Managing Knowledge During Partnerships: A Case of Intermediaries in Agricultural Innovation System.
AbstractWithin any agricultural innovation system, three key actors are well recognized. By default, the researcher is responsible for developing new knowledge, technologies, and innovations; the agricultural extension agent for delivery of the products; and the local farmer as the consumer. However, due to the challenges with most national agricultural extension systems in the developing nations, wide knowledge gaps have arisen between knowledge productions and use thereby limiting the successful functioning of this linear model of operation. This has led to the emergence of new and multiple intermediaries within most national agricultural innovation systems with the aim of bridging these knowledge gaps. The paper aims to show that the solution to this form of knowledge barrier is beyond the mere presence of multiple intermediaries, and involves coordination and collaboration roles among partners. It further identifies the potentials of the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) to enable the functions of these actors once the necessary social processes are put in place. The paper concludes by highlighting the critical role of systemic approach to innovation through a theoretical construct – ‘knowledge brokering role (KBR)’, that could help in role coordination among the stakeholders involved in the innovation process.
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