The Role of Tacit Knowledge in Developing Networks for Sustainable Agriculture

Curry, Nigel R and Kirwan, James R ORCID: 0000-0002-4626-9940 (2014) The Role of Tacit Knowledge in Developing Networks for Sustainable Agriculture. Sociologia Ruralis, 54 (3). pp. 341-361. doi:10.1111/soru.12048

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Whilst objectivist epistemologies have been dominant in productivist agriculture, the local, cultural and environmental contexts of sustainable agriculture are more fully informed by constructivist epistemologies. Within constructivism, tacit knowledge - an intuitive knowledge that cannot be formalised - is explored empirically. Six types of tacit knowledge were identified as a result of working closely with a sustainable food network: the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership. Customs cohere around integrating food with other sustainable activity; developing a complex unregulated organisation requires savoir-faire. The unique character of Brighton has developed an operational folklore, and network identity is important, particularly in relation to conventional agriculture and to the city as a whole. A confidence in people's roles has helped define network development and using different discourses, communicating the network in diverse contexts, is important for understanding the network. All these tacit knowledge elements have a strong influence over the network but have to be assimilated knowledge rather than learned.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Curry, N. and Kirwan, J. (2014), The Role of Tacit Knowledge in Developing Networks for Sustainable Agriculture. Sociol Ruralis, 54: 341–361., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Tacit knowledge; Sustainable agriculture; Environmental aspects; Agriculture; Farmers, England; Case studies; REF2021
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General) > S589.75 Agriculture and the environment
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: James Kirwan
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2015 10:41
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2022 18:16

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