A quantitative approach to identifying turfgrass key players
The purpose of this study was to systematically identify “key players” and media channels within the turf industry to constitute the diffusion of innovations in emerging turf research and technologies. Online survey questions were structured using Borgatti’s KeyPlayer™ (TM Analytic Technologies) software to determine “the contribution of a set of actors to the cohesion of the network (Borgatti, 2006, p. 21). Turf industry professionals were asked to identify who they trust when they have questions regarding turfgrass. Researchers directly contacted 282 participants via email, collecting 239 responses. The top 25 key players, the number of distinct persons reached in the network, and the percent of the network reached were calculated for the entire sample and each strata of the sample (including golf course superintendents, landscapers, turf producers, Extension, and Others—including Extension Specialists, Turfgrass Faculty, and Sales representatives. Of the 422 unique names mentioned in the survey, key player data showed that the top 25 key players were 1 or 2 steps away from 305 distinct persons in the network (72.3% of the network). With their influence on the larger network, these individuals will now be enlisted to aid in the diffusion of emerging new turf research and technologies.
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