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Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1189; doi:10.3390/su8111189

The Production of Food and Fiber: An Adaptation of CoP Features for Sustainable Water Use in Agribusiness

Department of Agricultural Economics, Kansas State University, 318 Waters Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
Department Agricultural & Applied Economics, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alessio Cavicchi and Cristina Santini
Received: 16 August 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 14 November 2016 / Published: 18 November 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [226 KB, uploaded 18 November 2016]


Fresh water and arable land are essential for agricultural production and food processing. However, managing conflicting demands over water and land can be challenging for business leaders, environmentalists and other stakeholders. This paper characterizes these challenges as wicked problems. Wicked problems are ill-formed, fuzzy, and messy, because they involve many clients and decisions makers with conflicting values. They are also not solvable, but rather must be managed. How can agribusiness leaders effectively manage wicked problems, especially if they have little practice in doing so? This paper argues that a Community of Practice (CoP) and its tripartite elements of domain, community and practice can be effective in helping businesses manage wicked problems by focusing on the positive links between environmental stewardship and economic performance. Empirically, the paper examines three agribusinesses to assess the extent in which CoP is used as a strategy for sustainable water management. View Full-Text
Keywords: agribusiness; community of practice; environmentalism; knowledge; relationships; wicked problems agribusiness; community of practice; environmentalism; knowledge; relationships; wicked problems
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Harris, K.D.; James, H.S. The Production of Food and Fiber: An Adaptation of CoP Features for Sustainable Water Use in Agribusiness. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1189.

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