ERIC Number: ED212443
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jun-12
Reference Count: 0
The Potential of Interpersonal Relationships among Subject Matter Specialists for the Performance of the Integration Function on Behalf of Clients: Missouri Agricultural Extension as a Case in Point.
Lionberger, Herbert F.; Cheng, Wei-Yaun
Responses of 127 agricultural specialists concerning their information seeking and interactive contacts within the Missouri Extension Service revealed an interpersonal communicative network among subject matter specialists with a potential for performing the integration (putting together) function on behalf of farmers. This occurred in an organizational setting well suited to the production and delivery of science-based information to users, but very dysfunctional to the performance of the integration function. The interpersonal network which operated at both the within-district and the on-campus levels included all types of in-field agricultural subject matter specialists, but was most operative among those concerned with the agricultural production and farm management specialties. The interpersonal network enabled the informational system to preserve its advantage for specialty information development and delivery while developing a necessary integration function capability. A generalizing conclusion indicated that with the existence of three conditions (a mutually recognized need among specialists for informational exchange with others not of their own kind, an administrative structure allowing or insuring free interpersonal exchange of information, and personal rewards for information exchange among subject matter specialists) interpersonal informational servicing relationships would form and persist, to the mutual advantage of all, as they did in the Missouri situation. (Author/NEC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Interpersonal Communication; Missouri
Note: Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (Guelph, Ontario, Canada, August 1981).