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Torger Gillebo, Charles Francis
Experiences from three case studies in rural and commercial development in Norway from 1995-2001 are analyzed and evaluated.
The goal of the research was to contribute to local and regional innovations, and in the process develop a better understanding of the development process.
The findings of this research have relevance to the development of social and affordable housing.
The focus was on solving the realistic challenges entrepreneurs meet in their businesses and the local community and working within the specific context in each case location.
The project revealed that generating new knowledge and at the same time encouraging tangible institutional change is a difficult challenge.
Conclusions from the three studies are that rural and commercial development are complex and site-specific, and the process requires
1) good communication and collaboration among involved participants,
2) interdisciplinary, case-based research design, and
3) a continuous and learning innovation process.
There is a need for ownership and sustained participation from all stakeholders, and much of the initiative and support must come from within the community.