ERIC Number: ED207768
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Satisfaction with Rural Services: The Policy Preferences of Leaders and Community Residents.
Molnar, Joseph J.; Smith, John P.
To examine ratings of satisfaction with selected community services in relation to spending preferences and to ascertain policy-relevant implications of citizen evaluations in planning and delivering rural services), a study focused on perceptions of community leaders and household respondents in eight rural Alabama counties. Research literature on policy-relevance of services ratings, monitoring service quality, ambiguity of satisfaction measures, spending preference as a policy-relevant variable, and differing attitudes of community leaders and nonleaders was reviewed. Data were collected by a mail questionnaire survey of selected county leaders (522 respondents) and by interviewing a random cross-sectional sample of 926 residents. Satisfaction scores and spending preferences were obtained for seven community services (water, public schools, ambulance, garbage, hospitals, fire protection, law enforcement). Leaders tended to be more satisfied with services, except for schools, where residents were more satisfied. Residents were less constrained in spending preferences: a majority wanted to spend more on four services (water, schools, hospitals, fire protection), while a majority of leaders wanted to spend more on three services (water, public schools, fire protection). These results illustrate fundamental differences in perspective between leaders and nonleaders: residents may evaluate and express preferences based on their experience, whereas leaders may take a broader, community-wide perspective. (MH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Auburn Univ., AL. Agricultural Experiment Station.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (Guelph, Ontario, Canada, August, 1981).