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Doktorsavhandling, 2023

Knowledge and innovation systems in Swedish horticulture : A study of multi-actor collaboration for impact

Blix Germundsson, Lisa


The background of this thesis is new directions in international and national politics, the challenges of contemporary innovation systems, and the challenges and potentials in Swedish horticulture. The aim is to investigate how the knowledge and innovation system in Swedish horticulture can be reinforced to meet current and future challenges. The research questions focus on how network facilitation, social learning, and impact orientation can contribute to a reinforced knowledge and innovation system. The frame of reference takes in theories of systems of innovation, and, in particular, agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKIS). The thesis is also complemented with theories of social processes related to learning and impact. The methods include qualitative case studies in a progression from traditional qualitative research methods towards an action research approach. The results identified processes of network brokering, dialogue, co-agency and inclusion as central to reinforcing the knowledge and innovation system of Swedish horticulture. The findings point to a need to balance a structural interpretation of the horticultural knowledge and innovation system with a process perspective, to actively invite the agency of engaged and entrepreneurial individuals, and to balance the historical ‘supply side innovation’ perspective with a prioritization on the creation of societal impact. These results provide a contribution to the debate around different systems perspectives of the AKIS. They also highlight how changes in everyday work at the micro-level are a precondition for system level change, and how actions at the micro-level have the potential of improving the ability to meet current and future challenges and contribute to societal impact and change.


innovation systems; agricultural innovation systems; agricultural knowledge and innovation systems; AKIS; impact; multi-actor; collaboration; social learning; agency; inclusion; horticulture; Sweden

Publicerad i

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2023, nummer: 2023:22
ISBN: 978-91-8046-096-5, eISBN: 978-91-8046-097-2
Utgivare: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences