Journal article

Navigating shades of social capital and trust to leverage opportunities for rural innovation

Barbara King, Simon Filke, Karen Bayne, Laurens Klerkx, Ruth Nettle



This paper makes a contribution to understanding the impact of relational trust, as embodied within bonding, bridging and linking social capital, on rural innovation. Using cases of multi-stakeholder groups who work together on shared problems it explores how social capital and different forms of trust (companion, competence and commitment) influence rural innovation processes. Looking at both the ‘bright’ and ‘dark’ side of social capital, our focus is on how social capital and trust constrain and enable the process of innovation. The study highlights both positive and negative effects of social capital in the context of three fixed term projects that were part of New Zealand's Primary Inno..

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Awarded by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment grant

Awarded by DairyNZ

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge funding for 'Primary Innovation' by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment grant (CONT-30071-BITR-AGR), and the dairy farmers of New Zealand through DairyNZ (RD1429) which allowed this research programme to occur. Thanks to the interviewees for their time and insights. Key team members have also helped in many ways, in particular, James Turner, Bruce Small, Paula Blackett, Denise Bewsell and Kelly Rijswijk.