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Framing agri‐digital governance: Industry stakeholders, technological frames and smart farming implementation

Higgins, V ORCID: 0000-0001-9350-1282 and Bryant, M ORCID: 0000-0002-0897-8092 2020 , 'Framing agri‐digital governance: Industry stakeholders, technological frames and smart farming implementation' , Sociologia Ruralis , pp. 438-457 , doi:

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Meso-scale actors – such as farm advisors and other extension agents – are increasinglyrecognised as playing a critical role in managing farmer uncertainty associated withsmart farming implementation. However, there has been limited research to date onhow these actors navigate smart farming implementation within specific industries orcommodity sectors. This article applies theoretical insights from the technological framesliterature to investigate how meso-scale actors in the Australian rice industry framesmart farming technology implementation, and the ways in which relationships betweenframes variously afford and/or constrain industry sovereignty over implementation oftechnological change. Through analysis of our data, we reveal a complex relationshipbetween participants’ technological frames involving frame incongruence, frameambivalence and frame switching. We argue that while development of a more integratedapproach to enhancing the digital capacities of meso-scale actors advocated in theliterature provides a way of addressing frame incongruence, more flexible strategies maybe needed to address frame ambivalence and switching. Furthermore, we contend thatthose frame relationships supporting industry sovereignty – namely frame ambivalenceand switching – may not always be conducive to the promotion of digital agency amongmeso-scale actors, and could in fact impose limits on smart farming implementation.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Higgins, V and Bryant, M
Keywords: agri-digital governance, meso-scale actors, smart farming, sovereignty, technology implementation, technological frames
Journal or Publication Title: Sociologia Ruralis
Publisher: Blackwell Publ Ltd
ISSN: 0038-0199
DOI / ID Number:
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© 2020 The Authors. Sociologia Ruralis © 2020 European Society for Rural Sociology.This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Higgins, V. and Bryant, M. (2020), Framing Agri‐Digital Governance: Industry Stakeholders, Technological Frames and Smart Farming Implementation. Sociologia Ruralis, 60: 438-457, 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 Use of Self-Archived Versions.

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