PR - FACTORS AFFECTING ABSORPTIVE CAPACITY AMONG WESTERN CANADIAN GRAIN FARMS
Previous research on agricultural innovation has focused on the role farm-level characteristics play in the rate of adoption. While existing studies have accounted for the effects of farm level characteristics such as gross sales and experience on adoption, recent research has begun to examine the role that other resources play in the adoption decision. The objective of this study is to examine the role that social capital, knowledge networks, and other structural and demographic factors play in the development of a firm’s absorptive capacity in prairie agricultural system. Using a survey of producers in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba, I develop two regression models of absorptive capacity. The results from this study indicate that the ability to assimilate and integrate information on products and processes depends on a producer’s utilization of supplier and professional networks, as well as the number of days attending workshops and conferences. The paper concludes with a discussion of various ways farmers can build their absorptive capacity.
Keywords: Absorptive capacity, innovation, learning, social capital