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Technology use by rural civic leaders in Nebraska

Henry Wayne Dorr, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which civic leaders in rural Nebraska communities used technology in economic decision making. The primary purposes of this study were three-fold: (1) to ascertain if civic leaders in rural Nebraska communities employ a systematic approach to decision-making; (2) to determine the main source of information a civic leader in rural Nebraska used before making an important economic decision; and (3) to identify what form of technology was most important to rural Nebraska civic leaders when making a decision about economic issues. ^ The design of the study was survey research. The civic leadership of forty eight rural counties in Nebraska with populations of less than 15,000 distributed as less than 10 inhabitants per square mile were included in the study. Civic leaders were asked to participate in a twenty-two question survey. The survey contained questions about their decision-making style, sources of data used in making decision, management of data used in decision-making, and their level of involvement in decision-making relative to economic issues in their community. ^ Participants (mayors, chamber-of-commerce presidents, economic development chair persons, bankers, and other community business leaders) were selected based on their expertise and participation in community development programs. ^ Significant findings of the study were: (1) The leadership of rural Nebraska communities have adequate technology hardware, but lack sufficient software programs to aid in economic decision-making. (2) Civic leaders in rural communities are more prone to trust tradition and history than technology for information and data management. (3) Civic leaders in rural communities need to work more closely with state agencies for technical and economic guidance. (4) Colleges and universities need to establish closer working relationships with civic leaders on issues of technology application, and economic development. (5) State agencies need to be more proactive in establishing relationships and identifying technology requirements in rural Nebraska communities. ^

Subject Area

Political Science, Public Administration|Information Science

Recommended Citation

Dorr, Henry Wayne, "Technology use by rural civic leaders in Nebraska" (1999). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9942119.