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ERIC Number: ED191629
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: 0
A Framework for the Comparative Analysis of Farm Organizations.
Molnar, Joseph J.
Presenting a model for the comparative analysis of farm organizations, this paper analyzes the farm firm as a complex organization; identifies key structural dimensions of an agricultural production unit; and reviews various organizational perspectives for their utility in understanding and explaining the behavior of farm operations and farm operators. Four lines of comparative inquiry which are used to understand patterns of efficiency and effectiveness and to define those factors contributing to growth and decline in the population of farm production units are examined: (1) population characteristics, (2) organizational unit characteristics, (3) farm manager characteristics, and (4) environmental characteristics. Population studies of the farm industry seek to link ecological characteristics to changes in the number and distribution of farm firms. Studies of farm organizational units examine the size, scale, and internal structure of farm organizations to determine their behavioral characteristics and responses to environmental conditions. Attention is paid to outcome measures of effectiveness and efficiency. Managerial characteristics represent a set of conditions suggested by open systems theory; openness to innovation, educational levels, and motivations of farm operators are fundamental forces determining organizational responses to environmental conditions and technological change. Additionally, the external technology of the organizational environment represents a central set of factors determining the range of solutions available for organizational and productivity problems. (CM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (Burlington, VT, August, 1979).