Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Who's afraid of Allan Savory? Scientometric polarization on Holistic Management as competing understandings

  • Kate Sherren (a1) and Carlisle Kent (a1) (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

How to graze livestock sustainably is an important and complex question. The debate between rotational and continuous grazing has been ongoing since the 1950s, yet evidence is perennially mixed. We used scientometrics to understand the structure of science on Holistic Management (HM), the most contentious of these adaptive practices. We used papers in Web of Science since 1980 citing the work of HM's ‘father’, Allan Savory, as a way of delineating a field that is otherwise chaotic with terminology. Results show an increasingly diverse use of Savory's work geographically and in terms of subject areas. Taking a positive position on HM seems most likely for those doing farm-scale (rather than experimental) work in dry climates. Bibliographic factions align with the various disciplines working on grazing research and also their expressed opinion on HM practices. Factions represent disciplinary strength, suggesting barriers for integrative work but also the need for the resolution of competing understandings in specific contexts with diverse participants to inform grazing decisions.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: kate.sherren@dal.ca
References
Hide All
Alfaro-ArguelloR., DiemontS.A.W., FergusonB.G., MartinJ.F., Nahed-ToralJ., David Álvarez-SolísJ., and RuízR.P. 2010. Steps toward sustainable ranching: An energy evaluation of conventional and holistic management in Chiapas, Mexico. Agricultural Systems 103:639646.
AsnerG., ElmoreA., OlanderL., MartinR., and HarrisA. 2004. Grazing systems, ecosystem responses, and global change. Annual Review of Environmental Resources 29:261299.
BrackenL.J. and OughtonE.A. 2006. ‘What do you mean?’ The importance of language in developing interdisciplinary research. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 31:371382.
BriskeD.D., SayreN., HuntsingerL., Fernandez-GimenezM., BuddB., and DernerJ.D. 2011. Origin, persistence, and resolution of the rotational grazing debate: Integrating human dimensions into rangeland research. Rangeland Ecology & Management 64:325334.
BriskeD.D., BestelmeyerB.T., BrownJ.R., FuhlendorfS.D., and PolleyH.W. 2013. The savory method can not green deserts or reverse climate change. Rangelands 35:7274.
BriskeD.D., AshA.J., DernerJ.D., and HuntsingerL. 2014. Commentary: A critical assessment of the policy endorsement for holistic management. Agricultural Systems 125:5053.
BrowneG.J., PittsM.G., and WetherbeJ.C. 2007. Cognitive stopping rules for terminating information search in online tasks. MIS Quarterly 31:89104.
Carien De VilliersA., EslerK.J., and KnightA.T. 2014. Social processes promoting the adaptive capacity of rangeland managers to achieve resilience in the Karoo, South Africa. Journal of Environmental Management 146:276283.
CarterJ., JonesA., BrienM., RatnerJ., and WuerthnerG. 2014. Holistic management: Misinformation on the science of grazed ecosystems. International Journal of Biodiversity 2014:10.
CheneyG. 1983. The rhetoric of identification and the study of organizational communication. Quarterly Journal of Speech 69:143158.
ChiavielloA. 2000. Anarchy in range science: Allan Savory and the rhetoric of holistic resource management. In Coppola N. and Karis B. (eds). Technical Communication, Deliberative Rhetoric, and Environmental Discourse: Connections and Directions. Ablex Publishing Corporation, Stamford, Connecticut. p. 301320.
ColemanC.M., RothwellE.J., and RossJ.E. 2004. Investigation of simulated annealing, ant-colony optimization, and genetic algorithms for self-structuring antennas. IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation 52:10071014.
CornellS., BerkhoutF., TuinstraW., TàbaraJ.D., JägerJ., ChabayI., De WitB., LanglaisR., MillsD., MollP., OttoI.M., PetersenA., PohlC., and van KerkhoffL. 2013. Opening up knowledge systems for better responses to global environmental change. Environmental Science & Policy 28:6070.
CortnerH.J. 2000. Making science relevant to environmental policy. Environmental Science & Policy 3:2130.
DelongeM.S., MilesA., and CarlisleL. 2016. Investing in the transition to sustainable agriculture. Environmental Science & Policy 55(Part 1):266273.
FergusonB.G., DiemontS.A.W., Alfaro-ArguelloR., MartinJ.F., Nahed-ToralJ., Álvarez-SolísD., and Pinto-RuízR. 2013. Sustainability of holistic and conventional cattle ranching in the seasonally dry tropics of Chiapas, Mexico. Agricultural Systems 120:3848.
FischerJ., AbsonD.J., ButsicV., ChappellM.J., EkroosJ., HanspachJ., KuemmerleT., SmithH.G., and Von WehrdenH. 2014a. Land sparing versus land sharing: moving forward. Conservation Letters 7:149157.
FischerJ., SherrenK., and HanspachJ. 2014b. Place, case and process: Applying ecology to sustainable development. Basic and Applied Ecology 15:187193.
FoleyJ.A., DeFriesR., AsnerG.P., BarfordC., BonanG., CarpenterS.R., ChapinF.S., CoeM.T., DailyG.C., GibbsH.K., HelkowskiJ.H., HollowayT., HowardE.A., KucharikC.J., MonfredaC., PatzJ.A., PrenticeI.C., RamankuttyN., and SnyderP.K. 2005. Global consequences of land use. Science 309:570574.
FynnR. 2008. Savory insights—is rangeland science due for a paradigm shift? Grassroots: Newsletter of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa 8:2537.
GarbachK., MilderJ.C., DeClerckF.A.J., Montenegro De WitM., DriscollL., and Gemmill-HerrenB. 2017. Examining multi-functionality for crop yield and ecosystem services in five systems of agroecological intensification. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 15:1128.
GierynT.F. 1983. Boundary-work and the demarcation of science from non-science: Strains and interests in professional ideologies of scientists. American Sociological Review 48:781795.
GolmanR., LoewensteinG., MoeneK.O., and ZarriL. 2016. The preference for belief consonance. The Journal of Economic Perspectives 30:165187.
GreinerR., MillerO., and PattersonL. 2008. The role of grazier motivation and risk attitudes in the adoption of grazing best management practices. In Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (ed.). 52nd Annual Conference of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society. ACT, Canberra. Available at Web site http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/6002/2/cp08gr28.pdf.
HadleyC.J. 2000. The wild life of Allan Savory. Rangelands 22:610.
HellströmT. 2000. Technoscientific expertise and the significance of policy cultures. Technology in Society 22:499512.
HinrichsC.C. 2008. Interdisciplinarity and boundary work: Challenges and opportunities for agrifood studies. Agriculture and Human Values 25:209213.
Hlwiki International. 2015. Scopus vs. Web of Science [Wiki]. Available at Web site http://hlwiki.slais.ubc.ca/index.php?title=Web_of_Science_vs._Scopus.
HodbodJ., BarreteauO., AllenC., and MagdaD. 2016. Managing adaptively for multifunctionality in agricultural systems. Journal of Environmental Management 183:379388.
HollingC.S. (ed.) 1978. Adaptive Environmental Assessment and Management. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK.
JacsóP. 2009. Database source coverage: Hypes, vital signs and reality checks. Online Information Review 33:9971007.
KarlssonS., SrebotnjakT., and GonzalesP. 2007. Understanding the North–South knowledge divide and its implications for policy: A quantitative analysis of the generation of scientific knowledge in the environmental sciences. Environmental Science & Policy 10:668684.
KentC. and SherrenK. 2015. Who's Afraid of Allan Savory: Probing the Impact of one Influential Author, Halifax, NS. Available at Web site https://rhompas.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/rhompasreport1_whos-afraid-of-allan-savory_kentandsherren.pdf.
KentC. and SherrenK. 2016. Rhetorical Analysis of Practitioner Discourse: Examining the Impact in Holistic Management and Permaculture, Halifax, NS. Available at Web site https://rhompas.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/rhompasreport2_rhetorical-analysis-of-practitioner-discourse_kentandsherren.pdf.
KoutrikaG. 2015. Data Personalization. In Colace F., De Santo M., Moscato V., Picariello A., Schreiber F.A., and Tanca L. (eds). Data Management in Pervasive Systems. Springer International Publishing, Cham. p. 213234.
LalorB.M. and HickeyG.M. 2013. Environmental science and public policy in Executive government: Insights from Australia and Canada. Science and Public Policy 40:767778.
LordC.G., RossL., and LepperM.R. 1979. Biased assimilation and attitude polarization: The effects of prior theories on subsequently considered evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 37:2098.
McCoskerT. 2000. Cell grazing—the first ten years in Australia. Tropical Grasslands 34:207218.
MillsT.J. and ClarkR.N. 2001. Roles of research scientists in natural resource decision-making. Forest Ecology and Management 153:189198.
MonbiotG. 2014. Eat more meat and save the world: The latest implausible farming miracle. The Guardian, August 4, 2014.
Moya-AnegónF.D., Chinchilla-RodríguezZ., Vargas-QuesadaB., Corera-ÁlvarezE., Muñoz-FernándezF., González-MolinaA., and Herrero-SolanaV. 2007. Coverage analysis of Scopus: A journal metric approach. Scientometrics 73:5378.
NelsonK.C., BrummelR.F., JordanN., and MansonS. 2014. Social networks in complex human and natural systems: The case of rotational grazing, weak ties, and eastern US dairy landscapes. Agriculture and Human Values 31:245259.
NelsonM.P. and VucetichJ.A. 2009. On advocacy by environmental scientists: What, whether, why, and how Sobre la Abogacía por Científicos Ambientales: Qué, Sí, Porque y Cómo. Conservation Biology 23:10901101.
NordborgM. and RöösE. 2016. Holistic Management—A Critical Review of Allan Savory's Grazing Method, Uppsala, Sweden. Available at Web site https://internt.slu.se/globalassets/ew/org/centrb/epok/dokument/holisticmanagement_review.pdf,SLU/EPOK-CentreforOrganicFood&Farming-Chalmers.
OreskesN. 2004. Science and public policy: What's proof got to do with it? Environmental Science & Policy 7:369383.
PalmerC.L. and CraginM.H. 2008. Scholarship and disciplinary practices. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology 42:163212.
PannellD.J., MarshallG.R., BarrN., CurtisA., VanclayF., and WilkinsonR. 2006. Understanding and promoting adoption of conservation practices by rural landholders. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 46:14071424.
PodsakoffP.M., MackenzieS.B., and PodsakoffN.P. 2011. Sources of method bias in Social Science Research and Recommendations on how to control It. Annual Review of Psychology 63:539569.
PohlC. 2008. From science to policy through transdisciplinary research. Environmental Science & Policy 11:4653.
PontisS. and BlandfordA. 2015. Understanding ‘influence’: An exploratory study of academics’ processes of knowledge construction through iterative and interactive information seeking. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 66:15761593.
Population Division. 2002. World urbanization prospects: The 2001 revision, Data tables and highlights. In Department of Economic and Social Affairs United Nations Secretariat (ed.). Available at Web site http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wup2001/wup2001dh.pdf.
RobertsonD.P. and HullR.B. 2003. Public ecology: An environmental science and policy for global society. Environmental Science & Policy 6:399410.
RocheL.M., CuttsB.B., DernerJ.D., LubellM.N., and TateK.W. 2015. On-Ranch grazing strategies: Context for the rotational grazing Dilemma. Rangeland Ecology & Management 68:248256.
RyanG.W. and BernardH.R. 2003. Techniques to identify themes. Field Methods 15:85109.
SarewitzD. 2004. How science makes environmental controversies worse. Environmental Science & Policy 7:385403.
SavoryA. 1983. The Savory grazing method or holistic resource management. Rangelands 5:155159.
SavoryA. 2013. How to Green the World's Deserts and Reverse Climate Change. Available at Web site https://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change?language=en,TED.
SavoryA. and ButterfieldJ. 1999. Holistic Management. Island Press, Washington, DC.
SavoryA. and ParsonsS.D. 1980. The Savory grazing method. Rangelands 2:234237.
SherrenK. and DarnhoferI. in review. Precondition to integration: In support of standalone social science in rangeland and silvo-pastoral research. Rangeland Ecology & Management.
SherrenK., FischerJ., ClaytonH., SchirmerJ., and DoversS. 2010. Integration by case, place and process: Transdisciplinary research for sustainable grazing in the Lachlan River catchment, Australia. Landscape Ecology 25:12191230.
SherrenK., FischerJ., and FazeyI. 2012. Managing the grazing landscape: Insights for agricultural adaptation from a mid-drought photo-elicitation study in the Australian sheep-wheat belt. Agricultural Systems 106:7283.
ShoemakerP.J. and VosT. 2009. Gatekeeping Theory. Routledge, New York, NY.
ShwedU. and BearmanP.S. 2010. The temporal structure of scientific consensus formation. American Sociological Review 75:817840.
SkupinA. 2014. Making a mark: A computational and visual analysis of one researcher's intellectual domain. International Journal of Geographical Information Science 28:12091232.
SteelB., ListP., LachD., and ShindlerB. 2004. The role of scientists in the environmental policy process: A case study from the American west. Environmental Science & Policy 7:113.
StinnerD.H., StinnerB.R., and MartsolfE. 1997. Biodiversity as an organizing principle in agroecosystem management: Case studies of holistic resource management practitioners in the USA. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 62:199213.
TanakaJ.A., MaczkoK.A., HidingerL., and EllisC. 2016. Usable science for sustainable rangelands: Conclusions. Rangelands 38:9095.
TeagueR., ProvenzaF., NortonB., SteffensT., BarnesM., KothmannM., and RoathR. 2008. Benefits of multi-paddock grazing management on rangelands: Limitations of experimental grazing research and knowledge gaps. In Schroder H.G. (ed.). Grasslands: Ecology, Management and Restoration. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Hauppauge, New York. p. 140.
TeagueR., ProvenzaF., KreuterU., SteffensT., and BarnesM. 2013. Multi-paddock grazing on rangelands: Why the perceptual dichotomy between research results and rancher experience? Journal of Environmental Management 128:699717.
TeagueW., ApfelbaumS., LalR., KreuterU., RowntreeJ., DaviesC., ConserR., RasmussenM., HatfieldJ., and WangT. 2016. The role of ruminants in reducing agriculture's carbon footprint in North America. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 71:156164.
TscharntkeT., CloughY., WangerT.C., JacksonL., MotzkeI., PerfectoI., VandermeerJ., and WhitbreadA. 2012. Global food security, biodiversity conservation and the future of agricultural intensification. Biological Conservation 151:5359.
VanclayF. 1992. Barriers to adoption: A general overview of the issues. Rural Society 2:1014.
van EckN.J. and WaltmanL. 2007. VOS: A new method for visualizing similarities between objects. In Decker R. and Lenz H.J. (eds). Advances in Data Analysis: Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Gesellschaft für Klassifikation e.V., Freie Universität Berlin, March 8–10, 2006. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
van EckN.J. and WaltmanL. 2009. VOSviewer: A Computer Program for Bibliometric Mapping, ERIM Report Series #ERS-2009-005-LIS. Erasmus Research Institute of Management, Rotterdam, Netherlands. p. 22.
van EckN.J. and WaltmanL. 2010. Software survey: VOSviewer, a computer program for bibliometric mapping. Scientometrics 84:523538.
van KerkhoffL. 2005. Integrated research: Concepts of connection in environmental science and policy. Environmental Science & Policy 8:452463.
VasileiadouE., HeimeriksG., and PetersenA.C. 2011. Exploring the impact of the IPCC Assessment Reports on science. Environmental Science & Policy 14:10521061.
WaghornT. 2012. Holistic land management: Key to global stability. Forbes. Available at Web site http://www.forbes.com/sites/terrywaghorn/2012/12/20/holistic-land-management-key-to-global-stability/.
WhitleyR. 1984. The Intellectual and Social Organization of the Sciences. Oxford University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
  • ISSN: 1742-1705
  • EISSN: 1742-1713
  • URL: /core/journals/renewable-agriculture-and-food-systems
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary Materials

Sherren and Kent supplementary material
Sherren and Kent supplementary material 1

 PDF (861 KB)
861 KB

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 6
Total number of PDF views: 42 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 385 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 7th June 2017 - 19th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.