AHS Faculty Publish Study on Cooperative Extension Culture
The Department of Agriculture and Human Sciences faculty members, Drs. Jackie Bruce, Jay Jayaratne, and Katie McKee, along with colleagues from NC State’s Population Health and Pathobiology department and NC Cooperative Extension, co-authored a paper on a study that provided insight into the organizational culture (and viability) of the Cooperative Extension System by examining the leadership dynamics, power relationships, and cultural impacts experienced by women County Extension Directors/Coordinators across the nation. The article appears in the Advancing Women in Leadership Journal.
Assessment of the Organizational Culture of the Cooperative Extension System
Women face unique barriers that their male counterparts do not experience in male-dominated disciplines and careers, such as agriculture. The purpose of a recent study was to provide insight into the organizational culture (and viability) of the Cooperative Extension System by examining the leadership dynamics, power relationships, and cultural impacts experienced by women County Extension Directors/Coordinators (CEDs/CECs) across the United States. Using a critical feminist collaborative autoethnographical approach and utilizing methodologies of interviews, dialogue, and prolonged engagement, the findings of this study have given voice to those individuals in these unique positions, allowing all individuals to better understand the challenges and barriers to equality in this context. Resulting conclusions (valuing sexism, resisting change, etc.) were posed to address misogyny in all forms (i.e., exclusion, promotion practices, etc.) that currently exist. By enacting these strategies, Cooperative Extension can create meaningful change that is so direly needed.