Differences in Attitudes and Values Between Urban or Rural Entrepreneurs

Introduction

Takeda (2007) investigated personal value and personality differences between entrepreneurs and their employees using the Rokeach Value Survey (RVS) and the Big Five Inventory (BFI). The RVS was developed by Rokeach (1999) who identified 18 terminal values and 18 instrumental values that govern behavior and deemed valid and reliable by Lupini (2006). The BFI was based on the five factors (e.g., neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, and conscientiousness) ascribed to all types of leaders and individuals in entrepreneurship (Tanoff, 1999; McCrae & Costa, 2003; Worrell & Cross, 2004). According to Schneider (1987) and Borchers (2006), an entrepreneur’s personality and values are inseparable from their environment and dictate the level of success in and out of the organizational environment. Takeda (2007) concluded that there were differences in personal values and personality dimensions between entrepreneurs and their employees. However, the most successful entrepreneurs had congruent values and attitudes/behaviors as their employees and retained employees longer than entrepreneurs that had significantly different values and attitudes than their employees

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Bann (2007) conducted qualitative research investigating the lived experiences of entrepreneurs and concluded there was significant influence on the individual’s degree of success based on personal values, beliefs, attitudes, and leadership traits. Bann interviewed 18 entrepreneurs and concluded that entrepreneurs are shaped by various internal and external forces. Moreover, when internal and external forces are congruent successful entrepreneurship and personal satisfaction result. Both Bann (2007) and Takeda (2007) strongly advocated for future research related to the investigation of entrepreneurial success to combine personal values and attitudes/behaviors metrics stratified across related demographic variables including emphasis on urban versus rural locations.

Statement of the Problem

Entrepreneurs of today are facing difficult challenges in the development of new businesses that will meet the demands of the market they serve, they need to be competitive and be able to show some profit. Christy and Dassie stated that “significant differences exist in socioeconomic characteristics, demographics and other factors that affect business and community development between rural and urban areas” (2000). The location of the business is a major challenge that needs to be taken into consideration. Orr stated that “the stereotypical image of small-town, rural America is one of decline: many people view rural communities as quaint relics of the past, as residents continue the centuries old migration to the city, and suburbs” (2005).

Rural and urban entrepreneurs may have two totally different and values about what they may consider to be success. For example, an urban entrepreneur may think that success comes from having a large profitable organization. On the other hand, rural entrepreneurs may label success by their activities and support within their community. Whatever the drive for success may be, a key factor that influences entrepreneurs is their understanding of the environment.

While the research literature is full of studies evaluating leadership styles and characteristics, there is a paucity of information evaluating the similarities and differences in entrepreneur’s values and attitudes as differentiated by urban and rural locations. Consequently, based on the recommendations by Bann (2007) and Takeda (2007) this author intends to use the Rokeach Value Survey (RVS) and the Big Five Inventory (BFI) survey instruments and stratify the results across demographic variables including emphasis on urban versus rural locations.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the similarities and differences in personal values measured by the Roeach Value Survey (RVS) (1999) and attitudes measured by the Big Five Inventory (Tanoff, 1999) between urban and rural entrepreneurs.

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Research Questions and Hypotheses

The corresponding research questions and hypotheses that will guide this dissertation include:

RQ1. What are the differences in personal values as measured by the Roeach Value Survey (RVS) (1999) between successful urban and rural entrepreneurs?

HO1. There are no statistically significant differences in personal values as measured by the Roeach Value Survey (RVS) (1999) between successful urban and rural entrepreneurs.

HA1. There are statistically significant differences in personal values as measured by the Roeach Value Survey (RVS) (1999) between successful urban and rural entrepreneurs.

RQ2. What are the differences in personal attitudes as measured by the Big Five Inventory (Tanoff, 1999) between successful urban and rural entrepreneurs?

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HO2. There are no statistically significant differences in personal attitudes as measured by the Big Five Inventory (Tanoff, 1999) between successful urban and rural entrepreneurs.

HA2. There are statistically significant differences in personal attitudes as measured by the Big Five Inventory (Tanoff, 1999) between successful urban and rural entrepreneurs.

Definitions of Terms

Entrepreneur. For the purposes of this study an entrepreneur will be defined as an adult owning his or her own business.

Rural. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2000), rural classification in America is defined as less than 2,500 persons living in a central community.

Urban. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2000), urban classification in America is defined as 2,500 or more persons living in a central community.

Nature of the Study

The nature of this study is based on the positivist epistemology where constructs or variables of interest are defined or represented by one reality (i.e., quantitative data). According to Leedy and Ormrod (2005), positivist researchers choose exact quantitative data gained from experiments, surveys, and statistics. Nardi (2003) explained that survey research is an efficient and effective tool to use when the desire is to obtain a large amount of data in a relatively short period of time. The strengths of survey research are bolstered by less expense and better generalizability than personal interviews. However, survey research also has certain weaknesses that are assumed. Mailed and online surveys have low response rates, (i.e., 20-30%) depending on the sample population, topic of interest, and recruitment incentives if offered (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005; Nardi, 2003). Consequently, a large sample population of at least 30 participants is required to solicit an adequate number to perform and assume parametric properties of the data (Berenson, Levine, & Krehbiel, 2006).

Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework for this study (see Figure 1) is based largely on the previous research works related to the topic of entrepreneurial success by Bann (2007), Takeda (2007), Rokeach (1999), Tanoff (1999), Worrell and Cross (2004). In essence, personal attitudes and values that are delineated by demographic factors (i.e., gender, age, years of experience, education level, hours per week worked, type of business organization, types and number of employees, primary business activity, and market reach) that are congruent with the environment in which entrepreneurs operate result in success. Consequently, it is hypothesized that the relationship between these categorical factors directly impact entrepreneurial success, or lack thereof, by location (i.e., urban or rural).

Theoretical framework.
Figure 1. Theoretical framework.

Assumptions and Limitations

For purposes of this study, it is assumed that subjects will respond honestly to the survey questions. It is assumed that the slight that the Rokeach Value Survey (RVS) and the Big Five Inventory (BFI) will have equivalent measures of validity and reliability previously reported by the authors of these instruments. It is also assumed that the persons completing this survey will understand the questions being asked and have experience with the phenomenon of interest.

Despite the confidentiality and anonymity of the instrument, responses may be biased due to participants feeling they must respond in a socially acceptable manner. Consequently, the study is however limited by the honesty of the respondents to interview questions which may vary and be influenced by a plethora of extraneous factors that cannot solely be controlled by the researcher including but not limited to: (a) personal events resulting in halo effect or negative emotion bias; (b) time of day variations of respondent ratings; (c) temperature and weather related factors; (d) amount of time available to complete survey questions; and (e) individual experiences with the subjects related to the survey (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005; Nardi, 2003).

LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction

This research exercise is not being conducted in a vacuum. The research exercise fits into a broad body of knowledge which has had numerous contributions from various scholars, researchers, professionals and students who have carried similar or related research exercises. Also; the scope and objectives of this research endeavor occur within related and implied theoretical, ideological and philosophical frameworks which largely influence the disciplines of business. As such the researcher is spurred to consider the multiple contributions relevant and related to this research endeavor. The researcher will present a literature review conducted in locating the object of this study within the broader confines of the bodies of knowledge in focus. The literature review component serves as the qualitative thrust aimed at drawing nuances from various analyses and experimentations on the dynamics around similarities and differences in rural and urban entrepreneurial leadership.

Chapter outline by variable and construct of interest

The thrust of the literature consultation on the core subject of probe will entail the exploration of differences in Urban and Rural entrepreneurship, dynamics around community support for rural and urban businesses. The flow of interactions within organisations will also be presented as well as some insights on employee commitment. After the presentation of Dyer’s Team development Model and Rural Entrepreneurship the literature review section will present various variable constructs enlisting leadership styles and approach in which insights will be presented on the urban and rural business organisation employs of transactional and transformational leadership models and approaches. Another construct on ethical paradigms will follow tapping in the insights of Kantian and Mills ethical paradigms in Teleological versus Deontological spectrums of ethics. By extension the section will also entail some aspect of the Theoretical Framework based on Kohlberg’s, Stages of moral development. The third variable construct will highlight the relevance and employs of Rokeach Value Survey (RVS) information and research import while the fourth variable dimension will constitute the relevance of some insights of the Big Five Inventory (BFI).

Differences in Urban and Rural Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs need to be cautioned on how to approach individuals within the community. Orr stated that, “leaders need to think of stimulating new ways of thinking and for generally lifting the spirits of those who are involved in rural setting on a daily basis” (2005, ¶ 7). Orr further stated that “it is important to equip rural leaders to bring about positive changes in their communities” (¶ 5). Equally important is how entrepreneurs interact with people in rural and urban settings. Macke stated that “Our development policy and programs continue to be rooted in urban models and based upon industrial development strategies, neither of which work very well in rural America” (2008, ¶ 6). This statement informs its readers that what works in an urban setting may not work the same way in a rural setting.

Torgerson stated that “cooperative leaders need to be mindful of maintaining a strong owner-equity base as the foundation for their continued operations” (1998, ¶ 5). Entrepreneurs that cooperate with employees in developing a better working environment, build more strength in the lifespan of their business. Scharre noted that “widespread ownership must be felt by those groups expected to implement and support” (¶ 14, thus when employees feel valued they will perform task or work assignments on a more involved level. Developing a sense of ownership in a company, may help boost the moral within the organization.

Meyer and Allen stated that “organizations that are willing to be honest with applicants, even at the risk of losing potentially valuable employees, might be perceived as more trustworthy and supportive than those that use a hard-sell approach” (1997, p. 70). Honesty and openness is an important quality employers can display before the applicants. Employees, many times, reflect the company they work for, indeed, they can acquire beliefs, values, and commitment.

According to English, “local leadership is crucial to development. The best rural economic development programs are those that allow local leaders to determine their communities’ strengths and future direction” (2001, ¶ 6). The local leader will have more investment in the growth of the community. Orr stated that “now is the time for leaders to play forceful roles in community development that leads to economic growth for the rural regions they serve” (2005, ¶ 25). Therefore, one of the more important things entrepreneurs need to consider in the behaviors and attitudes toward business is based on the location (i.e., rural or urban areas).

Understanding the business environment (i.e., location and size) is vital in the development of a successful business. The environment is important because it will determine what type of business will need to be opened in a certain area. Many rural communities need more support from the community. Orr stated that “small business play a significant role in creating jobs in rural communities” (2005, ¶ 9). The Chamber of Commerce and other local agencies seek to draw in other supporters and businesses to a community. Orr also stated that “the idea of entrepreneurial training is to encourage people who have lost jobs because of plant closing to concentrate on other skills they have to create for self-employment opportunities” (¶ 3).

Rural and urban entrepreneurs are also part of workforce team. The only difference is they have been placed in the leadership role or they have taken on the leadership role themselves in creating a business. Pfeffer’s (1998) three principles can be used as guidelines to help entrepreneurs understand their roles and to gain better insight on how to become effective leaders. These guiding principles are building trust, encouraging change, and use of appropriate measure of performance. Consequently, leadership qualities are a key factor in the development of healthy businesses. If entrepreneurs do not understand leadership roles, the entire company will be affected and may never reach it true potential.

“One way that an organization might hope to build on employees’ initial predisposition for commitment is through socialization and training,” (Meyer & Allen, 1997, p. 72). Rural and urban entrepreneurs can use this approach to enhance commitment in the workforce. Socialization enables people to create a friendship or family type relationships. If people develop these types of relationships, commitment becomes engrained into the employees. Encouragement and commitment for employees is a valuable asset in developing a successful business no matter where the business is located.

Defining the Entrepreneur

Voslee stated that, “in the broadest sense an entrepreneur may be described as a person who has the ability to explore the environment, identify opportunities for improvement, mobilize resources and implement actions to maximize those opportunities…He is the catalyst of change, able to carry out new combinations, instrumental in discovering new opportunities” (p.147). This definition expands the term entrepreneur and gives the reader a deeper understanding of entrepreneurship.

An entrepreneur is also an individual or can be individuals that seek to own a business. The desire to run a business can come many different factors. The drive to have more control over their on source of income can be a desire or the ability to create their on work schedule can be another reason for entrepreneurship. Many entrepreneurs, no matter their location, have similar qualities. For example, many of them want to be self employed; they want to see things done differently within a business, so that they can have the freedom to display their abilities without limitation.

This study seeks to note the differences between being an entrepreneur in a rural or urban environment. Creating a company of any size can be a challenge. Many times this creation can be a nightmare for executives and the subordinates. This is because of what is needed in order to make the creation of in organization possible. Entrepreneurs need to be aware of the challenges and the changes that take place within a newly created company. Drucker wrote that, “the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity” (1985, p. 23).

Kotter stated that, “The process of change involves subtle points regarding overlapping stages, guiding teams at multiple levels in the organization, handling multiple cycles of change, and more” (2002, p. 6). Large-scale changes take time and some times it’s expensive. The executives need to take into consideration the overall objectives and the vision that manifest after the change has taken place. Kotter stated that, “Producing change is about 80 percent leadership — establishing direction, aligning, motivating, and inspiring people — and about 20 percent management — planning, budgeting, organizing, and problem solving” (p. 7).

Difference between Urban and Rural

According to Macke (2008), Geographically we know about 80 percent of America is rural. Roughly one in four Americans continue to call rural home. Rural America’s social and economic contributions are somewhere between these two numbers. Culturally, rural has its own mix of sociology that further defines a rural place from an urban one. The rural reality is striking when compared to mainstream America – rural is… poorer, older, more isolated geographically, further from markets, more in the old economies than the new economies, has less dynamic economies, in many cases is experiencing depopulation and increasing poverty, and has a more conservative culture. (2008, ¶ 3)

Conversely, Ransom stated that “Urban America, under siege since the l950s, has been the recipient of considerable more public attention for creating communities of opportunity than has been rural America” (¶ 1). Urban settings have many more resources to pull from within the community. Fleshwater stated that, “as the share of the national population living in cities increased, political and economic power left the rural areas. More members of Congress came from urban areas and bean to promote urban interest” (¶ 18).

Community Support between Rural and Urban Businesses

Each community difference in reference to how they support a business. The type of business is a strong indictor of the type of support the business will receive. For example, if an individual runs a local Mom and Pop store and this particular business has been in busy for over 50 years; the community is comfortable and may even consider the business as a part of the community history. Within in an urban setting the community may view a business differently. For example, if a location convenience store has been open for 50 years, yet if it is not keeping up with the new competition stores that are opening in the same neighborhood, the business may go out of business sooner then the Mom and Pop store.

The differences within communities are influenced by their commitment and moral obligations. A typical rural setting may have individuals that attend school together, attend church together and even stay in the same neighborhood. These individuals may have a deeper level on connections to business owners.

Flow of Interactions within Organizations

Maxwell stated that, “The modeling process is at its best when a leader chooses a model of his own to emulate and then becomes a model to his team members” (1995, p.62). If entrepreneurs would demonstrate more cohesiveness, people in their organizations would follow their example. Some organization displays a functional approach towards communication within the organization.

Shockley-Zalabak stated that, “The functional approach suggests that communication transmits rules, regulations, and information throughout the organization” (2006, p. 30). Effective communication within an organization could be the door for sharing openly issues in and outside of the company’s walls. Shockley-Zalabak stated that the “Functional approach helps us understand organizational communication by describing what messages do and how they move through organizations” (p. 30).

To help with the organization’s internal relations among the staff, many entrepreneurs may want to utilize the Systems theory approach. Shockley-Zalabak stated that, “In systems theory, the organization takes in materials and human resources (input), process materials and resources (throughput), and yields a finished product (output) to the larger environment” (2006 p. 83). Both rural and urban entrepreneurs can learn that a lack of team work can place a constant strain on the employees. When there is not enough feedback from upper management about the future needs of the program. This relationship is so crucial for the organization’s survival. For the simple fact they interact with each other on a daily basis. Many times they spent more time at the work place then with their on families. However, regardless of the amount of team peep talks and company’s jargon of taking care of each other, employers and employees relationship may still be miles away from a “family” type mindset.

Communication within an Organization

The employer and the employee flow of communication within the organization leans more towards a closed system. Shockley-Zalabak stated that, “Closed systems are characterized by a lack of input communication, which makes it difficult to make good decisions and stay current with needs of the environment” (2006, p. 32). One of the key items that need to be enforced is communication within a team environment. The lack of team communication has placed a constant strain on the employees throughout the different departments. When the organization focus on challenging the lack of team communication, the outcomes are more lucrative.

Communication is vital for the enhancement of any organization. Do to communication widespread usage; it is highly important organizational excellence. Communication systems within organizations are responsible for solving increasingly complex problems creatively (Shockley-Zalabak, 2006). Many times people in organizations do not use their communication skills effectively, which may produce a negative atmosphere among the employees. The meaning-centered approach notes four these in communication: organizing; decision making; influence; and culture (Shockley-Zalabak).

Community and department meetings are highly important could be some type of incentive given to the most productive departments and individuals that demonstrate the company’s policies and procedures on a daily basis. These departments and individuals could also be the source to relay information back to their fellow employees in their daily meetings. The article Lose the Boss noted the importance of communication from senior managers and the subordinates. The author of the article “Patrick Kelly” seemed to understand the importance subordinates have within a company. He thinks very highly of his employees’ opinions. Kelly (1997) stated that, “Employees see the problem first and that they are in the spot.” Kelly’s company utilizes the employees’ by relying on their judgment call on a particular leader.

Diversity and Interpersonal Relationships

The interpersonal communication within an organization takes on many different forms depending on the individuals. Companies can have several different departments with different professional in a sector. Each of the individuals in a department brings a vast amount of diversity, which leads to how they interact with one another. It has been this author’s observation that many times the people with similar backgrounds tend to spend more time together. Shockley-Zalabak stated that, “Research indicates that we are most likely to find as attractive those individuals who are similar to us in attitudes and beliefs and in relatively close physical proximity” (p. 164).

It is easier for people who have similar backgrounds to discuss certain situations because their viewpoints and opinions are not going to be challenged as much. Shockley-Zalabak stated that, “Peers exchange information about job requirements, provide social support, and are in a position to give advice without formally evaluating performance” (2006, p. 169).

Diversity within an organization evenly mixed in reference to the staff; however it is not mixed in comparison to minority supervisors. Shockley-Zalabak stated that, “Workforce diversity is a description of workers that emphasizes differences in age, gender, race, ethnicity, and values” (2006, p. 162). The main barriers that need to be broken are: (a) stereotypes that limit the potential contributions of individuals based on their membership in a group or class; and (b) prejudices that produce negative emotional reactions to others (Shockley-Zalabak).

According to Shockley-Zalabak, “Learning to tolerate and ambiguity is a positive counterpart to the negative effects of stereotyping” (2006, p. 174). This approach will offer an organization a positive move towards accepting the differences others bring to the company. Non-judgmentalness gives people the opportunity explain themselves (Shockley-Zalabak, p. 175). People that bring diverse experiences can also increase an organization insight for the future. Shockley-Zalabak noted that, “By 2050, half of the U.S. population will be African American, Hispanic American, Native American, and Asian American” (p. 162). This country is moving in the unchangeable diverse direction and organizations have to take note of how to change as well.

The communication within an organization is lacking because of the walls setup due to the diversity and unwillingness to look beyond the differences. This author is in total agreement with Shockley-Zalabak Pamela when she commented that, “Fully competent organizational members must not limit themselves only to familiar but must be open to establishing satisfying and effective interpersonal relationships with both similar and dissimilar others” (p. 165).

Employee Commitment

An employees’ ability to understand informed decisions has an importance in the work environment. Many employers do not trust their employees; they keep them distant or aloof from the organization’s inner core. Allen noted that, “When a company is committed to its employees, its employees will be committed to the company” (2005, p. 17). The individuals within an organization know when they’re appreciated and they know when they’re not. It is vital that leaders keep this in mind. The key to this concept involves leaders who are able to change and grow in understanding the needs of their subordinates.

Being able to successfully give informed decisions will help the entrepreneurs relay vital information to the workforce. Personal fulfillment is another instrument entrepreneurs can utilize in encouraging employees for affective commitment. This will help eliminate barriers when making informed decisions. Meyer and Allen stated that, “Employees will develop affective commitment to an organization to the extent that it satisfies their needs, meets their expectations, and allows them to achieve their goals” (1997, p. 71). The relationship between leader and subordinate is similar to any other relationship between two or more people.

Shockley-Zalabak stated that, “Organizational excellence stems from the dedicated commitment of people, people who are motivated to work together and who share similar values and visions” (2006, p. 4). Anytime individuals are focused towards understanding and working for a common good, the company will benefit. “One way that an organization might hope to build on employees’ initial predisposition for commitment is through socialization and training,” according to (Meyer & Allen, 1997, p. 72). This is another strategy employers can use to enhance commitment in the workforce. Socialization enables people to create a friendship or family type relationships. If people develop these types of relationships, commitment becomes engrained into the employees.

Compensation and benefits are also valuable assets in maintaining commitment within employees (Meyers & Allen, 1997, p.77). The organizations that offers competitive fringe benefits, gives the employees more control of the retirement and immediate needs. Meyers and Allen stated that, “Employees will expect to benefit either financially or in terms of their ability to influence decisions or both” (p.78). Employees with families seek organizations that will enable them to have benefits that help them with the daily maintenance of their homes.

Most employees desire to have the option of retirement based 401Ks, IRAs, or stock options. These strategies listed are core elements in managing commitment. If employers refuse to implement these and another strategies that are not listed, they will create employees that have the desire to seek and will seek employment within other organizations. These particular employees will waste no time in their pursuit of other employment, regardless of their affective, continuance, or normative commitment level.

Many of the employees do not feel secure with their employment. Meyer and Allen stated that, “Organizations that are willing to be honest with applicants, even at the risk of losing potentially valuable employees, might be perceived as more trustworthy and supportive than those that use a hard-sell approach” (p.70). The organization’s strategy in dealing with the situation was to create false hope for better job security and improved benefit packages.

Relationships are mainly built on trust, honesty, and a genuine care between individuals. Each person within a relationship expects or seeks something from the other person in the relationship. So, when taking note of the leader and subordinate relationship, leaders need to be aware of their interactions with their subordinates. Leaders that promote a reward type system in the work place also enhance their subordinates’ affective commitment level (Meyer & Allen, 1997).

Shockley-Zalabak stated that, “Postmodern and Critical Perspectives focus on power and domination and on challenges to hierarchy, bureaucracy, and management control” (2006, p. 93). The theories have similar viewpoints in terms of their outlook of chain of command within an organization. One of the key things to note about these theories is their sense of control and power. Shockley- Zalabak also stated that, “Power has been defined as attempt to influence another person’s behavior to produce desired outcomes” (p. 48).

Many leaders of today tend to lean more the postmodern theory. Postmodern organizations are flexible structures needing workers with multiple skills who are continuously learning (Shockley-Zalabak, 2006, p. 94). Organizations need to hire a staff of professional individuals who seek to incorporate ongoing training into their job functions. For example, after an individual has gone to a particular training, he or she can teach the new material to the rest of the staff. There are also some leaders who are compromisers and they use this approach to interactions with the employees. Shockley-Zalabak stated that, “Compromisers prefer to balance people concerns with task issues and often approach conflict with a give-and-take attitude that contributes to negotiation” (p. 320). This approach is good at times, however with the conflict between the departments is too wounded and neither side wants to give ground for much compromising.

The communication tactics that is most effective for the key players is positive regard and success tactics. Simple because helping people to believe in themselves may bring more growth to an organization. Shockley-Zalabak stated that this tactics, “Provides support for individual effort, offers praise for efforts, avoid blaming and seek solutions, and to identify challenges and opportunities when others see problems” (p. 251).

Shockley-Zalabak defined conflict as, “A process that occurs when individuals, small groups, or organizations perceive or experience frustration in attaining goals and addresses concerns” (2006, p. 308).Conflicts can be dealt with differently by developing team cohesiveness and the administration of educational job training. Each member of the team came into their position lacking the support and the knowledge to fulfill their required role. In order to have been able to measure the effectiveness of the team, the development of job description and duties should have been created. This would have given each individual the ability to note what areas they needed to work towards and it would have also given the upper management benchmarks to note from when performing evaluations.

A team focuses on specific goals and individuals in the team work together to achieve those goals. It has been this author’s experience to note how important team management is any setting dealing with groups of people. Simply because the manager of a team must be able to understand the functions and the dynamics of the team, in order to facilitate it properly. For example, if a member of a team has unique abilities, the team manager should be able to utilize those abilities so that the team may benefit not just the individual.

Maxwell stated that, “Team members start to appreciate each other strengths and become aware of each other’s weaknesses” (2005, p. 136). Bruce Tuckman’s five stages of development (i.e., Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning) is also a good way of noting a team’s performance level. Each stage gives the members a step by step guideline in the team development process. Bens stated that, “While no developmental stage is bad, and each is part of the journey, you need to be clear that the goal of all team leader should be to help the team reach high performance as quickly as possible” (2006, ¶ 28).

According to Bateman, “Team leader can encourage team member growth, and should be willing to take some risk by having members whose resources are relevant to the immediate task provide the leadership” (1990, ¶ 7). This is a vital statement because team leaders need to be able relate to each member, in order to help achieve the team’s goal. The organization also has to take into consideration the overall needs for change within different areas. Tools like creating educational programs to help understand their dilemmas and try to promote some type of change may be helpful in meeting these needs. These educational programs could focus on financial, and employer versus employee dysfunctions and other topics that may occur within an organization. Another avenue of my leadership plan is for the organization to hire consultants to come in during the next three months to help foster a more cohesive type of workplace atmosphere.

Consultants can help the organization reach higher goals, depending on what type of consultant the organization hired. In Rushmer’s (1997) article “How do we measure the effectiveness of team building? Is it good enough? Team management systems – A case study,” he wanted to express the importance, if any, of organizational development interventions in team management. Rushmer also sought to reveal how effective of ineffective these interventions were in the team building. It has been this author’s experience, that any interventions that enhance the productivity of a workforce or decrease the turnover are vital to any organization. Rushmer wanted to answer the following questions:

  1. If enhanced team performance has taken place to both the satisfaction of the organization and the individual?
  2. What precisely might the criteria be for judging this success?
  3. How would such evidence be gathered, from whom and when?
  4. What would the status of this evidence be in convincing us that the instrument or intervention was truly responsible for the effect observed?
  5. Is this the same kind of evidence that might satisfy us that the instrument or intervention was indeed an effective driving force for change (¶ 9)?

Rushmer used the Team Management Index (TMI) created by Margerison and McCann in 1990 to help answer these questions. Rusher stated that, “The TMI offered personal feedback on team role preferences and, by sharing this information with others, the opportunity to appreciate the different contribution of others” (¶ 6).

Rushmer sought to show how ineffective organizational change interventions were to team building. For example, Rushmer commented that,

There are always both direct and hidden costs associated with them…direct costs might include the hiring of the venue if the intervention is to take place off-site, consultants’ fees, processing costs for various psychometric tests and hidden costs can be described as the cost of that work which the participants might have done had they not been elsewhere, team building, instead” (1997, ¶ 1).

Statements like this may create negative thoughts in the mind of executives when thinking about organizational changes.

Given the situation or circumstance, organizational change can play a key role in any organization. However, there may be some reasons why their actions may be questioned. For instance, if a company hires external organizational developers and the agency misrepresents their clients, then that organizational development agency need to be held into question. That particular agency should be accountable for their actions. However, there are many organizational development agencies that are concerned about the need of their clients and if interactions can help foster change.

Kotter stated that, “A powerful guiding group has characteristic. It is made up of the right people, and it demonstrates teamwork” (1996, p. 43). If the organization will focus on building guiding teams, this may have help in the future development of the company. In this author’s opinion, the development of organization change process rest on the recruiting and maintaining the right people in leadership roles. Kotter stated that the right people are, “Individuals with the appropriate skills, the leadership capacity, the organizational credulity, and the connections to handle a specific kind of organizational change” (p. 43).

It has been this author’s experience to note how important team management is any setting dealing with groups of people. Simply because the leader of a team must be able to understand the functions and the dynamics of the team, in order to facilitate it properly. Bateman stated that, “Team building is an effort in which a team studies its own process of working together and acts to create a climate that encourages and values the contributions of team members”(¶ 1). This is done by each member understanding what is needed in order to make the team function better.

However, entrepreneurs need to be careful not to lead members down Harvey’s Abilene Paradigm because this may cause the team to experience unhealthy agreement (Dyer, 1995). Members of a team may go along with unhealthy agreement simply because of fear of losing something as a result going against the team leader. These members may not want to deviate from the leader’s suggestions or the group norm. Entrepreneurs may want to take into consideration this type of behavior is unhealthy to the team because it strays from Tuckman’s five stages of development.

During the Storming stage there will be some levels of conflict and disagreements, team leaders need to know that this is normal in the team development process. Entrepreneurs should help their staff get beyond the Storming stage to the final Adjourning stage. One way entrepreneurs can effectively help bring about this change is for them to share their leadership; this is done in the Norming stage. Bens commented that, “Most leaders notice that they naturally tend to relinquish more control to members during this stage” (2006, ¶ 22).

The organizational effectiveness construct model value resides in its use as a mapping device for customers that can synchronize expectations and visualize improvement opportunities. Bellman stated that, “We have built organizations that are mechanical than “organical”. We have lost the “organ” in the organization as we have built awkward hierarchical structures with boxes and lines connecting them” (2002, p. 161). Many organizations have lost their sense of morals and values, which in turns leave as nothing more then large money oriented machines.

Morals and values make up the characteristics of a person or an organization. Character has been described as skills that show emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1994). The brain or the senior executives have to demonstrate ethical and moral quantities in order for the effective functions within the organization. Levinson stated that, “Character in individuals is reflected in characterological behavior. By that I mean that consistent behavior over time by which a person recognizes himself or herself and is recognized by others” (1997, p. 282).

The CEO and other senior executive leaders (i.e., entrepreneurs) are the forerunners and their employees carefully take note of their actions and words. Employees then operate in their perception on their leaders. This is very similar to a parent’s relationship with a child. The child hears the parent say do not do this or do this. However, when a child observes the parent’s actions or mannerisms, the child may become confused or even anger because the parent is not living according to his or her demands. One individual’s behavior can influence the behavior of others in group setting. Leaders in an organization must be careful about how the interact among their peers and among subordinates.

Values and beliefs are center influences for how people interact with each other. One core standard is to understand that everyone has their own set of values and beliefs. An individual need to be able to understand and respect someone else belief system and function in a way that the conflict can be resolved as soon as possible. Business ethics is a classical dilemma type situation. Kidder (1995) stated that, “Ethical dilemmas stand for right vs. right situations where two core moral values come into conflict” (p.114).

The key in building a company is creating a solid core or foundation in which the company can grow. The ethical principle that would guide my behavior is the care-based way of thinking. According to Kidder, the concept of care-base thinking states “Do to others what you would like them to do you” (p. 25). When this type of belief is created and maintained between leaders and followers, loyalty and integrity are produced within an organization.

The ultimate decision, in terms of business ethics for each company falls on the shoulders of the executives. If the executives are full of greed and thirst for power, they may be willing to give in to the pressures of bending their values in order to follow what the crowd is doing. How important is success to me? At what cost am I willing to pay to obtain success? These are the type of questions leaders must ask themselves when faced with unethical dilemmas. The short-term vs. long-term paradigm should be taken into consideration when leaders begin to make plans for their organization. Kidder stated that “now vs. then, reflects the difficulties arising when immediate needs or desires run counter to future goals or prospects” (p. 113).

Since creating a successful company takes time, entrepreneurs should know that the long-term business planning and steady hard-work will be the best option. Yet, some companies slip through true ethical standards by creating their own short-term goals. Therefore, the businesses are able to invent their own special type of ethics to fit their own standards. Many business use similar type of ends-based thinking. Ends-based thinking concept is, “Do whatever produces the greatest good for the greatest number” (Kidder, 1995, p. 24). Kidder defined loyalty as a commitment or a sense of responsibility. This commitment or sense of responsibility can be focused towards a person, place, or even an idea. Leaders need to utilize loyalty as an approach with each subordinate because loyalty will help foster respect within the organization and keep in mind that respect between leaders and followers is a major factor in building a solid organization.

Integrity is very important in helping build respect within an organization. The World English Dictionary defined integrity as the steadfast adhere to a strict ethical code. The lack of integrity can be a driven force for good leaders in making unethical decisions. These particular leaders’ values are misguided and may be influenced by greed, power, or any other type of personal gain. Rules may be bent when one is stuck between a trivial and profound case and when strict adherence to rules may cause more harm then good (Badaracco, 2002). Many good leaders start off with the mindset of being truthful to their employees or shareholders. However, these leaders begin to lose the core of their beliefs and lean towards unethical practices due to selfish ambitions. When faced with a right vs. wrong, good leaders are torn between choices, which begin in their decisions to do something other than right (Kidder, 1995).

The relationship between communication and values in my place of employment is vital to the cohesiveness in between individuals. The way the individuals communicate with each in reference to their needs depends on their value system. This enables people to have a better understanding of someone else’s needs. Shockley-Zalabak stated that, “As we consider our personal communication competency, we can increase our effectiveness by understanding barriers to valuing diversity and positive approaches helpful in increasing understanding” (p. 173).

The reflection of values and ethics with the organization and individuals are noted in their interactions or rather their lack of interactions with people who have different views of morals. Individuals that come from similar educational or social background seem to want to communicate more with each other. In this author’s opinion, people do not like to experience change, and if someone has a different perspective, many times change is taking place through communication.

The importance of trust in interpersonal relationships is crucial to the growth of an organization. Shockley-Zalabak stated that, “Trust is having positive expectations about a behavior of others based on roles, relationships, experiences, and interdependencies” (p. 170). Trust in interpersonal relationships gives each individual the opportunity to be able have a sense faith the abilities in other person. This is important in my place of employment because the youth we deal can become violent and we may need the backup of other staff members.

Valuing communication for understanding what is needed or what is expected from the staff member on every shift. If information is not communicated appropriately, the staff may not receive what he or she needs to perform their job to the best of their ability. These recording are heard by the incoming shift and that is one of the ways information is communicated among the staff. Some individuals stay over and speak to directly to their replacement about the events of the day. Creating educational programs that revealed to the team a basic understanding of the businesses do’s and do nots of the program being offered at the agency would have helped in the communication process.

The main focus should have been developing team cohesiveness and the administration of educational job training. Each member of the team came into their position lacking the support and the knowledge to fulfill their required role. In order to have been able to measure the effectiveness of the team, the development of job description and duties should have been created. This would have given each individual the ability to note what areas they needed to work towards and it would have also given the upper management benchmarks to note from when performing evaluations.

Shockley-Zalabak stated that, “Task force groups are groups of individuals with diverse specialties and group memberships who are charged with accomplishing a specifically designed task or project” (2006, p. 199). Each member is given certain task to perform in order to meet the overall goals of the team. A team enables members to draw from each other’s good qualities and help each other through any problems that may arise.

The main keys are developing team cohesiveness and the administration of educational job training. Each member of the team came into their position lacking the support and the knowledge to fulfill their required role; starting with the CEO and down. In order to have been able to measure the effectiveness of the team, the development of job description and duties should have been created. This would have given each individual the ability to note what areas they needed to work towards and it would have also given the upper management benchmarks to note from when performing evaluations.

Rural leaders are faced with different obstacles that many urban leaders do not encounter in their daily business operations. A typical rural leader may have an incident were two or three employees were unable to make it to work because of automobile trouble. This could also be true with urban leaders as well; however, most urban cities have transits that help individuals travel throughout the city. Rural areas do not have such luxuries. Smaller communities have fewer resources to draw from and this can cause problems in the development.

Quality leadership is a valuable asset in developing the economic growth in rural areas. Rural leaders need to able to change as the environment change and to be able to adapt when new creative tools are discovered. Orr stated that, “It is important to equip rural leaders to bring about positive changes in their communities” (2005, ¶ 5). These changing can help shape the development of the business and the rural community. Many times the subordinates need to be redirected in their thinking and their motivation levels are low because of the setting they work or reside in.

There are four different areas that a leader may need to take into consideration. The first area rural leaders need to note is the type of business that will be best equipped in a rural setting. The business is the dependent variable that is influenced by the community and the profit and loss (P&L) reports. The second area is hiring the tight employees. The type of employees will also be a strong indicator for the success of a rural business. The employees will either help or hurt the growth of the business.

The third area is the community. The community is the people that live near or around the business, which could also include the employees. These people are very important to growth of a business in a rural setting. These individuals generate the revenue for the company. As an independent variable, if the community’s involvement with the company changes the P&L reports are affected. The final area that rural leaders need to keep aware of is the P&L reports. P&L reports are the Profit and Loss statement (e.g., assets and liabilities). Rural leaders need to keep in mind that the business is the focal point, and all of the other factors are connected to the business.

In this author’s opinion, each one of the four factors works together in creating a successful organization. The community generates the revenue, which allows for income to be paid to the employees. In a perfect environment this type interaction would work ever time. However, rural communities are not perfect environments; many of them need more support from the community. Orr stated that, “Small business play a significant role in creating jobs in rural communities” (2005, ¶ 9).

The reliability of the variables is based on the consistence of the each factor interacting one another. If a study is done to gather information on how the factors correlate with each other, this will help determine their reliability and validity. In order to collect the needed data, a survey will be conducted throughout the community and in the workplace. The survey will have questions focusing on the community involvement, the type of business, how the employees view their employment, and what is the overall vision for the organization.

Dyer’s Team Development Model and Rural Entrepreneurship

Successful rural and urban entrepreneurs both need to understand Dyer’s Team Development Model. In Dyer’s Team Development Model, leaders have three phases: (a) an educator phase; (b) coach phase; and (c) facilitator phase (Dyer, 1995). Entrepreneurs do not go through the phases at the same time. Dyer stated that, “The leader spends time building the team so that team members feel responsible for working together to accomplish common goals” (p.49).

Rural leaders need to be cautioned in how they approach individuals within the community. Orr stated that, “Leaders need to think of stimulating new ways of thinking and for generally lifting the spirits of those who are involved in rural setting on a daily basis” (2005, ¶ 7). A business, whether rural or urban, may want to consider making the employees feel like they have a part of the ownership of the company.

Torgerson stated that, “Cooperative leaders need to be mindful of maintaining a strong owner-equity base as the foundation for their continued operations” (1998, ¶ 5). Leaders that cooperate with employees in developing a better working environment, build more strength in the lifespan of their business. Scharre noted that, “Widespread ownership must be felt by those groups expected to implement and support” (¶ 14). In this author’s opinion, when employees feel valued as equals, they will perform task or work assignments on a more personal level.

Rural leaders need to think about where the business will be located. English stated that, “Local leadership is crucial to development. The best rural economic development programs are those that allow local leaders to determine their communities’ strengths and future direction” (2001, ¶ 6). Who would be better in developing the community, a local resident or an outsider? The local leader will have more investment in the growth of the community. Orr stated that, “Now is the time for leaders to play forceful roles in community development that leads to economic growth for the rural regions they serve” (¶ 25).

“One way that an organization might hope to build on employees’ initial predisposition for commitment is through socialization and training,” according to (Meyer and Allen, 1997, p. 72). Rural leaders can use this approach to enhance commitment in the workforce. Socialization enables people to create a friendship or family type relationships. If people develop these types of relationships, commitment becomes engrained into the employees. Many times the employees cherish their work and try to be at work as often as possible, in order to be around their work family.

Meyer and Allen stated that, “organizations that are willing to be honest with applicants, even at the risk of losing potentially valuable employees, might be perceived as more trustworthy and supportive than those that use a hard-sell approach” (1997, p.70). Honesty and openness is an important quality employers can display before the applicants. Employees, many times, reflect the company they work and inherit there beliefs, values, and commitment level.

Orr stated that, “The stereotypical image of small-town, rural America is one of decline: many people view rural communities as quaint relics of the past, as residents continue the centuries old migration to the city, and suburbs” (2005, ¶ 1). Understanding the environment is vital in the development of a successful business. The owner must keep in mind the demographics, the income level, other competition, climate, and other factors that impact business success or lack thereof.

These factors are important because they will determine what type of business will need to be opened in a certain area. Rural communities are not perfect environments; many of them need more support from the community. Orr stated that, “Small business play a significant role in creating jobs in rural communities” (2005, ¶ 9). This is where the Chamber of Commerce and other local agencies seek to draw in other supporters and businesses to a community. Rural leaders need to keep in mind that the business is the focal point, and all of the other factors are connected to the business.

Orr stated that, “the idea of entrepreneurial training is to encourage people who have lost jobs because of plant closing to concentrate on other skills they have to create for self-employment opportunities” (2005, ¶ 3). The business that may be created can help the owners embrace their hidden talents. It has been this author’s experience, that many times the lost of jobs or other misfortunes in life, leads individuals into their true destiny. Encouragement and commitment is a valuable asset in developing a successful business no matter where the business is located.

Leadership Styles/Characteristics

There are perceived differences and similarities in the leadership styles and characteristics of leadership for different operating conditions. The same if perceived of urban and rural business operations positions. It is surmised that the natural and dynamical differences that characterise the urban and rural business environs pose varying challenges to the entire business organisation which call for different leadership styles and approaches. This section will in essence present insights on some similarities and differences if leadership approaches for urban and rural business leadership paradigms.

Transformation and Transactional Leadership

In exploring other dynamics in which the attributes (especially leadership related) of urban and rural entrepreneurs can be differentiated it will be useful to take a deferential thrust from the leadership approaches front. Various theories have been put forth in the leadership and organisational structure domains of knowledge to illuminate perceived dynamics that characterise the relationship between organisational leaders and the employees with regards to the accomplishment of set goals. Numerous models of leadership have been developed on the baits of trait and behavior, charisma, transformational and situation. Various scholars have attempted to draw points of confluence between the theory and practice across various organisational paradigms. Each propounded model posses its own unique pros and cons. Contemporary developments and contributions of the knowledge in leadership realms have enjoyed remarkable contribution from the scholars Macgregor Burns, Bernard M.Bass who have been particularly incisive in underscoring the tenets of the transformational and the transactional leadership thrusts.

The transactional leadership theory presents an understanding of leadership as principally comprising of the exchange factors between, particularly management (leadership) and the employees. For instance transactional leadership holds in its core that the relationship between leaders (management) and the employees, “… is about requirements, condition as well as rewards. Leaders who foster such relations in organisations are called transactional leaders” (Bernard M. Bass, 2005). Burns has further stated that, “A transactional leader approaches followers with an eye to exchanging one thing for another” (Burns 2004). Bass (2005) notes, “Transactional leaders pursue a cost benefit, economic exchange to fulfill personnel current material and psychic needs in return for “contracted” services rendered by the subordinate”

On the other end transformational leadership approach is not based on the perceived transitional or exchange aspects that constitute the relationship between management and the personnel. Transformational leadership holds that the leaders role in developing and personnel and enhancing their effectiveness in the light of making them realise their potential, is unconditional.

Leadership in the organisational context has been defined as the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organisations of which they are members. Several variations on the definition appear in the management and leadership literature which also suggests different forms and styles of leadership. (Avolio 78)

Transformational leaders such as Dr Bernard Bass and others, tend to be visionary and to have a clear purpose or target Focusing on long-term goals, they seek overtly to achieve change and to transform the organisation (Anderson 129).

Transformational leaders are often charismatic and possess a collection of virtues and competences, including strong self-belief. Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman elaborate on the virtues and behaviours of the authentic transformational leader identifying the six high virtues of: knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. Building on this presentation, John Sosik identifies the habits of individual consideration, intellectual stimulation, inspirational motivation and idealised influence. These habits underscore the capacity of transformational leadership to shape, alter and elevate.

Transformational leadership is a leadership process which is very relevant for rural business ensembles emerging economies and societies in transition. James Burns, a journalist, based on an extensive study of leaders of nations and large social movements across the world, identified transformational leadership as a construct.

He defined it as the engagement of one person, the leader, with others, the followers, in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality, a crucial aspect for rural business models. Their purposes, which might have started out as separate, but related, become fused. He clarified this construct by contrasting it with what he described as transactional leadership (Spitzer 44).

Transactional leadership process occurs when one person takes the initiative in making contact with others for the purpose of an exchange of valued things. Each party to the bargain is conscious of the power resources and attitudes of the other. A leadership act takes place, but it is not one that binds leader and follower together in a mutual and continuing pursuit of a higher purpose (Anderson 25).

The distinguishing factor in the two leadership styles rests in the manner in which the leader-follower relationship is defined. A transformational leader has an engaging relationship whereas a transactional leader has one of exchange. Transactional leaders, therefore, have a give-and-take kind of expectation from their followers while transformational leaders share emotions and passions about a desirable future state with their followers. There have been many other studies following James Burn’s.

There have been ongoing efforts to identify various behavioural aspects of transformational leadership so that training can be made possible. Review of literature suggests that transformation leadership training is a possibility. Isolation of a common list of key themes of transformational leadership experiences in various contexts encourages one to speculate there is a possibility of training in this important aspect of organisational change and management. Six major themes have been identified as being evident in any transformational leadership processes for rural business models.

These are creation of a shared vision, communicating the vision, building relationships, developing a supporting organisational culture, guiding implementation, and exhibiting character (Grosse 54).

It is observed that transformational leaders usually work through building relationships and have a strong urge for achievement. They are principles-centred, believe in and demonstrate honesty, integrity and trust – in other words, exhibit character. Further, they have expertise in their area of activity and are comfortable with the cultural, technical and political aspects of their environment. It appears that training tools can be developed to transfer learning from these observations.

Transformational leaders motivate effort by raising the awareness of followers to make them aspire to higher-order needs and values and by developing them to fulfil their aspirations. Transformational leaders rely upon end values to raise the standards that their followers use to make their decisions (Hemphill 15)

A leader displaying transformational behaviours may relate action on an issue to one’s self-concept of doing the right thing, thereby making it personally relevant and motivating deeper thinking about the issue. By encouraging consideration for each individual’s unique perspective, a leader displaying transformational behaviour also is likely to help create an environment in which group members feel comfortable presenting their ideas to others.

Transactional leadership is still a popular approach with many urban managers and a blend of transactional and transformational leadership can be found in most urban organisations (House 11). In the work of Dr Bass and others, there is in fact a stress on the thought that leaders are most effective when they operate a blend of transformational and transactional leadership, switching between the two as and when necessary. The central point here is that there is no one right way to lead or manage that suits all situations (Hemphill 138)

Although there is no universal view on what constitutes good leadership practice in a business organisation, those writing on the challenge put emphasis on a number of points:

  1. Good company leaders are enablers, bringing the best out of Personnel and encouraging participation and contribution. A key part of this process is building trust and recognising the contributions that individuals have the power to make (Humphreys 85).
  2. Effective public company leaders have or require credibility which may extend from a record of achievement and a reputation for competence. This may also relate to technical or organisational knowledge. A reputation for honesty and fair dealing may be critical in this regard (Humphreys 85).
  3. Public company leaders should be forward-looking and have a thirst for progress. Good leaders should look to make a difference and search for opportunities to improve things. They are appreciative of what is currently working but are attuned to future needs and requirements (Humphreys 85).

As far as urban Company leadership goes, it is generally considered easier to go about. At the same time they also do many of the things rural company leaders do such as

  1. Good rural company leaders inspire, attracting support through the power of their ideas and ability to communicate their vision. This does not mean that good leaders are always extrovert or charismatic but does suggest that they must enjoy the capability to communicate and to engage.
  2. On the other end good urban company leaders also make decisions. Although a good and democratic leader invites other members of the team to contribute to the decision-making process (Humphreys 85).

Transformational leaders also may influence ethical behaviour by role modelling ethical behaviour and by articulating and stressing clear ethical guidelines for their followers to live up to. As noted by Cuilla, “transformational leadership has become almost synonymous with ethical leadership.” (Northouse 64)

Let’s look at this in the context of improving customer as well as employee engagement, since that’s an area of deep interest to many. When an organization takes actions in order to improve customer and employee engagement, two different kinds of intervention activities are required: transactional and transformational. Both activities are designed to create sustainable organizational change (House 16).

Transformational activities are designed to help managers do things in new and better ways. Transformational activities — whether they are driven at an enterprise level or at the workgroup level — are interventions designed to fundamentally alter the structure or DNA or culture of the company (Morse 82).

Talent-based selection basically alters how you source talent and how you select and position Personnel in a company. Implementing strengths-based development in your organization, for instance, is a fundamental change in how you view the nature of your employees. Transformational interventions on the strategic level would include altering corporate strategy, redefining your brand promise, or other things that fundamentally change your organization for both rural an urban business models.(Northouse 95).

Transformational leadership, an important aspect of change initiation and sustenance, is of significant importance for rural and urban businesses in various aspects. Whether it is change in the functioning of key governing agencies or in governance structures or in industry practices, transformational leadership will be an essential pre-requisite. The more an organisation either rural or urban has such leaders the better. Hence, we have to develop capabilities to train such leaders in government as well as in the corporate sector. Transformation leadership, probably, is no longer happenstance. It can now be made to happen (Northouse 71).

Transformational leaders display Inspirational Motivation (IM) and promote Intellectual Stimulation (IS) and Individualized Consideration (IC). Transformational leaders raise the awareness of followers to make them aspire to higher-order needs and values and to develop them in order to fulfil their aspirations (Hemphill 44).

A transformational leader encourages group members to challenge and to reframe each other’s ideas (IS) and also to show understanding and consideration for each other’s opinions (IC). By clarifying the leader’s expectations, these behaviours motivate participants to stimulate others and to express understanding and support for their ideas. Group members elaborate more when others force them out of their melds by challenging them and reframing their ideas. They also elaborate more when others display understanding and support for their ideas. Transformational activities can take much longer to bear fruit, since they are designed to fundamentally change the way you do business (Pawar 22). What is being emphasise in reviewed literature is that rural business leaders as much as urban business leaders need to employ the dynamics of the transformational leadership in accordance with the specifics of their environs and challenges.

At the end of the day, all businesses, no matter rural or urban look for the business rewards of the changes that are put in place. For instance, the way developing people’s strengths pays off in terms of employee productivity and retention as well as in customer outcomes (Harris 36). Therefore, transformational changes are needed to improve the overall financial performance by effectively making the case for business management and executing it.

Rural and Urban Organizational Culture

According to Gilbert & Sneed, culture is one of four dimensions of an organization. The other three are structure, systems and people. Organizational culture is a “system of shared values and beliefs that produces norms of behaviour and establishes an organizational way of life.” (155) Culture manifests itself through the beliefs, values, norms, stories and other symbols within an organization.

“Schein defines the culture of a group or organization as shared assumptions and beliefs about the world and their place in it, the nature of time and space, human nature, and human relationships.” (Cited in Yukl 329)

A more detailed definition of culture is based on del Bueno and Vincent’s work. They state:

Culture includes both implicit and the explicit contracts that include what is expected of members and the rewards or sanctions associated with compliance or non-compliance. Culture is a pattern of basic assumptions or behaviours that have worked in the past and are taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, to think, to feel, and to ad. (15)

Levels of a Culture

Schein (cited in Hackett. Lilford & Jordon) defines culture on three levels: basic assumptions, values and artefacts. Hackett et al. state:

The deepest and most difficult element of culture to change is basic assumptions – ‘the correct way to do things around here’. Values are the next level and describe a sense of what ought to be within an organization. Finally, artefacts are overt beliefs and physical manifestations of culture, e.g. procedures; technology used; and size of offices which are the easiest to change. (100)

The established culture is communicated through myths, stories, rituals and ceremonies that reflect the values and beliefs about an organization. New employees are indoctrinated into the culture through the use of organizational metaphors. Metaphors can take on a militaristic, sports, anthropological, and mechanistic implications.

Three outside forces have been identified by Hackett et al. as significantly influencing the culture in organizations. They are customer requirements, the competitive environment and societal expectations. These authors believe that societal expectations may have the greatest effect within their study domain of rural entrepreneurship. “For instance in public service; society increasingly expects doctors and clinical professionals to be competent, capable and caring.” (Hackett et al 100) Stakeholders’ involvement can play a major role in the formation and or changing of a culture. They can provide tools to focus on change and be a source of power to support the change for both rural and urban entrepreneurs. (Hackett et al. 100)

A Learning Organization Culture

Over the past decade an increasingly discussed topic in the literature on organizational culture and leadership is that of the learning organization, a term first made popular by Senge. It would be helpful to the project to explore a more specific type of culture, the learning culture and its relationship to the principles of a quality performance management system.

A learning organization values challenges, promotes flexibility, innovation and creativity, treats mistakes as stepping stones of development and encourages individuals to think. Dixon defines organizational learning as “…The intentional action of an organization to transform itself through both adaptive and innovative learning.” (Cited in Calvert, Mobley, & Marshall) To move towards a learning organization, ways must be found to make learning more intentional and systematic. Calvert et al. state learning rural and urban business organisations firms learn:

  • to use learning to reach their goals
  • to help personnel value the effects of their learning on their organizations
  • to avoid making the same mistakes again (and again)
  • to share information in ways that prompt appropriate action
  • to link individual performance with organizational performance
  • to tie rewards to key measures of performance
  • to take in a lot of environmental information at all times
  • to create structures and procedures that support the learning process
  • to foster ongoing and orderly dialogues
  • to make it safe for people

From the review of the literature on a learning organization culture and the criteria for a successful performance management system, it becomes apparent there are a number of similarities between the two concepts. 60th refer to the importance of a common vision, awareness of and aligned systems, improved communication (dialogue), emphasis on learning and coaching and managers spending time managing the work environment versus the employee. It would seem that by creating a learning culture, a performance management system would prosper.

From descriptions in the literature it is clear that the concept of empowerment or self-governance and human potential is inherent in a learning organization and a quality performance management system. The goal of empowerment is to increase accountability and responsibility at all levels of the organization. What has been very clear is that empowerment has not always worked for a number of reasons.

Developing trust in organizations is a major challenge because of all the changes downsizing and lack of promotions has created in today’s work environments. You cannot have empowerment without trust. Block states “Trust is almost universally built or destroyed on the basis of justice and integrity.” (138)

The foundation of any successful organization is based on the values of trust, openness and honesty. (Kouzes & Posner, 1995) Empowerment in its self is not enough. The overworked and stressed individual who doesn’t want to take on additional responsibilities may definitely resist any further concept of empowerment, interrelated and equally important is enablement. Bamer states ‘Enabling personnel involves helping them develop the competencies they need to manage additional power and autonomy.” (Op.Cit)

Methodology

Introduction

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the similarities and differences in personal values measured by the Roeach Value Survey (RVS) (1999) and attitudes measured by the Big Five Inventory (Tanoff, 1999) between urban and rural entrepreneurs in order to answer the guiding research questions:

RQ1. What are the differences in personal values as measured by the Roeach Value Survey (RVS) (1999) between successful urban and rural entrepreneurs?

RQ2. What are the differences in personal attitudes as measured by the Big Five Inventory (Tanoff, 1999) between successful urban and rural entrepreneurs?

Research Design

The research design for this study is based on positivism epistemology whereby the variables of interest can be measured and have one reality through survey instruments. Nardi (2003) explained that survey research is an efficient and effective tool to use when the desire is to obtain a large amount of data in a relatively short period of time. Consequently, this research design and methodology is classified as quantitative descriptive pre-experimental survey according to Leedy and Ormrod (2005).

Sampling Design

The population from this study will consist of entrepreneurs who belong to local Chambers of Commerce in rural and urban locations of the state residence of the researcher. Routinely the Chambers of Commerce provides contact information for business owners to conduct research studies beneficial to the stakeholders involved. It is estimated that 400 urban and 400 rural business owners are members of various Chambers of Commerce in a 100 mile radius of the researcher’s locale. According to standard survey participation rates, it can be expected that around 80 individuals from rural and 80 from urban locations will complete the survey instrument. All individuals will be required to be at least 21 years of age and not more than 60 years of age. Given this inclusion criteria, the number of individuals completing the survey may be less than 80 in each location. However, according to Berenson, Levine, and Krehbiel (2006), as long as at least 30 sets of data are collected, parametric normal assumptions can be assumed per the Central Limit Theorem thereby increasing the validity and reliability of the survey results.

Instrumentation

The instrument constructed for this study (see Appendix A) was adapted from the research works of three authors (Pages & Markley, 2008; Rokeach, 1999; and Turnoff, 1999). The specific survey instruments measuring entrepreneurial values (i.e., Roeach Value Survey (RVS), 1999) and attitudes measured (i.e., Big Five Inventory by Tanoff, 1999) represent the dependent variables of interest in this study and are widely available on the internet along with scoring instructions without expressed author permission requirements.

A total of 10 demographic variables of interest (i.e., independent variables) were based on previous research by Pages and Markley (2008) who published seminar research on understanding the environment for successful entrepreneurship in North Carolina. Gender, tenure (i.e., years of experience in business, average number of hours devoted to business per week, education level, business organization (i.e., sole proprietorship, partnership, sub S corporation, or corporation), number of full-time and part-time employees, number of family members employed in the business, primary business activities, market reach, and delineation between urban or rural location are of interest. One additional question asks participants to “identify as the most important factor in the success or survival of your business in this region”.

The Roeach Value Survey (RVS) (1999) consists of 36 values (i.e., 18 instrumental and 18 terminal values) and descriptions that participants rate on a 5-point Likert scale from 1 = Not Important to 5 = Very Important. Similarly, the Big Five Inventory by Tanoff (1999) is also rated on a 5-point Likert scale from 1 = Not Very Accurate to 5 = Very Accurate among the 44 attitudinal/behavioral statements/qualities. Both survey instruments are reported to have excellent internal consistency indicative of validity and reliability or the constructs of interest (i.e., values and attitudes/behaviors) as they exceed the benchmark Cronbach’s alpha score of 0.70 (Berenson, Levine, & Krehbiel, 2006; Rokeach, 1999; Tanoff, 1999; Worrell & Cross, 2004).

Data Collection Procedures

The university IRB institutional permission will be secured before soliciting participation in the survey. The survey will then be uploaded online at www.surveymonkey.com. Prospective participants who are members of local rural and urban chambers of commerce will be solicited to participate by email. The survey will be available for 4 weeks time. If the minimum requisite number of participants from both urban and rural locations (60 total) is not achieved at the end of 4 weeks, an additional solicitation to complete the survey will be emailed and the survey access extended an additional 2 weeks. Surveymonkey.com has built in software that prevents folks from submitting duplicative surveys based on computer identification codes.

The pre-survey will be announced and distributed at one of the weekly classes during the month of April. The setting for the 1st survey administration or pre-survey will be a conference room where all the participants will be sitting. It will take a maximum of fifteen (15) minutes to complete. The reason for the surveys will be explained to the participants, and the participants will be given an opportunity to ask any questions. The surveys will be handed out in no specific order. The directions for completion of the survey appear on the front sheet (See Appendix) of the survey. Participant names will not be used on the surveys in order that confidentiality may be maintained. Individuals who click on the web link to complete the survey will be required to read the informed consent (see Appendix B) and agree that they have read and understand the information contained in that document before survey completion can begin. It is not anticipated that the survey will require more than 20 minutes to complete.

Data from the completed online surveys will be electronically stored in an Excel database and password protected and only known to the researcher. All electronic data will be kept for a minimum of 7 years by the researcher.

Data Analysis Procedures

Descriptive cross-tab statistics will be implemented for all data collected from the three part survey (see Appendix A). Inferential statistics will be comprised of independent t tests, Pearson correlation coefficients, and ANOVAs delineated by the various demographic variables. Probability (P) values <= 0.05 will support the alternate hypotheses, whereas alpha values of > 0.05 will support the null hypotheses as restated below (Berenson, Levine, & Krehbiel, 2006).

HO1. There are no statistically significant differences in personal values as measured by the Roeach Value Survey (RVS) (1999) between successful urban and rural entrepreneurs.

HA1. There are statistically significant differences in personal values as measured by the Roeach Value Survey (RVS) (1999) between successful urban and rural entrepreneurs.

HO2. There are no statistically significant differences in personal attitudes as measured by the Big Five Inventory (Tanoff, 1999) between successful urban and rural entrepreneurs.

HA2. There are statistically significant differences in personal attitudes as measured by the Big Five Inventory (Tanoff, 1999) between successful urban and rural entrepreneurs.

Referencs

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Appendix A. Value and attitude survey

Part I. Demographic Information

  1. Gender: _____Male _____Female
  2. Years Experience in Business: ______
  3. On Average how many Hours do you Devote to your Business/week:_______
  4. Highest Education Level: _____High School ____Bachelors _____Masters ___Doctorate
  5. Current Location of Business: ______Rural ______Urban
  6. Business Organization: _____Sole Proprietorship ____Partnership ____SubS Corporation ____Corporation
  7. How many employees do you have? _____ Full-time_____ Part-time
  8. How many family members are employed in your business? _____Full-time _____Part-time
  9. Which best describes your primary business activity?
  • Service_____
  • Retail (including restaurants) _____
  • Finance/insurance/real estate _____
  • Transportation _____
  • Business and professional services _____
  • Wholesale/distribution _____
  • Manufacturing _____
  • Construction _____
  • Other _____
  • Please describe briefly _______________________________________
  1. Where do you sell your products or services? (Check all that apply.)
  • ___ Local market
  • ___ Regional markets
  • ___ National market
  • ___ International market
  1. What would you identify as the most important factor in the success or survival of your business in this region?_________________________________________

Part II. Rokeach Value Survey (RVS) (Rokeach, 1999)

Please rate the Personal Values below from 1 (Not Important) to 5 (Very Important) as they apply to YOU

A Comfortable Life _____

a prosperous life

Equality _____

brotherhood and equal opportunity for all

An Exciting Life _____

a stimulating, active life

Family Security _____

taking care of loved ones

Freedom _____

independence and free choice

Health _____

physical and mental well-being

Inner Harmony _____

freedom from inner conflict

Mature Love _____

sexual and spiritual intimacy

Terminal Values

National Security_____

protection from attack

Pleasure_____

an enjoyable, leisurely life

Salvation _____

saved; eternal life

Self-Respect _____

self-esteem

A Sense of Accomplishment _____

a lasting contribution

Social Recognition_____

respect and admiration

True Friendship _____

close companionship

Wisdom _____

a mature understanding of life

A World at Peace _____

a world free of war and conflict

A World of Beauty _____

beauty of nature and the arts

Ambitious _____

hardworking and aspiring

Broad-minded _____

open-minded

Capable _____

competent; effective

Clean _____

neat and tidy

Courageous_____

standing up for your beliefs

Forgiving _____

willing to pardon others

Helpful _____

working for the welfare of others

Honest _____

sincere and truthful

Imaginative _____

daring and creative

Instrumental Values

Independent_____

self-reliant; self-sufficient

Intellectual _____

intelligent and reflective

Logical _____

consistent; rational

Loving _____

affectionate and tender

Loyal _____

faithful to friends or the group

Obedient _____

dutiful; respectful

Polite _____

courteous and well-mannered

Responsible _____

dependable and reliable

Self-controlled _____

restrained; self-disciplined

Part III. The Big Five Inventory (BFI) (Tanoff, 1999)

Please rate the statements as they apply to you from 1 (Not very Accurate) to 5 (Very Accurate)

  • Someone who is ingenious, a deep thinker
  • Someone who is talkative
  • Someone who tends to find fault with others
  • Someone who does a thorough job
  • Someone who is depressed, blue
  • Someone who is original, comes up with new ideas
  • Someone who is reserved
  • Someone who is helpful and unselfish with others
  • Someone who can be somewhat careless
  • Someone who tends to be lazy
  • Someone who is emotionally stable, not easily upset
  • Someone who is inventive
  • Someone who has an assertive personality
  • Someone who can be cold and aloof
  • Someone who perseveres until the task is finished
  • Someone who can be moody
  • Someone who values artistic, aesthetic experiences
  • Someone who is relaxed, handles stress well
  • Someone who is curious about many different things
  • Someone who is full of energy
  • Someone who starts quarrels with others
  • Someone who is a reliable worker
  • Someone who can be tense
  • Someone who generates a lot of enthusiasm
  • Someone who has a forgiving nature
  • Someone who tends to be disorganized
  • Someone who worries a lot
  • Someone who has an active imagination
  • Someone who tends to be quiet
  • Someone who is generally trusting
  • Someone who is sometimes shy, inhibited
  • Someone who is considerate and kind to almost everyone
  • Someone who does things efficiently
  • Someone who remains calm in tense situations
  • Someone who prefers work that is routine
  • Someone who is outgoing, sociable
  • Someone who is sometime rude to others
  • Someone who makes plans and follows though with them
  • Someone who gets nervous easily
  • Someone who likes to reflect, play with ideas
  • Someone who has few artistic interests
  • Someone who likes to cooperate with others
  • Someone who is easily distracted
  • Someone who is sophisticated in art and music
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