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Motivation as an antecedent to positive environmental behaviors of agricultural leaders

Shirley K Trout, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This dissertation provides an overview of motivation in the field of environmental leadership and sustainable agriculture. The dissertation is organized into four sections: (1) an extensive literature review that represents the breadth of literature that informed this work; (2) four self-contained manuscripts that address a specific aspect of this study; (3) an executive summary; (4) an appendix containing permission and recruitment documents common to the entire body of work. ^ The first manuscript, Motivation Theory and Motivation Research in Sustainable Agriculture, provides an overview of motivation theory, a review of the motivation research that has been conducted in sustainable agriculture, examples of social science tools available to measure motivation, and excerpts from qualitative interviews in which professional agriculturalists discuss their personal motivations. ^ Comparing Motivation Sources in Two Agricultural Populations reports results from a study that measured and compared motivation between Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)-funded and non-funded professional agriculturalists. Decision-maker perceptions are explored in context of evaluation theory in Evaluation and Perceived Impacts of the North-Central Region SARE Grants, 1988–2002. ^ The final manuscript, Testing a Motivation-based Framework for Predicting Positive Environmental Behaviors of Environmental Leaders, presents, proposes, and tests a motivation framework for predicting positive environmental behaviors (PEBs) of agricultural business owners. In this framework, motivation is posited as the predicting variable, with social power, openness, and resistance offered as moderating variables. Results revealed that goal internalization motivation, openness to new ideas, low resistance to PEBs, and fewer years in the business explain 30 percent of the variance for predicting PEBs in this agricultural population. This work informs the environmental leadership field, challenges results of earlier studies, and challenges educators to recognize their role in developing business leaders committed to the natural environment. ^ The dissertation concludes with an executive summary, which discusses the value of the collective works related to the fields of environmental leadership and sustainable agriculture research and practice. Opportunities for future research and implications for application are included. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Agriculture, General|Sociology, Social Structure and Development|Environmental Sciences

Recommended Citation

Trout, Shirley K, "Motivation as an antecedent to positive environmental behaviors of agricultural leaders" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3159566.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3159566

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