This book is relevant to the practice and theory of agricultural extension. In the current context of significant changes in thinking, policy, and expectations, these changes require extension agents to respond to challenges in developing leadership skills to support and encourage changes at farm and household levels. The book has identified the background, personal, and environmental factors influencing achievement motivation in the leadership role of extension agents. The background factors are primary dimensions of diversity and are less amenable to change, exert significant impacts, and shape our basic self-image, sense of identity, and early learning experiences. Researchers often ignore the interdependence of the background factors with other (secondary) dimensions of diversity, in which the latter are changeable personal characteristics that are acquired, and may be modified or abandoned throughout life. Although the secondary dimensions of diversity are more controllable, they will be affected by other people’s decisions, which in this book we see as environmental factors. The reliability and applicability of the above-mentioned theoretical discussions have been tested in an original study involving extension agents in Iran.
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“Achievement Motivation in Leadership Role of Extension Agents provides a comprehensive and interesting description of an aspect of extension systems based on research conducted in Iran. . . . [T]he authors have successfully organized the theoretical scope and findings in an insightful way. Equipped with a coherent conceptual framework, the various chapters have kept this framework as a guide in the focus and breadth of discussion. I am greatly honoured to humbly endorse this book that is beneficial to scholars, practitioners, and students in Iran and worldwide in the area of extension education, rural and community development as well as human resource development.”– Hamid Movahed, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Tehran, Iran“The book Achievement Motivation in Leadership Roles of Extension Agents by Roya Karami and Maimunah Ismail is an interesting work where the authors have effectively put together theoretical and practical aspects of extension agents’ leadership roles. Using Bandura’s social cognitive theory (2001) and Farmer’s achievement model (1997), the book explores the reciprocal relationships of individual factors with environmental factors in influencing extension agents’ behaviours in leadership roles. Extension agents, as leaders, are important advocates in the dissemination of new technology information and practices to their clients. Both play symbiotic reciprocal relationships, where political, economic, social and cultural factors intermingle in determining extension agents’ performance. This study on Iranian extension agents provided a case to determine whether or not the theoretical perspectives of achievement motivation in leadership role used in this book are applicable. The findings of the study generally support the applicability of the theoretical discussion made in [the] first part of the book. The book highlights the importance of empowering clients in decision making so as to lessen over-dependence of clients [on] extension agents, as well as to make clients more independent and responsible for their actions. I recommend this book to extension education scholars, extension education students, extension agents, and others who are involved in disseminating development information to benefit society at large.”– Rahim M. Sail, PhD, Professor in Extension Education, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia
Roya Karami is a post-doctoral fellow majoring in Extension Education at Universiti Putra Malaysia. She is also a staff member of the Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization of Iran’s Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture. Her research areas include extension systems, career development, and achievement motivation. She has published articles in the areas of extension systems and achievement motivation among extension agents in local and international journals.Maimunah Ismail, PhD, is Professor of Extension Education at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Her research areas include career development, corporate social responsibility, and gender studies. She has authored/co-edited 11 academic books and numerous articles in local and international journals. She sits on the Editorial Advisory Board of several international journals.