New publication in Journal of Business and Marketing

Researchers in DEMETER from Walton Institute, and researchers from South East Technological University, have published a paper in the Journal of Business and Marketing. The paper titled ‘Investigating knowledge dissemination and social media use in the farming network to build trust in smart farming technology adoption’ aims to investigate how actors in the farmer’s network influence the adoption of smart farming technology (SFT) and to understand how social media affects this adoption process, in particular focusing on the influence of social media on trust in knowledge dissemination within the network.

The methodology used a two-stage process, with semi-structured interviews of farmers, augmented by a netnographic approach appropriate to the social media context.

The analysis illustrates the key role of the farmer network in the dissemination of SFT knowledge, bringing insight into an important B2B context. While social media emerges as a valuable way to connect farmers and promote discussion, it remains underused in knowledge dissemination on SFT. Also, farmers exhibit more trust in the content from peers online rather than from SFT vendors.

Novel insights are gained into the influence of the farming network on the accelerated adoption of SFT, including the potential role of social media in mitigating the homophilous nature of peer-to-peer interactions among farmers through exposure to more diverse actors and information. The use of a social network theory lens has provided new insights into the role of trust in shaping social media influence on the farmer, with variances in farmer trust of information from technology vendors and from peers.

The full paper is available at DOI: