A Study of the Effects of Dairy Farmers' Personalities on Their Risk Attitudes, Decision Making Processes and Risk Management

Marchant, David Durack (2003). A Study of the Effects of Dairy Farmers' Personalities on Their Risk Attitudes, Decision Making Processes and Risk Management PhD Thesis, Natural and Rural Systems Management, University of Queensland.

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Author Marchant, David Durack
Thesis Title A Study of the Effects of Dairy Farmers' Personalities on Their Risk Attitudes, Decision Making Processes and Risk Management
School, Centre or Institute Natural and Rural Systems Management
Institution University of Queensland
Publication date 2003
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr. Malcolm Wegener
Abstract/Summary Abstract The aim of this study was to understand the relationships among the personality traits, risk attitudes, risk management practices, and decision making processes of dairy farmers in SE Queensland. Risk management and decision making processes are two of many components of managerial ability. The hypothesis was proposed that dairy farmers’ personalities influence their risk attitudes, decision making processes, and risk management abilities. Case studies of 46 dairy farmers in SE Queensland involving the completion of personality inventories (NEO-PI-R) based on the Five-Factor Model of personality; questionnaires and informal interviews were used to test the hypotheses. The thesis contains three parts. The first part, Chapter 1, is the introduction to the thesis. The second part of the thesis, Chapter 2 through Chapter 6, consists of an extensive review of the literature on the major topics pertinent to the project. In Chapter 2, a definition of “competence” in the context of this study is given, and an explanation of the evidence for a connection between personality and competence and thus job performance is detailed. In Chapter 3, the literature on personality is reviewed with particular emphasis on trait theory and the development of the Five-Factor Model of personality (FFM). In Chapter 4, the literature review on personality assessment using testing instruments designed for use in the context of the FFM is presented, and the rationale for the personality test instrument is expounded. It is the task of the manager to manage risk, so that considering risk attitude when making decisions is also an integral part of the study of the role of managers. Chapter 5 reviews the contemporary literature on risk and risk management with an emphasis on the application of risk management principles to dairy farms. In Chapter 6, the literature on decision theory is reviewed. Decision-making and risk management are intertwined. The behaviour resulting from the process of making a decision reflects the personality and risk attitude of the decision-maker. In this chapter, the distinction is made between formal and informal models of decision making, and examples are given. The third part of the project comprises Chapters 7 through Chapter 11. Chapter 7 outlines the research approach used – case studies - and paves the way for the following two chapters, which present a qualitative and a quantitative analysis of the data from the case studies. Chapter 8 presents part 1 of the investigation - the qualitative analysis of the case studies. This chapter introduces and explains the terminology used in the questionnaire and examines the trends and feeling in the farmers’ answers. Chapter 9 presents part 2 of the analysis – quantitative results of the personality assessments and interviews from the case studies with SE Queensland dairy farmers which were conducted to assess their risk management and decision making abilities. Chapter 10 provides a summary of the research findings, and then discusses the results with respect to the diverse responses of farmers to common external pressures. The chapter discusses the relevance of personality to the formation of management strategy and concludes with a short introduction to systems thinking as a way of thinking about the complex systems inherent in dairy farming. Chapter 11 reviews the subjects covered in the thesis and draws conclusions from the research. It outlines implications for policy makers and managers and proposes directions for further research in this area of investigation. Key Words: Five-Factor Model of Personality, risk, decision making processes, dairy farmers, management
Keyword Key Words: Five-Factor Model of Personality
decision making processes
dairy farmers

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Created: Fri, 21 Nov 2008, 17:23:48 EST