Re: farmer management styles and Q methodology

In article <>,
jsauburn@ucdavis.edu (Jill Auburn) wrote:

> A couple of colleagues here at UCD (Laura Tourte & Karen Klonsky) and I want
> to look at the goals and management styles of "conventional" and
> biologically-oriented farmers and relate them to economic performance,
> information needs, and other issues.  In sustainable ag we often talk about
> the differences among individuals in learning styles, management styles,
> etc--the idea here is to describe and classify them, with one goal being
> that we could better target education toward the specific groups of
> managers/learners.
> We are interested in using "Q methodology" which is an type of multivariate
> analysis (e.g. cluster analysis, principal component analysis, etc.) but the
> items being factored are individuals (based on their sorting of goal/belief
> statements along an "agree/disagree" scale) rather than attributes, with the
> end result being groups of individuals described by their predominant
> characteristics (goals/management styles, in this case). It appears to have
> been used a fair amount in political science and perhaps communications and
> other fields--but apparently is still somewhat in the minority compared to
> the more traditional approach.  There is one example of this method applied
> to agriculture that Laura found:  John R. Fairweather and Norah C. Keating,
> "Goals and management styles of New Zealand Farmers," Agric. Systems. 44:181.
> We were wondering if anyone in the sust ag education community was at all
> familiar with Q methodology and/or applying other multivariate methods to
> this type of question.  We're very excited about its potential but we are
> somewhat reluctant to base a major study on a methodology that may be
> questioned, without at least asking if others have run into it.
> Thanks,
> Jill Auburn
> jsauburn@ucdavis.edu

Well Hello

You could try getting in contact with Agriculture Western Australia (the
WEstern Australian governemnt agriculture department) and talk to Theo
Nabbin about the sustainable agriculture project.  Try getting Ag WA's
email address off Alta Vista perhaps via the Western Austrailan govt home
page. Alternatively email me and I will send you the contact address etc.



Chambers and Galloway
email chamgal@griffin.bis.net.au