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Leader Distance of Extension Specialists as Experienced During the Beef Cattle Short Course
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This study sought to explore the concept of leader distance related to extension specialists as experienced at the 2013 Texas A&M AgriLife Beef Cattle Short Course. Participants’ perception of distance between themselves and extension specialists could affect their satisfaction with the instructors and the program overall. The perception of distance between participants and specialists was explored through evaluation of the Beef Cattle Short Course via quantitative survey data and qualitative interview data. Evaluations for the Beef Cattle Short Course included two measures of perceived distance. Participants perceive low levels of distance between themselves and specialists. The measure of distance relating to the availability of the specialists was not significantly correlated to the customer satisfaction rating of the instructors and of the Beef Cattle Short Course overall. The measure of distance relating to the approachability of the specialists was significantly correlated (p < .01) to the customer satisfaction rating of the instructors and to overall customer satisfaction with the Beef Cattle Short Course. Qualitative interviews with six of the beef cattle extension specialists who present at the Beef Cattle Short Course revealed a low level of distance between themselves and participants. Specialists intentionally create low levels of distance by being physically available and relating to participants with shared experience and shared language.
McClure, Megan McGraw (2016). Leader Distance of Extension Specialists as Experienced During the Beef Cattle Short Course. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from