Simon Maxwell

The Social Scientist In Farming Systems Research

'The Social Scientist In Farming Systems Research' in Journal of Agricultural Economics xxxvii: 1 January 1986

The involvement of social scientists in agricultural research institutions has contributed to the improvement of research methods but has often been associated with conflict. The paper describes the development of such conflict in one composite situation and analyses five explanations: personal inadequacy; interdisciplinary communication barriers; poor group dynamics; inadequate institutional structure; and power struggle. It concludes that structural problems are more important than is usually recognised, and makes some suggestions as to the practical lessons of the analysis for social scientists, for the colleagues of social scientists and for policy-makers.

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