Innovation networks and the institutional actor-producer relationship in rural areas: The context of artisan food production

Lynsey McKitterick, Barry Quinn, Rodney McAdam, Adele Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This paper takes a multiple theoretical perspective, utilising concepts from the knowledge exchange and the rural, social networks literatures to explore artisan food enterprise engagement with institutional networks for innovation. A qualitative methodology is adopted, involving semi-structured interviews and group discussions with producers and institutional actors, and participant observation. The findings highlight that while informal networks, including business networks, family associations and international sources play a more important role in innovation for artisan food firms than institutional networks, institutional networks play a critical role in developing social capital and knowledge exchange among producers and in acting as a bridge to informal, embedded networks for these enterprises. The findings demonstrate how sectoral contextual factors shape interactions in the institutional actor-producer relationship, and how they impact upon involvement in institutional networks and in turn facilitate and restrict innovation in this context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-52
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Volume48
Early online date28 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • artisan
  • agri-food
  • rural
  • knowledge exchange
  • social capital
  • institutional.

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