October 2, 2008
Her article “Can genetically modified foods be considered as dominant design?: An actor-network theory investigation of gene technology in agribusiness,” earned JoAnne Labrecque, Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing, a Highly Commended award from the Emerald publishing group as part of the Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2008. Professor Labrecque co-wrote the article with Sylvain Charlebois, a professor at the University of Regina, and Emeric Spiers (MSc 2003), Director, Business Development, Corporate Solutions, with the National Bank of Canada. The article was published in the British Food Journal in 2007.
The authors propose a model presenting a macro perspective of the institutional dynamics that influence the adoption of a new technology in the agrifood industry. They examine the interconnections between the main actors, i.e. corporate marketing strategy makers, public policy makers and researchers, and show their influence on the emergence of new technologies in the agrifood industry and on the likelihood of a new technology becoming the dominant design in the industry.
The co-authors begin by describing the fundamental elements of the dominant design concept and the actor-network theory (ANT) and then present the levers that permit the emerging agrifood dominant design to be successful. They then apply these theories to the appearance of GM foods on North American and European markets.
The members of the editorial committee of the British Food Journal emphasized the originality of the subject by noting that this is one of the first studies to systematically examine the development of technological change as a dominant design within the unique reality of the food industry.
Studies to date on GM foods have mainly described the structural differences between North American and European regulatory agencies as reasons for differing attitudes to such foods on either side of the Atlantic. According to the committee members, these findings are sure to inspire further research.
The Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence are presented by the Emerald Group, a leader in English-language scientific and professional publications in management, engineering and information science. Every year, the editorial team of each journal published by Emerald is invited to select one Outstanding Paper and up to three Highly Commended Papers from all those published in the previous year.