Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication


Date of this Version

April 2004


Published in The Journal of Agricultural Education, volume 45 (2004), pages 11-21. Used by permission.
The Journal of Agricultural Education (JAE) is a publication of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE). Its back issues are available online at


A meta-theory of motivation is described and used to establish norms among farm cooperative employees and managers in Nebraska. One hundred eighty six farm cooperative employees and managers were administered the Motivation Sources Inventory (MSI) and the five sources of work motivation–intrinsic process, instrumental, self-concept external, self-concept internal, and goal internalization– were examined. Results demonstrate a high proportion of self-concept internal work motivation among rural workers. The other four sources were evenly distributed across the sample population. This baseline study implies that employers, supervisors and educators may engage the interest and involvement of rural workers most effectively when they incorporate influence attempts that appeal to workers’ internally derived standards and sense of the ideal self. Limitations and further implications for education, practice and future research are discussed.