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Investigating leadership characteristics and attitudes toward creativity according to agency context for agriculture extension agents in Uruguay

Investigating leadership characteristics and attitudes toward creativity according to agency context for agriculture extension agents in Uruguay
MARIA VIRGINIA GRAVINA

2013

College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74074, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to investigate attitudes toward creativity and leadership characteristics according to the agency context for extension agents in Uruguay. Extension agents come from the three different agency contexts in Uruguay of the University, government, and private institutions. Leadership characteristics are those that combine to describe leadership approaches or styles. Attitudes towards creativity concerns the values one holds about using creativity in work situations. The link between these variables is important due to the diverse challenges that agriculture extension agents face in a small country like Uruguay whose economy depends on agriculture.

There are three major conclusions based on the findings of this study. First, factor analysis performed in the scales related with leadership did not cluster as Bass and Avolio (2000) suggested. Rather, results show a different combination of the traits (Motivating demanding, Compliant, and Charismatic controller). The second conclusion is that attitudes and values to promote innovation likely expected to be one of the values of the university group were not shown in the results. One possible explanation could be the philosophy of the university, while the government and private institutions showed an attitude that tends to promote creativity and innovation which in their case is aligned with their jobs goals, which has to do with a model of extension that provides regulation and provision of inputs and also emphasize National production goals and productivity. Third there is a difference between working contexts for agricultural extension agents in Uruguay. The results of the study were able to discriminate between the university context and government and the private contexts which showed a similar behavior. Both the government and the private contexts showed a positive approach to creativity and a compliant leadership behavior.