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The Role of Universities in Promoting Rural Innovation in Latin America

Sanchez Ramirez, Andrea (2010) The Role of Universities in Promoting Rural Innovation in Latin America.

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Abstract:In this report, the problem of universities‟ engagement in rural innovation in the context of Latin America is explored. This qualitative research describes the characteristics and requirements of a framework for rural innovation, here referred to as Rural System of Innovation. The Rural-SI approach is based on sustainable and new rurality criteria, and exhibits a hybrid nature between territorial (regional) and agricultural (sectoral) perspectives. Universities‟ role within such a framework is analysed under the requirements for innovation activity and rural network development. However, for universities to participate in Rural-SI they are required to develop specific characteristics that, in principle, seem very distant from their traditional roles on provision of high education and research. A research framework that maps the functions of universities‟ engagement for rural innovation within the categories of education, research and innovation is proposed. Additionally, the assumption that in order to approach an innovation role, universities could make use of the already existing capabilities in their traditional roles is stated. The empirical validation of the theoretical propositions is done by means of a singular case study on the Interdisciplinary Research Programme for Human Development in Chiapas, Mexico. This case was chosen due to the stagnation of human development that derived in the Zapatista uprising in 1994. The national, regional and institutional environments around the research programme are also presented. The report ends with a detailed analysis of the research programme under the proposed research framework and a final discussion on the reasons and guidelines for universities to commit to rural innovation.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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