Social learning in regional innovation networks: trust, commitment and reframing as emergent properties of interaction

A.J. Sol, P.J. Beers, A.E.J. Wals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social learning in multi-actor innovation networks is increasingly considered an important precondition for addressing sustainability in regional development contexts. Social learning is seen as a means for enabling stakeholders to take advantage of the diversity in perspectives, interests and values for generating more sustainable practices and policies. Although more and more research is done on the meaning and manifestations of social learning, particularly in the context of natural resource management, little is known about the social dynamics in the process of social learning. In this contribution an integrated hypothetical framework that provides a better understanding of social learning as a generative process with outcomes is presented. This hypothetical framework is grounded theoretically in emergent social learning theory and empirically in a retrospective case study around multi-stakeholder sustainability-oriented regional learning in the North of The Netherlands. Our findings indicate that trust, commitment and reframing are interrelated aspects and emergent properties of interaction in the process of social learning. Hence, the framework presented reflects social learning as a dynamic process, in which trust, commitment and reframing are continuously produced and reproduced through the (inter)actions of the individual actors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume49
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • natural-resource management
  • collaboration

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