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Managerial Ability (The Forgotten Resource) Its Assessment And Modification


  • Nuthall, Peter L.


Survey information in most countries shows very clearly that farmers achieve a wide range of profitability levels. Some of the variation will be due to farmers having different goals and objectives, but a significant proportion will also be due to variations in managerial skill. If even modest skill improvements can be achieved the resource efficiency payoff will be significant and at little cost relative to many physical research programmes - this goal is worth seeking. Managerial skill improvement has received little attention in the past. Standard teaching methods can probably help to a certain extent, but many skills may be deeply imbedded thus requiring different methods. Evidence from cognitive therapy papers suggests basic traits can be modified, so why not managerial attributes similarly? This paper reviews the work on cognition and personality that may be helpful, and also considers the competencies that constitute the components of good management. It is clear from the work on the psychology of decision making and judgement that many biases in a range of decision areas are common. The opportunity for exploring ways of removing these biases and improving managerial ability would seem to be ripe for the picking. This will involve developing psychometric tests for each competency and the development of competency enhancement programmes. The work on personality assessment and change will be reviewed to assess whether the same principles can be used in the management area. The paper contains more questions than answers, but will provide considerable food for thought.

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  • Nuthall, Peter L., 1999. "Managerial Ability (The Forgotten Resource) Its Assessment And Modification," 1999 Conference (43th), January 20-22, 1999, Christchurch, New Zealand 124495, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare99:124495

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Malcolm, Bill, 1990. "Fifty Years of Farm Management in Australia: Survey and Review," Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 58(01), April.
    2. Rougoor, Carin W. & Trip, Ger & Huirne, Ruud B.M. & Renkema, Jan A., 1998. "How to define and study farmers' management capacity: theory and use in agricultural economics," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 18(3), May.
    3. Rougoor, Carin W. & Trip, Ger & Huirne, Ruud B. M. & Renkema, Jan A., 1998. "How to define and study farmers' management capacity: theory and use in agricultural economics," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 261-272, May.
    4. Ohlmer, Bo & Olson, Kent & Brehmer, Berndt, 1998. "Understanding farmers' decision making processes and improving managerial assistance," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 273-290, May.
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