The Perceived Value of an Extension Leadership Network: Enhancing Personal and Organizational Effectiveness
This study was designed to determine the value of the Southern Region Cooperative Extension Program Leadership Network in the United States. Of particular interest was determining the value added by the network for individual extension administrators, their state organizations, and the southern region. The researchers conducted a series of focus groups and an electronic survey of the members of the Southern Region Cooperative Extension Program Leadership Network to determine the value of the network. The Program Leadership Network was found to provide great value for the vast majority of study participants at the individual, team, and organizational levels. This value included enhancing individual performance, encouraging critical thinking, catalyzing best practices, providing opportunities for leadership and skill development, enhancing the relationship between extension programmes, and serving as a think tank for regional and national initiatives. Extension and programme administrators in other regions and countries should examine leadership networks to determine if they are adding value to extension work. Development of a network similar to the Southern Region Cooperative Extension Program Leadership Network could improve individual, team, and organizational effectiveness. This is especially true for enhancing multistate, regional, and national programming. Extension systems and workers will find value in this study since the results indicate that networking of extension workers enhances personal, team, and organizational performance. A secondary value includes the increased number of multistate, regional, and national coordination of extension programming efforts.