Characteristics and Motivational Factors of Effective Extension Advisory Leaders: A Summary of Research Conducted by Teresa Joy Spearman-Part 6

In 2011, Teresa Spearman at North Carolina State University conducted a Delphi study to determine the characteristics and motivation factors of effective Extension Advisory Leaders. Committees, Leadership Advisory Boards, Coalitions, Youth Boards and Extension Advisory groups provide necessary input to ensure that Extension programs are relevant and responsive to local needs and/or issues.

The following questions were asked of the County Extension Directors (Spearman, 2011):

  1. What are the characteristics of effective advisory leaders?
  2. What are the motivational factors that cause individuals to be effective volunteers for Cooperative Extension?
  3. What are the best ways to recruit effective advisory leaders for Cooperative Extension?
  4. What are the best ways to retain effective advisory leaders for Cooperative Extension?
  5. What areas of training are needed to prepare effective advisory leaders?

The responses received for round one were summarized and developed into an online survey for round two (Spearman, 2011). The researcher summarized participant’s answers and organized them into like categories (Spearman, 2011). During round two, participants the researcher asked the participants to review the list and rate listed responses on a five-point Likert scale with one being not important and five being extremely important (Spearman, 2011).

Round three was utilized to verify consensus (Spearman, 2011). When consensus was reached after round three, no additional questions were posed to the participants (Spearman, 2011).

In this installment of Next Step to Success, the results of round two and three associated with the research question posed to County Extension Directors related to motivational factors for effective Advisory Leaders (Spearman, 2011).  Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the ratings. The results for round two related to the question posed to County Extension Directors regarding motivational factors for effective advisory leaders are summarized in Table 1 (Spearman, 2011):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The researcher reported that mean scores of the County Extension Directors’ rating of nine motivational factors for effective Extension advisory leaders ranged from 2.79 to 4.32 as summarized in Table1 (Spearman, 2011). A mean score of 3.5 to 4.49 was interpreted as very important and 2.5 to 3.49 as important on a five-point Likert scale (Spearman, 2011). Based on this interpretation, six of the motivational factors for effective advisory leaders listed were rated as very important by the County Extension Directors (Spearman, 2011). The remainder were rated as important (Spearman, 2011). The highest rated category was ‘positive attitudes and interests about Extension’ (Spearman, 2011).  The lowest rated category was ‘recognition and benefits.’ (Spearman, 2011).

During round three the researcher asked the County Extension Directors to rank the importance of the identified nine motivational factors for effective advisory leaders in Extension using a nine-point ranking scale ranging from one being most important to nine being the least important.  (Spearman, 2011).

Table 2 provides the mean and standard deviation for County Extension Directors’ responses (Spearman, 2011):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mean of their responses ranged from 2.67 to 8.33 as summarized in Table 2. The lowest mean reported was ‘positive attitudes and interests about Cooperative Extension’ indicating it was the most important motivational factor for effective advisory leaders followed by ‘desire to serve others and improve the community’ (Spearman, 2011).  The highest mean reported was ‘recognition and benefits’ indicating it was the least important motivational factor for effective advisory leaders in Extension of the nine items ranked. (Spearman, 2011).

In future Next Step to Success we will discuss concepts associated with Preparing to Teach.

Reference

Spearman, T.J., (2011). Characteristics and Motivational Factors of Effective Extension Advisory Leaders. Unpublished manuscript, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.

 

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