authors further find these effects to be enhanced amongst women who received smartphones and support from STI. Originality/value: The authors attribute this enhanced well-being amongst women with smartphones and STI support to peer-learning and cultivation of virtual role models facilitated by the STI through creation of intra-community online groups. The results have significant policy implications for socio-economic well-being of rural BoP women.
Description: Rishikesan Parthiban, Management Information Systems, Indian Institute of Management CalcuttaKolkata, India; Saravana Jaikumar, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Marketing, Kolkata, India; J. Basak, Heritage Institute of Technology, Kolkata, India; Somprakash Bandyopadhyay, Management Information Systems, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India
ISSN/ISBN - 09593845
DOI - 10.1108/ITP-10-2019-0552
Appears in Collections:Management Information Systems

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