Social Media, Knowledge Management, and Learning in Farmer Innovation

Guihua Xie, Xiaofeng Su, Meijiao Huang


This study aims to address the research gap by investigating how social media influences the innovation ability of new professional farmers, with a specific focus on technological perspectives. Grounded in embeddedness theory and taking into account the roles of knowledge management and learning orientation, the research aims to unveil the dynamics shaping farmer innovation within the context of social media engagement. Employing a structural equation model and utilizing survey data from 336 farmers, the empirical research concludes that social media embedding significantly and positively impacts the innovation ability of new professional farmers. Knowledge management acts as a partial intermediary between network media embedding and the innovation ability of new professional farmers, and a complete intermediary between network community embedding and their innovation ability. Learning orientation positively moderates the relationship between network media embedding, network community embedding, and knowledge management. The study seeks to contribute to the comprehension of how social media can foster innovation among farmers, thereby promoting high-quality and sustainable development in agriculture. In light of this, recommendations are suggested for the government to encourage social media usage, for farmers to enhance their media literacy, strengthen knowledge management, and cultivate a learning-oriented mindset.


Doi: 10.28991/HIJ-2024-05-02-06

Full Text: PDF


Social Media Embedding; Network Media Embedding; Network Community Embedding; Farmer Innovation Ability; Knowledge Management; Learning Orientation.


Anichkina, O., Tatochenko, A., Tatochenko, I., & Chernegov, N. (2019). Development strategy of agricultural enterprises in the production of high-tech products. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 403(1), 012133. doi:10.1088/1755-1315/403/1/012133.

Sáenz, J., Alcalde-Heras, H., Aramburu, N., & Buenechea-Elberdin, M. (2024). Boosting innovativeness in organic farming: the role of external relational capital. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 25(1), 143–165. doi:10.1108/JIC-11-2022-0229.

Sharma, V., Tripathi, A. K., & Mittal, H. (2022). Technological revolutions in smart farming: Current trends, challenges & future directions. Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 201, 107217. doi:10.1016/j.compag.2022.107217.

Semin, A., Mironov, D., Kislitskiy, M., Zasypkin, A., & Ivanov, V. (2023). Improving the Theoretical and Methodological Framework for Implementing Digital Twin Technology in Various Sectors of Agriculture. Emerging Science Journal, 7(4), 1100-1115. doi:10.28991/ESJ-2023-07-04-05.

Noerlina, Mursitama, T. N., Simatupang, B., & Bandur, A. (2022). The Importance of Interfirm Networks in Enhancing Innovation Capability and Exporting in High-Tech Industry. HighTech and Innovation Journal, 3(Special Issue), 52–64. doi:10.28991/HIJ-SP2022-03-05.

Zhao, D., Chen, Y., Parolin, B., & Fan, X. (2019). New Professional Farmers’ Training (NPFT): A multivariate analysis of farmers’ participation in lifelong learning in Shaanxi, China. International Review of Education, 65(4), 579–604. doi:10.1007/s11159-019-09790-5.

Chen, L., & Chen, Z. (2020). Analysis on the Competency of New Professional Farmers and Its Influencing Factors. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 598(1), 012040. IOP Publishing. doi:10.1088/1755-1315/598/1/012040.

Tomich, T. P., Lidder, P., Coley, M., Gollin, D., Meinzen-Dick, R., Webb, P., & Carberry, P. (2019). Food and agricultural innovation pathways for prosperity. Agricultural Systems, 172, 1–15. doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2018.01.002.

Blakeney, M. (2022). Agricultural Innovation and Sustainable Development. Sustainability (Switzerland), 14(5), 2698. doi:10.3390/su14052698.

Purwati, A. A., Budiyanto, Suhermin, & Hamzah, M. L. (2020). The effect of innovation capability on business performance: the role of social capital and entrepreneurial leadership on SMEs in Indonesia. Accounting, 7(2), 323–330. doi:10.5267/

Ferreira, J., & Coelho, A. (2020). Dynamic capabilities, innovation and branding capabilities and their impact on competitive advantage and SME’s performance in Portugal: the moderating effects of entrepreneurial orientation. International Journal of Innovation Science, 12(3), 255–286. doi:10.1108/IJIS-10-2018-0108.

Zhang, L., & Wu, B. (2018). Farmer innovation system and government intervention: An empirical study of straw utilisation technology development and diffusion in China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 188, 698–707. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.03.224.

Kreft, C., Huber, R., Wuepper, D., & Finger, R. (2021). The role of non-cognitive skills in farmers’ adoption of climate change mitigation measures. Ecological Economics, 189, 107169. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2021.107169.

Niu, Z., Chen, C., Gao, Y., Wang, Y., Chen, Y., & Zhao, K. (2022). Peer effects, attention allocation and farmers’ adoption of cleaner production technology: Taking green control techniques as an example. Journal of Cleaner Production, 339, 130700. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.130700.

Awuor, F. M., & Rambim, D. A. (2022). Adoption of ICT-in-Agriculture Innovations by Smallholder Farmers in Kenya. Technology and Investment, 13(03), 92-103. doi:10.4236/ti.2022.133007.

Raza, M. H., Khan, G. A., Shahbaz, B., & Saleem, M. F. (2020). Effectiveness of information and communication technologies as information source among farmers in Pakistan. Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 57(1), 281–288. doi:10.21162/PAKJAS/19.8292.

Li, Z., Huang, Y., Yang, Y., & Lai, X. (2023). Can TikTok be a good way to extend the adoption of green control techniques? Evidence from rural China. Asian Journal of Technology Innovation, 31(3), 711–728. doi:10.1080/19761597.2022.2148704.

Wang, S., Tang, J., Aggarwal, C., Chang, Y., & Liu, H. (2017). Signed network embedding in social media. Proceedings of the 17th SIAM International Conference on Data Mining, SDM 2017, 327–335. doi:10.1137/1.9781611974973.37.

Ge, C., Lv, W., & Wang, J. (2023). The Impact of Digital Technology Innovation Network Embedding on Firms’ Innovation Performance: The Role of Knowledge Acquisition and Digital Transformation. Sustainability (Switzerland), 15(8), 6938. doi:10.3390/su15086938.

Wang, X., Cui, P., Wang, J., Pei, J., Zhu, W., & Yang, S. (2017). Community preserving network embedding. 31st AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI 2017, 203–209. doi:10.1609/aaai.v31i1.10488.

Hafkesbrink, J., & Schroll, M. (2011). Innovation 3.0: embedding into community knowledge - collaborative organizational learning beyond open innovation. Journal of Innovation Economics & Management, 7(1), 55–92. doi:10.3917/jie.007.0055.

Girard, N. (2015). Knowledge at the boundary between science and society: a review of the use of farmers’ knowledge in agricultural development. Journal of Knowledge Management, 19(5), 949–967. doi:10.1108/JKM-02-2015-0049.

Ureña-Espaillat, H. J., Briones-Peñalver, A. J., Bernal-Conesa, J. A., & Córdoba-Pachón, J. R. (2023). Knowledge and innovation management in agribusiness: A study in the Dominican Republic. Business Strategy and the Environment, 32(4), 2008–2021. doi:10.1002/bse.3233.

Tseng, S. M. (2008). The effects of information technology on knowledge management systems. Expert Systems with Applications, 35(1–2), 150–160. doi:10.1016/j.eswa.2007.06.011.

Singh Nain, M., Singh, R., & Mishra, J. R. (2019). Social networking of innovative farmers through WhatsApp messenger for learning exchange: A study of content sharing. Indian Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 89(3), 556–558. doi:10.56093/ijas.v89i3.87605.

Contreras-medina, D. I., Medina-cuéllar, S. E., Sánchez-gómez, J., & Rodríguez-peralta, C. M. (2021). Innovation of women farmers: A technological proposal for mezcalilleras sustainability in Mexico, based on knowledge management. Sustainability (Switzerland), 13(21), 11706. doi:10.3390/su132111706.

Xie, G. H., Wang, L. P., & Khan, A. (2021). An Assessment of Social Media Usage Patterns and Social Capital: Empirical Evidence from the Agricultural Systems of China. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 4973. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.767357.

Liu, T., & Tang, L. (2020). Open innovation from the perspective of network embedding: knowledge evolution and development trend. Scientometrics, 124(2), 1053–1080. doi:10.1007/s11192-020-03520-7.

An, X., Deng, H., Chao, L., & Bai, W. (2014). Knowledge management in supporting collaborative innovation community capacity building. Journal of Knowledge Management, 18(3), 574–590. doi:10.1108/JKM-10-2013-0413.

Mardani, A., Nikoosokhan, S., Moradi, M., & Doustar, M. (2018). The Relationship Between Knowledge Management and Innovation Performance. Journal of High Technology Management Research, 29(1), 12–26. doi:10.1016/j.hitech.2018.04.002.

Dasgupta, M., Sahay, A., & Gupta, R. K. (2009). The role of knowledge management in innovation. Journal of Information and Knowledge Management, 8(4), 317–330. doi:10.1142/S0219649209002427.

Daniele, B. C., Barbara, S., Isabel, B., & Alberto, G. (2022). Analysis of perceived robustness, adaptability and transformability of Spanish extensive livestock farms under alternative challenging scenarios. Agricultural Systems, 202, 103487. doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2022.103487.

Ro, Y. J., Yoo, M., Koo, Y., & Song, J. H. (2021). The roles of learning orientation: structural determinants for improving knowledge sharing with committed and satisfied employees. Industrial and Commercial Training, 53(1), 60–76. doi:10.1108/ICT-10-2019-0094.

Xie, G. H., Wang, L. P., & Lee, B. F. (2021). Understanding the Impact of Social Capital on Entrepreneurship Performance: The Moderation Effects of Opportunity Recognition and Operational Competency. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 687205. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.687205.

Granovetter, M. (2018). Economic action and social structure: The problem of embeddedness. The Sociology of Economic Life, Third Edition, 91(3), 22–45. doi:10.4324/9780429494338.

Yongyun, Z., Shengtai, Z., & Cuihua, W. Embed or involved, Why Crowdsourcing individual contribute knowledge? Science Research Management, 38(5), 30.

Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53(1), 59–68. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2009.09.003.

Steel, G. (2017). Navigating (im)mobility: Female entrepreneurship and social media in Khartoum. Africa, 87(2), 233–252. doi:10.1017/S0001972016000930.

Shekhar, & Valeri, M. (2023). Trends in knowledge management research in small businesses. European Business Review, 35(5), 573–599. doi:10.1108/EBR-10-2022-0200.

Kommey, R., & Fombad, M. (2023). Strategies for Knowledge Sharing Among Rice Farmers: A Ghanaian Perspective. Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management, 21(2), 114–129. doi:10.34190/EJKM.21.2.2803.

Below, T., Artner, A., Siebert, R., & Sieber, S. (2010). Micro-level practices to adapt to climate change for African small-scale farmers: a review of selected literature. IFPRI-Discussion Papers, (953), 1-20.

Griffin, C., Wreford, A., & Cradock-Henry, N. A. (2023). ‘As a farmer you’ve just got to learn to cope’: Understanding dairy farmers’ perceptions of climate change and adaptation decisions in the lower South Island of Aotearoa-New Zealand. Journal of Rural Studies, 98, 147–158. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2023.02.001.

Meijer, S. S., Catacutan, D., Ajayi, O. C., Sileshi, G. W., & Nieuwenhuis, M. (2015). The role of knowledge, attitudes and perceptions in the uptake of agricultural and agroforestry innovations among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 13(1), 40–54. doi:10.1080/14735903.2014.912493.

Ayoub, M. (2023). One size does not fit all: The plurality of knowledge sources for transition to sustainable farming. Journal of Rural Studies, 97, 243–254. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2022.12.007.

Calantone, R. J., Cavusgil, S. T., & Zhao, Y. (2002). Learning orientation, firm innovation capability, and firm performance. Industrial Marketing Management, 31(6), 515–524. doi:10.1016/S0019-8501(01)00203-6.

Meekaewkunchorn, N., Szczepańska-Woszczyna, K., Muangmee, C., Kassakorn, N., & Khalid, B. (2021). Entrepreneurial orientation and sme performance: The mediating role of learning orientation. Economics and Sociology, 14(2), 294–312. doi:10.14254/2071-789X.2021/14-2/16.

Sheng, M. L., & Chien, I. (2016). Rethinking organizational learning orientation on radical and incremental innovation in high-tech firms. Journal of Business Research, 69(6), 2302–2308. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2015.12.046.

Liao, S. H., Chen, C. C., Hu, D. C., Chung, Y. Chun, & Yang, M. J. (2017). Developing a sustainable competitive advantage: absorptive capacity, knowledge transfer and organizational learning. Journal of Technology Transfer, 42(6), 1431–1450. doi:10.1007/s10961-016-9532-1.

Wahyono, & Hutahayan, B. (2021). The relationships between market orientation, learning orientation, financial literacy, on the knowledge competence, innovation, and performance of small and medium textile industries in Java and Bali. Asia Pacific Management Review, 26(1), 39–46. doi:10.1016/j.apmrv.2020.07.001.

Straub, D., Weill, P., & Schwaig, K. S. (2009). Strategic dependence on the IT resource and outsourcing: A test of the strategic control model. In Information Systems Outsourcing (Third Edition): Enduring Themes, Global Challenges, and Process Opportunities. Springer, Berlin, Germany, 175-199. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-88851-2_8.

Secundo, G., Del Vecchio, P., & Mele, G. (2021). Social media for entrepreneurship: myth or reality? A structured literature review and a future research agenda. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 27(1), 149–177. doi:10.1108/IJEBR-07-2020-0453.

Naik, H. S., & Möslein, K. M. (2016). Social media in user entrepreneurship. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (Including Subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), 9742, 428–436. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-39910-2_40.

Chowdhury, A., Odame, H. H., Thompson, S., & Hauser, M. (2015). Enhancing farmers’ capacity for botanical pesticide innovation through video-mediated learning in Bangladesh. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 13(4), 326–349. doi:10.1080/14735903.2014.997461.

Bhimani, H., Mention, A. L., & Barlatier, P. J. (2019). Social media and innovation: A systematic literature review and future research directions. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 144, 251–269. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2018.10.007.

Torres de Oliveira, R., Indulska, M., Steen, J., & Verreynne, M. L. (2020). Towards a framework for innovation in retailing through social media. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 54, 101772. doi:10.1016/j.jretconser.2019.01.017.

Cepeda-Carrion, I., Ortega-Gutierrez, J., Garrido-Moreno, A., & Cegarra-Navarro, J. G. (2023). The Mediating Role of Knowledge Creation Processes in the Relationship Between Social Media and Open Innovation. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 14(2), 1275–1297. doi:10.1007/s13132-022-00949-4.

Martini, E., Roshetko, J. M., & Paramita, E. (2017). Can farmer-to-farmer communication boost the dissemination of agroforestry innovations? A case study from Sulawesi, Indonesia. Agroforestry Systems, 91(5), 811–824. doi:10.1007/s10457-016-0011-3.

Young Choi, S., Lee, H., & Yoo, Y. (2010). The impact of information technology and transactive memory systems on knowledge sharing, application, and team performance: A field study. MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems, 34(4), 833–854. doi:10.2307/25750708.

Mills, J., Reed, M., Skaalsveen, K., & Ingram, J. (2019). The use of Twitter for knowledge exchange on sustainable soil management. Soil Use and Management, 35(1), 195–203. doi:10.1111/sum.12485.

Tambo, J. A., Mugambi, I., Onyango, D. O., Uzayisenga, B., & Romney, D. (2023). Using mass media campaigns to change pesticide use behaviour among smallholder farmers in East Africa. Journal of Rural Studies, 99, 79–91. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2023.03.001.

Soares, N. D., Braga, R., David, J. M. N., Siqueira, K. B., & Stroele, V. (2023). Data Analysis in Social Networks for Agribusiness: A Systematic Review. IEEE Access, 11, 8422–8432. doi:10.1109/ACCESS.2023.3237984.

Giulivi, N., Harou, A. P., Gautam, S., & Guereña, D. (2023). Getting the message out: Information and communication technologies and agricultural extension. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 105(3), 1011–1045. doi:10.1111/ajae.12348.

Olkiewicz, M. (2015). Knowledge management as a determinant of innovation in enterprises. Proceedings of the 9th International Management Conference Management and Innovation for Competitive Advantage, Bucharest, Romania, 399-409.

Zhao, J. (2021). Knowledge management capability and technology uncertainty: driving factors of dual innovation. Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 33(7), 783–796. doi:10.1080/09537325.2020.1841896.

Li, S., Han, S., & Shen, T. (2019). How can a firm innovate when embedded in a cluster? Evidence from the automobile industrial cluster in China. Sustainability (Switzerland), 11(7), 1837. doi:10.3390/su11071837.

Blázquez Puerta, C. D., Bermúdez-González, G., & Soler García, I. P. (2022). Human Systematic Innovation Helix: Knowledge Management, Emotional Intelligence and Entrepreneurial Competency. Sustainability (Switzerland), 14(7), 4296. doi:10.3390/su14074296.

Dolinska, A., & d’Aquino, P. (2016). Farmers as agents in innovation systems. Empowering farmers for innovation through communities of practice. Agricultural Systems, 142, 122–130. doi:10.1016/j.agsy.2015.11.009.

Rosário, J., Madureira, L., Marques, C., & Silva, R. (2022). Understanding Farmers’ Adoption of Sustainable Agriculture Innovations: A Systematic Literature Review. Agronomy, 12(11), 2879. doi:10.3390/agronomy12112879.

Dey, B. L., Sarma, M., Pandit, A., Sarpong, D., Kumari, S., & Punjaisri, K. (2019). Social media led co-creation of knowledge in developing societies: SME’s roles in the adoption, use and appropriation of smartphones in South Asia. Production Planning and Control, 30(10–12), 1019–1031. doi:10.1080/09537287.2019.1582106.

Cofré-Bravo, G., Klerkx, L., & Engler, A. (2019). Combinations of bonding, bridging, and linking social capital for farm innovation: How farmers configure different support networks. Journal of Rural Studies, 69, 53–64. doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2019.04.004.

Alerasoul, S. A., Afeltra, G., Hakala, H., Minelli, E., & Strozzi, F. (2022). Organisational learning, learning organization, and learning orientation: An integrative review and framework. Human Resource Management Review, 32(3), 100854. doi:10.1016/j.hrmr.2021.100854.

Arshad, M. Z., Run, T. mei, & Ahmad, M. J. (2020). The Importance of Learning Orientation and Entrepreneurial Orientation on SMEs Performance Sustainable Development View Project Strategic Management View project. International Journal of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity, 11(1), 1220–1228.

Zahoor, N., Donbesuur, F., Christofi, M., & Miri, D. (2022). Technological innovation and employee psychological well-being: The moderating role of employee learning orientation and perceived organizational support. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 179, 121610. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2022.121610.

Alnuaimi, M., Alzoubi, H. M., Ajelat, D., & Alzoubi, A. A. (2021). Towards intelligent organisations: An empirical investigation of learning orientation’s role in technical innovation. International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 29(2), 207–221. doi:10.1504/IJIL.2021.112996.

Borah, P. S., Iqbal, S., & Akhtar, S. (2022). Linking social media usage and SME’s sustainable performance: The role of digital leadership and innovation capabilities. Technology in Society, 68, 101900. doi:10.1016/j.techsoc.2022.101900.

Muninger, M. I., Hammedi, W., & Mahr, D. (2019). The value of social media for innovation: A capability perspective. Journal of Business Research, 95, 116–127. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.10.012.

Sapta, I. K. S., Sudja, I. N., Landra, I. N., & Rustiarini, N. W. (2021). Sustainability performance of organization: Mediating role of knowledge management. Economies, 9(3), 97. doi:10.3390/economies9030097.

Türk, S., Zapkau, F. B., & Schwens, C. (2020). Prior entrepreneurial exposure and the emergence of entrepreneurial passion: The moderating role of learning orientation. Journal of Small Business Management, 58(2), 225–258. doi:10.1080/00472778.2019.1659678.

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.28991/HIJ-2024-05-02-06


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2024 Guihua Xie, Xiaofeng Su, Meijiao Huang