Farming Within a Knowledge Creating System: Biotechnology and Tomorrow's Agriculture

Steven T. Sonka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


U.S. agriculture is experiencing a time of turbulence. Relatively rapid and substantial changes appear likely, but the timing, nature, and extent of those changes are uncertain. Biotechnology is one, but only one, of several powerful forces shaping the structure of agriculture. This article examines concepts from strategic management and information economics that have proven useful in understanding structural change in other industries. Those concepts are used to improve our understanding of the potential relationships between biotechnology and the structure of agriculture. Doing so emphasizes that, even though forces such as biotechnology appear beyond the reach and control of individuals, their eventual structural effects will be greatly influenced by the actions of farmers, agribusiness managers, and policy makers. The analysis highlights the critically important role of information and management innovations as complementary assets, which will markedly affect biotechnology's eventual impacts on decision making and returns from innovation in the sector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1327-1349
Number of pages23
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)


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