Carl Nathe


UK Team To Study Economic Development in Appalachia

Published: Oct 3, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 3, 2011) — What are the most effective ways that economic development organizations (EDO's) in Kentucky Appalachia can work together to identify new pathways toward local and regional prosperity?  How can these organizations optimize the value and impact of the connections they have already established with local businesses, service providers, government and non-government agencies, and educational institutions?


These are just a couple of the questions to be examined by a multidisciplinary team of University of Kentucky researchers working in Appalachian Kentucky over the next two years. Funded by a $485,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, the study aims to yield new insights and knowledge related to "inter-organizational networks and best practices" that can help EDOs throughout the region achieve their goals.


Located throughout the 54 Kentucky counties classified as “Appalachian” by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), there are a few hundred economic development organizations (EDOs) including, but not limited to: area development districts, chambers of commerce, the economic development offices at area colleges,  the Mountain Association for Economic Community Development (MACED) in Berea,  and many others.  In general, EDOs work to improve the local economy, for example, by helping establish new businesses, assisting existing businesses become more competitive, developing local infrastructure and employee training programs, and providing support to local and state policymakers in their efforts to create and support an environment that stimulates job growth and prosperity.


The research team has uniquely integrated their expertise in inter-organizational networks, strategic planning, decision making, community development, socioeconomics, and government policy to examine the operations of EDOs from a new perspective.


"This is not a case of people coming in with predetermined solutions," said Wally Ferrier, the study’s principal investigator and Gatton Endowed Associate Professor of Strategic Management in UK's Gatton College of Business and Economics. "The

approach will be to apply a unique variety of lenses in an effort to get a fresh look, a fresh assessment of economic development efforts in the region. The focus will be on how EDOs are connected to other important organizations in their communities, not to

suggest changes in the important economic development work Kentucky’s EDOs already do.”


"This is not lip service," said co-principal investigator Steve Borgatti, Paul Chellgren Endowed Chair of Management in the Gatton College of Business and Economics and research faculty member in LINKS, the Gatton College’s International Center for Research on Social Networks in Business, an internationally-recognized scholar in the world of social network theory and analysis. "The team will be looking into and building upon already-established relationships in the region as we dig down to the level of individual organizations to assess whether they are achieving their goals, and if not, what are the obstacles. We are particularly interested in how EDOs can collaborate with each other to help them derive the maximum from their operations."


Evelyn Knight, the former director of UK’s Appalachian Center and current professor in the College of Public Health, is also one of the study’s co-principal investigators.  She added, "The breadth and depth of experience evident on this research team is critical to the success of this effort."


In addition to the Gatton College and the College of Public Health, researchers working on the project represent the College of Education, College of Social Work, the Department of Sociology (College of Arts and Sciences), and the Department of Community and Leadership Development (College of Agriculture).


The study will unfold in waves.  The first phase involves working with the community of EDOs to understand what they are doing and how they are doing it.  In the second phase, the research team will assess the impact of each EDO and map out the network of collaborations among these EDOs and other organizations to see where their complementary resources and competencies can be better leveraged through collaboration.


Throughout the duration of the study the research team is committed to building a set of enduring partnerships between members of the Appalachian economic development community and the University of Kentucky.  At the study’s end, the researchers hope to develop a series of conferences, webinars, and workshops where they can share their research findings in a way that is relevant, timely, and actionable.


MEDIA CONTACT: Carl Nathe, (859) 257-3200;


MEDIA NOTE:  Please see attached FACT SHEET for more information about the members of the research team.


File Downloads
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Labor Day - Academic Holiday
Employee Educational Assistance Award
Internship Info Session
Student/Faculty/Staff Mixer
Employee Educational Assistance Award
LNFS Presents: The Wolf of Wall Street
Last Day to Add a Class
Last Day to Drop a Course with 80% Refund
UK Volunteer Fair
LNFS Presents: Children of Men
LNFS Presents: How To Train Your Dragon 2
Black and Latino Male Initiative
Advance Your Swagger: A Night with Fonzworth Bentely
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Northern Iowa
Kentucky Volleyball vs. USC
LNFS Presents: Spirited Away
LNFS Presents: Mulan
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Football vs. Ohio
#maxfest (Ukirklex Campus Ministry)
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Creighton
Lets Swing Dance!
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Morehead State
Diversity Organization's Council
Kosher/Soul? (Jewish, African American & Appalachian culture Fuse)
Working Moms Connection
Job Club - Job Search Strategies for Fall
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Massage on the Go
College: Do the Right Thing- A conversation with Dr. Smith
The Future of Islam
LNFS Presents: Fight Club
9/11 Vigil
UKNABJ presents: Ferguson, Missouri: A look at media, politics and black youth in the U.S.
LNFS Presents: Mr & Mrs Smith
Duo Damiana, Molly Barth and Dieter Hennings
LNFS Presents: 22 Jump Street
LNFS Presents: Searching For Sugarman
LNFS Presents: Sin City
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Men's Soccer vs. ETSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Pepperdine
Kentucky Week Farmer's MarCat and Craft Fair
Majestic U.N.I.T.Y.
Justice Delayed not Justice Denied: A Talk with Dough Jones
PRHBTN Gallery Reception and Concert
Men's Soccer vs. Xavier
Chellgren Seminar Series: Buck Ryan
Internship Info Session
Last Day to Drop a Course Without Appearing on Transcript
Caregiver Support Group
LNFS Presents: The Immigrant
Big Blue Commonwealth
LNFS Presents: Watermark
LNFS Presents: X-Men: Days of Future Past
Ryan Gardner Guest Trumpet Recital
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Lipscomb
LNFS Presents: A Band Called Death
LNFS Presents: Prisoners
The Case for Fossil Fuels-PEIK Seminar
Men's Soccer vs. Furman
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
College of Pharmacy Open House
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Xavier
Diana Ferrus: 'Writing poetry has allowed me to live': Cultural Resistance in South Africa
Kentucky Law Schools Forum
Pinterest Party
University of Kentucky Chamber Winds
Employer Showcase
Job Club - 10 Questions to Ask Prior to Starting a Business
Men's Soccer vs. Lousville
Employer Showcase
Last Day to Drop a Course with 50% Refund
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn
BPH Open House
Documentary Film Screening - Heaven + Earth + Joe Davis
LNFS Presents: Saving Mr. Banks
LNFS Presents: Culture Jam
LNFS Presents: Maleficent
LNFS Presents: Ponyo
LNFS Presents: The Little Mermaid
Opening Night Bohemiam Festival
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Women's Soccer vs. Mississippi State
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
Kentucky Football vs. Vanderbilt
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Green Apple Day of Service: "Pick It Up"
Swing Dancing!
White Water Rafting @ Chattooga River
UK Chorale
Dirty Dancing Trip
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Auburn
#TrendingTopics: Immigration Reform
Apollo Duo - Flute and Percussion Guest Recital

Tue, 09/23/2014

Repeats every day until Wed Sep 24 2014 .
Tue, 09/23/2014

Reset Page