Beyond fragmentation and disconnect: networks for knowledge sharing in the English land management advisory system

L.W.A. Klerkx, A. Proctor

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The growing multifunctionality in agriculture, combined with privatisation of previously state-funded agricultural extension services, has resulted in a pluralistic land management advisory system. Despite benefits in terms of increased client orientation and greater advisor diversity, it is argued that these changes have resulted in the fragmentation of the land management advisory system and a reduction of interaction within the advisory system and between the advisory system and science. In this paper we explore how advisors (land agents, applied ecologists and veterinarians) develop their knowledge and skills by engaging in different kinds of networks. Key findings suggest that advisors draw upon informal ‘communities of practice’ within their own advisory profession, but also draw upon broader ‘networks of practice’ involving multiple advisors from different advisory professions, resulting in knowledge sharing, brokered around the complex queries of clients. Whereas fragmentation and disconnect due to competition and epistemological differences do play a role; they do not appear to prevent overall knowledge sharing among advisors within and across different professions. Assumptions of a collapse of interaction within the land management advisory system are not supported by the evidence. However, to optimize interactions between professions, and between advisors and the science systems, informal or formal brokers could play a bigger role.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-10
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventThe 10th European IFSA Symposium on Producing and reproducing farming systems, Aarhus, Denmark -
Duration: 1 Jul 20124 Jul 2012

Conference

ConferenceThe 10th European IFSA Symposium on Producing and reproducing farming systems, Aarhus, Denmark
Period1/07/124/07/12

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    Klerkx, L. W. A., & Proctor, A. (2012). Beyond fragmentation and disconnect: networks for knowledge sharing in the English land management advisory system. 1-10. Paper presented at The 10th European IFSA Symposium on Producing and reproducing farming systems, Aarhus, Denmark, . http://www.ifsa2012.dk/downloads/WS1_1/Klerkx_Proctor.pdf