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Knowledge brokering in the digital age: The case of an agricultural innovation system

  • Year: 2010
  • Author: Addom, Benjamin Kwasi
  • Journal Name: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses
  • Publisher: Syracuse University
  • Published Location: United States -- New York
  • ISBN: 9781124688398
  • Country: Ghana

This dissertation uses a single case study to understand the phenomenon of knowledge creation and sharing within the agricultural innovation system of Ghana. Knowledge creation and sharing are components of knowledge management (KM), a term being used to describe the ability of any system to optimize the use of knowledge (Teece et al., 1997; Takeishi, 2001). Unfortunately due to the issue of system boundaries, most knowledge management processes are faced with knowledge barriers, resulting in knowledge gaps between knowledge creation and use. In the event of knowledge barriers, new institutions may come into existence to try and lower these barriers (Attewell, 1992), and the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) could also act as enablers through coordination and collaboration to bridge knowledge barriers.

In order to understand this complex phenomenon of knowledge generation and sharing between and among the stakeholders within an agricultural innovation system, interview and focus group discussion techniques were used to gather data from multiple sources and multiple respondents. The data were content analyzed using QDA miner, a social science software application optimized for textual data analysis. The results show two sources of knowledge generation (local and scientific); wide gaps of knowledge barriers between the knowledge sources; and the presence of intermediary organizations in the system. A key contribution of this dissertation to the field of knowledge management and information communication technologies for development (ICT4D) is the development of "knowledge brokering role," a theoretical construct to facilitate knowledge co-creation and sharing using the new digital networks as enablers.

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