Developing a performance measurement model for agricultural extension agents: An interdisciplinary approach

Ahmed Abdel-Maksoud, Bahgat Abdel-Maksoud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this study is to propose a performance measurement (PM) model for agricultural extension agents. Based on an interdisciplinary approach, management accounting-agricultural extension, the study has three main research objectives: highlight the main concepts to be embedded in a PM model for agricultural extension agents in an agricultural extension organization (RO1); identify main PM components of the proposed PM model for agricultural extension agents (RO2); and investigate empirically the causal relationships in the proposed PM model (RO3). Design/methodology/approach - An interdisciplinary literature review and a proposed PM model for agricultural extension agents are presented (RO1 and RO2). An empirical survey is incorporated, carried out in early 2011 (RO3), to examine three groups, totaling around 274 respondents. Data were collected through personal interviews using structured questionnaire forms. Path analysis technique was applied. Findings - The authors propose a PM model consisting of five components. The five components are: agricultural extension agents' characteristics, agents' work attitudes, services provided, use of agricultural extension services and farmers' satisfaction with agricultural extension services. The overall findings of the empirical surveys were found to validate the suggested causal relations among the components of the model. Findings indicate that 85 per cent of changes in farmers' satisfaction with services are explained by changes in the preceding variables in the model. Research limitations/implications - It is, however, important to view this study with a few limitations in mind; for instance, using a survey method (e.g. sampling and the use of questionnaires in data collection); and the constraints associated with the model. That is to say that the components of the model could be further increased to incorporate other aspects of stakeholders, e.g. the economic impact of governmental financial policies on tax and the customs duties on agricultural products. Practical implications - A Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations agricultural extension reference manual recommends certain purposes for a PM in agricultural extension organizations; interestingly, all these are already embedded in the proposed PM model, which makes it unequivocally a useful PM model for agriculture extension agents in agricultural extension organizations worldwide. Furthermore, the proposed model contributes significantly to agricultural extension practitioners and academics alike. It focuses the attention of agricultural extension organizations on the causal relationships among the model's components. These components are linked to the agricultural extension organization strategies. Social implications - In addition to the practical implications above, the proposed PM model demonstrates the need for placing equal importance on all five components included and setting performance indicator (PI) targets. Originality/value - The importance of this study emerges from the fact that it is helpful to examine the development and implementation of PM models across various disciplines to enhance understanding. The PM model overcomes the shortcomings in previous PM models of agricultural extension agents' criteria/models in the agricultural extension literature. It is not merely a theoretically proposed model because the proposed causal relations amongst its variables are empirically investigated. Following management accounting and strategy theories, the authors propose that the relative importance of the attributes of PI in the proposed model differs according to each agricultural extension organization's strategy, size and organizational structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-246
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Accounting and Organizational Change
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Agricultural extension agents
  • Causal relations
  • Management accounting
  • Performance measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategy and Management


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