Reversing the “Reverse Product Cycle”:– Why is it the reverse in developed countries?
To-date the literature on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and particularly service-enabled
innovation has focused predominantly on work conducted in ‘developed’ countries of Western Europe and North America.
Historically, this has been due to a lack of empirical evidence available or data collected in ‘developing’ countries, as well as
access to comparable examples of innovation within these nations. This situation results in the application of ideas and
concepts conceived in the developed world being retrofitted into the developing world, often applied under misguided or
differing assumptions. Whether and how the adoption of service innovation in developing countries differs from developed
countries therefore remains an unexplored. Hence, what are the patterns of ICT-enabled innovation adoption in developed
and developing countries within a service context? To explore this question, this paper focuses on the ICT-enabled
innovation of services in the Australian and Indian banking sector, specifically internet banking (IB) and its adoption which
occurred globally during the late 1990s and early 2000s. The aforementioned question is explored through a comparative
interpretive study of IB adoption using Barras’s (1996) ‘Reverse Product Cycle” innovation model in services, along with
supporting industry examples from both developed and developing contexts. The key findings of this study demonstrates that
the dynamics of IB adoption in both the Australian and the Indian context appears to be the opposite of the other, and hence
maybe context specific. These findings bring into question the direct application of innovation models and frameworks
created through the study of innovations in developed countries are not directly applicable in developing countries.
Keywords - Service innovation, banking, ICT-Enabled, developed and developing countries.