Lamm, K., Powell, A., and Lamm, A. (2020). examining the relationship between goal orientation and individual characteristics amongst agricultural leadership development program participants. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(3), 144-163. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.03144
The importance of knowing and employing strategies to effectively motivate learners is well established.
This is also true for leadership educators that have a mandate to build leadership capacity amongst
learners in various environments. However, despite the importance of learner motivation in learning
environments, there has been a lack of empirical studies to determine if there may be dispositional
trends related to motivational tendencies based on demographic categories, specifically within adult
agricultural leadership development program participants. The current study analyzed goal orientation
disposition across demographic categories including gender, age, organizational level, educational
attainment, and geographic region amongst alumni of adult agricultural leadership development
programs. The results indicate there are trends related to demographic categories leadership educators
may consider using as entry points to more effectively motivate learners based on dispositional
tendencies. For example, the results imply desire to prove competence relative to peers decreases with
age. Therefore, a recommendation for educators would be to target strategies fostering healthy
competition towards younger learners and target strategies providing opportunities for learning and
personal reflection towards older learners. Additionally, a significant non-finding is goal orientation,
not influenced by cognitive ability, is independent of educational attainment. A recommendation then
is for educators to not base motivational strategies on cognitive ability or educational attainment.
Further research is needed to extend the results of the present study to a much larger population of
adults engaged in agriculture across the globe.