Stimulating innovation opportunities through shared and unique connections of intermediaries within advisory networks

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conference paper
King, B.
Nettle, R.

While privatization of extension has received considerable attention with respect to implications for public and private good, less consideration has been given to structural and relational implications for knowledge sharing. Therefore this paper, presented at the 12th European IFSA Symposium (Workshop: "Generating spaces for innovation in agricultural and rural development") in 2016, considers the question ‘how is knowledge sharing enabled in privatized extension networks?’ To examine this question an empirically based case study was undertaken involving five industry extension advisers, referred to as Regional Extension Coordinators (RECs). This team was set up in 2014 by Australia’s dairy industry peak body, Dairy Australia, to fill a gap in extension coordination and services left by the withdrawal of government extension services. Social network analysis in combination with qualitative data was used to identify the knowledge sharing relationships of RECs within their team as well as each REC’s individual extension network.

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