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Adaptive management in agricultural innovation systems: The interactions between innovation networks and their environment

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  • Klerkx, Laurens
  • Aarts, Noelle
  • Leeuwis, Cees
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    Abstract

    The purpose of this article is to investigate effective reformism: strategies that innovation networks deploy to create changes in their environment in order to establish a more conducive context for the realization and durable embedding of their innovation projects. Using a case study approach, effective reformism efforts are analyzed in a technological innovation trajectory related to the implementation of a new poultry husbandry system and an organizational innovation trajectory concerning new ways of co-operation among individual farms to establish economies of scale. The findings reinforce the idea, emerging from a complexity perspective on agricultural innovation systems, that interaction between innovation networks and their environment is only steerable to a limited extent. Nonetheless, innovation networks can enhance effective reformism by creating tangible visions that serve as vehicles to create understanding about the innovation and mobilize support for it, and by employing several kinds of boundary spanning individuals that are able to forge effective connections between innovation networks and their environment. Because innovation networks can only partially influence their institutional environment, and because unintended consequences of actions and random events influence the course of the innovation process, innovation network actors need to continuously re-interpret the contexts in which they move. This constant reflection by the innovating actors on their position vis-à-vis their environment needs to be supported by dedicated facilitators and monitoring and evaluation methods aimed at system learning. This implies that agricultural innovation policies should, instead of aiming to fully plan and control innovation, foster the emergence of such flexible support instruments that enable adaptive innovation management.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Systems.

    Volume (Year): 103 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 6 (July)
    Pages: 390-400

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:103:y:2010:i:6:p:390-400

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agsy

    Related research

    Keywords: Agricultural innovation systems Agency Adaptive management Boundary objects Boundary spanners Innovation brokers;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    Cited by:
    1. Schut, Marc & van Paassen, Annemarie & Leeuwis, Cees & Bos, Sandra & Leonardo, Wilson & Lerner, Anna, 2011. "Space for innovation for sustainable community-based biofuel production and use: Lessons learned for policy from Nhambita community, Mozambique," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5116-5128, September.
    2. Colvin, John & Blackmore, Chris & Chimbuya, Sam & Collins, Kevin & Dent, Mark & Goss, John & Ison, Ray & Roggero, Pier Paolo & Seddaiu, Giovanna, 2014. "In search of systemic innovation for sustainable development: A design praxis emerging from a decade of social learning inquiry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 760-771.
    3. Schut, Marc & Slingerland, Maja & Locke, Anna, 2010. "Biofuel developments in Mozambique. Update and analysis of policy, potential and reality," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 5151-5165, September.
    4. Garb, Yaakov & Friedlander, Lonia, 2014. "From transfer to translation: Using systemic understandings of technology to understand drip irrigation uptake," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 13-24.
    5. Yang, Huan & Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2014. "Functions and limitations of farmer cooperatives as innovation intermediaries: Findings from China," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 115-125.
    6. Rupert Friederichsen & Thai Minh & Andreas Neef & Volker Hoffmann, 2013. "Adapting the innovation systems approach to agricultural development in Vietnam: challenges to the public extension service," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 30(4), pages 555-568, December.
    7. Islam, Md. Mofakkarul & Renwick, Alan W. & Lamprinopoulou-Kranis, Chrysa & Klerkx, Laurens, 2012. "Dynamics of Innovation in Livestock Genetics in Scotland: An Agricultural Innovation Systems Perspective," 131st Seminar, September 18-19, 2012, Prague, Czech Republic 135769, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    8. Kilelu, Catherine W. & Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2013. "Unravelling the role of innovation platforms in supporting co-evolution of innovation: Contributions and tensions in a smallholder dairy development programme," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 65-77.
    9. Cheng, Cheng-Feng & Chang, Man-Ling & Li, Chu-Shiu, 2013. "Configural paths to successful product innovation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(12), pages 2561-2573.
    10. Totin, Edmond & Stroosnijder, Leo & Agbossou, Euloge, 2013. "Mulching upland rice for efficient water management: A collaborative approach in Benin," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 71-80.
    11. Dentoni, Domenico & English, Francis & Schwarz, Daniela, 2014. "The Impact of Public R&D on Marketing and Supply Chains on Small Farms’ Market Sensing Capability: Evidence from the Australian Seafood Industry," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 17(1).
    12. Koutsouris, Alex, 2012. "Facilitating Agricultural Innovation Systems: A critical realist approach," Studies in Agricultural Economics, Research Institute for Agricultural Economics, vol. 114(2), October.
    13. Kingiri, Ann & Hall, Andy, 2011. "Dynamics of biosciences regulation and opportunities for biosciences innovation in Africa: Exploring regulatory policy brokering," MERIT Working Papers 023, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    14. Alex Koutsouris, 2012. "Exploring the emerging facilitation and brokerage roles for agricultural extension education," Working Papers 2012-4, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.

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