Value Creation and Socioeconomic Inclusion in South African Maker Communities

dc.contributor.authorArmstrong, Chris
dc.contributor.authorKraemer-Mbula, Erika
dc.description.abstractIn socioeconomic environments affected by high and persistent income inequalities and unemployment, there is a need for participative approaches to innovation in support of socioeconomic inclusion. This article explores the features of collective action, in support of socioeconomic inclusion, identified in South African maker communities. Drawing on data from interviews with participants in seven maker communities, the study explores the kinds of value that participants experience through being part of these communities. Value creation is assessed in terms of the five overlapping cycles of value that Wenger et al. (2011) propose are present in successful communities and networks: immediate value, potential value, applied value, realised value, and reframing value. The study finds that all five value cycles are present in the experiences expressed by the South African maker community participants. The value is found to be particularly pronounced in the immediate valueand applied value cycles. In respect of socioeconomic inclusion, the findings point to strong currents of social inclusion in the immediate value cycle, and strong elements of both social and economic inclusion in the applied value, realised value, and reframing value cycles.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis study was carried out under the auspices of the Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR) network, which is a partnership between the University of Cape Town, the University of Johannesburg, The American University in Cairo, Kenya’s Strathmore University, the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, and the University of Ottawa. The authors acknowledge the support provided for this research by Open AIR, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The authors also acknowledge the data transcription work provided by research assistant Outlwile Maselwanyane. Prof. Kraemer-Mbula is supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa (Grant Number: 118873) through the DSI/NRF/Newton Fund Trilateral Chair in Transformative Innovation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Sustainable Development, at the University of Johannesburg. The views expressed in this work are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the research funders.
dc.identifier.citationArmstrong, C., & Kraemer-Mbula, E. (2022). Value creation and socioeconomic inclusion in South African maker communities. The African Journal of Information and Communication (AJIC), 29, 1-25.
dc.identifier.issn2077-7213 (online version)
dc.identifier.issn2077-7205 (print-on-demand version)
dc.publisherLINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg
dc.rightsCopyright (c) 2022 Chris Armstrong, Erika Kraemer-Mbula. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence:
dc.titleValue Creation and Socioeconomic Inclusion in South African Maker Communities
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