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


Higgins, V and Bryant, M, Framing agri‐digital governance: industry stakeholders, technological frames and smart farming implementation, Sociologia Ruralis, 60, (2) pp. 438-457. ISSN 0038-0199 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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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.

DOI: doi:10.1111/soru.12297


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

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:agri-digital governance, meso-scale actors, smart farming, sovereignty, technology implementation, technological frames
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Rural sociology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Higgins, V (Professor Vaughan Higgins)
UTAS Author:Bryant, M (Professor Melanie Bryant)
ID Code:139088
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-05-26
Last Modified:2022-08-29
Downloads:54 View Download Statistics

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