Necessary, But Not Sufficient: Critiquing the Role of Information and Communication Technology in Putting Knowledge into Use

Abstract

Purpose: This article reviews the experience of ICT applications as a tool for putting research derived knowledge into use for innovation in South Asia.

Design/methodology/approach: The article uses the contemporary understanding of communication and innovation in reviewing the experience of ICTs in putting new knowledge into use in South Asia.

Findings: The findings from this study suggest that ICTs in general have not contributed effectively to the challenge of putting new knowledge into use as they are mostly used to support traditional communication tasks — such as information dissemination and training. The article argues that this under-utilisation of the potential of ICTs could be due to: a lack of appreciation of the new communication-intermediation tasks required for innovation, underestimation of the roles of intermediaries and their capacities for innovation and lack of networks needed for communities to make use of the information provided through ICTs.

Practical implications: Although the understanding of communication, innovation and extension has changed substantially in the past two decades, there is still a big gap between theory and practice. This article contends that this gap needs to be bridged if ICTs are to effectively contribute to putting new knowledge into use.

Originality/value: The article manifests the necessity for ICT based initiatives to be embedded into the renewed understanding of communication and innovation and it moves ICT related debates from merely a success story to a pragmatic world of communication and innovation process.

Citation

Rasheed Sulaiman; Hall, A.; Kalaivani, N.J.; Kumuda Dorai; Vamsidhar Reddy, T.S. Necessary, But Not Sufficient: Critiquing the Role of Information and Communication Technology in Putting Knowledge into Use. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension (2012) 18 (4) 331-346. [DOI: 10.1080/1389224X.2012.691782]

Necessary, But Not Sufficient: Critiquing the Role of Information and Communication Technology in Putting Knowledge into Use

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