Communication behavior of professional disseminators of scientific agricultural knowlege: a study of the Iowa Cooperative Extension Service

Anyanwu, Alphonsus
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The objective was to examine the communication behavior of extension professionals in terms of: (1) providing a conceptual framework to merge organizational and utilization theories, (2) examining communication process and the dissemination behavior of three extension roles by (a) describing the actual behavior, (b) comparing the similarities and differences in these behaviors for the three roles, and (c) predicting variations in behavior on the basis of structural and orientational variables which were developed from the theoretical framework;A personal interview schedule accompanied with response prompting cards was administered to 40 respondents each of extension state and area specialists, and extension county directors;Distribution mean scores and standard deviations were used to describe the sample. Modified Least Significant Differences Multiple Range test was used to determine statistically significant differences in mean scores among and between groups. Single and multiple regression analysis techniques were used to examine relative and strength of association between variables. Stepwise regression analysis examined the explanatory power of the independent variables on information processing and dissemination behavior;The extension position occupied appeared to determine, in large measure, the degree of information processing and dissemination behavior. Higher role occupants, in general, tended to be more active than lower role occupants in information processing behavior. The reverse was the case for information dissemination;Organizational orientations were poor predictors of communication behavior. Beside the role occupied, only variables relating to organizational initiation decisions (level of education, research experience, farm background) and organizational involvement (perception of sanctions from various sources, and internal and external peer interaction) gave any prediction of information processing and dissemination behavior. Other organizational concepts such as job satisfaction, consensus on goals, and conflict did not predict processing and dissemination behavior of extension personnel;Further research using different measures of concepts was recommended.

Agricultural education