New Publications

An integrative review of innovations in the agricultural sector: The roles of agency, structure, and their dynamic interplay

The aim of this paper is to improve our understanding of the roles of individuals and the importance of their social contexts in shaping the dynamics of technological diffusion in the agricultural sector. When justifying the different rates of innovation adoption, existing literature reviews overemphasize either the drivers of technological changes enacted by farmers’ agentic behaviour or the cognitive processes of individual farmers and their social contexts (structures). However, they continue to have a fragmented view of how local social systems and the agentic behaviour of individual actors influence the evolution of technological regimes, and they lack the ability to describe a purposeful interplay between agency and structures. We present an integrative review of the most relevant papers published in the last 20¬†years and discuss the impact of structures and agency emerging from local social systems on the local innovation process and, as a result, the evolution of technological regimes. The identified macro categories describe the main processes affecting individuals’ abilities to mobilize and manage local resources for innovation, allowing us to critically assess the stock of previous developments from a new perspective and identify novel research avenues.

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