Date of Graduation

7-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Agricultural & Extension Education (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology

Advisor

Jill Rucker

Committee Member

H.L. Goodwin

Second Committee Member

Jefferson D. Miller

Keywords

Social sciences; Education; Competencies; Industry; Leadership; Sales; Skills

Abstract

The two articles presented in this thesis used both quantitative and qualitative research methods to evaluate competencies among agricultural business students and agricultural sales professionals respectively. In the first study, students enrolled in the Fall 2014 agribusiness sales course at [State] University (n = 97), participated in a pre and post evaluation comprised of leadership assessments to determine the change in introversion and extroversion, task-oriented and relationship-oriented, and finally strength characteristics over the time period of an academic semester. Students presented to be from a variety of leadership backgrounds. Posttest results reported students being both high task (62.89%) and high relationship oriented (48.45%). There was slight shift from introversion to extraversion, r=.390, p=

In the second study, a modified Delphi analysis was conducted to find a consensus of competencies desired by agricultural sales professionals for incoming graduates to be potential sales professionals. Additionally sales professionals were asked what topics should be included in the curriculum of the sales course. This identification should be used to ensure there is not a gap between education and industry. The Delphi study included three questions in an initial round, of the 40 sales professionals, 36 data sets were usable. Those individuals served as the participants for rounds two and three. The generalizations made from the results of round one, brought eight to nine themes for each of the three questions. The second round of the study had the participants rank the themes from round one in order of importance from first to last. Integrity ranked significantly higher than most other traits in all three questions, while other traits varied through the surveys. The third and final round asked participants to agree or disagree with the ranking. The findings of the study concluded in a successful consensus of each survey question with over 90% agreeability for each group of rankings

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