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Organizational Leadership & Communications

Course Standards

Career Awareness

1) Use local news media, organizational websites, and real-time labor market information to

investigate occupations in business leadership and communications. Compare and contrast

the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for employment, as well as the typical level of

education required.

2) Demonstrate the ability to prepare basic personal and business records to complete taxes,

employment, and SAE related applications, including resume, budgets, income statements,

balance sheets, cash flow statements, profit and loss statements, and equity statements.

Organizational Structure and Performance

3) Consult case studies, business journals, and news articles to determine the relationships

between organizational performance and human capital, social capital, organizational

learning, total quality management, and customer satisfaction. Analyze case studies to

identify the elements supporting high-performing organizations and describe how

successful agribusinesses incorporate them.

4) Define organizational behavior, citing examples from agricultural businesses currently in

operation. Produce a narrative or annotated timeline analyzing the major developments and

features of the agriculture industry that have influenced changes in organizational behavior

over the past century. These features include but are not limited to: scientific advancements,

transportation of goods, labor market shifts, labor organization, the rise of large

corporations, subsidies, automation, information technology, and globalization.

5) Compare and contrast characteristics of models of organizational change. Analyze a case

study in which an organization faced an unplanned change and develop a written argument

supporting transformational change as a preventive measure.

6) Differentiate between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and summarize how each influences

employee productivity. Develop a list of strategies for motivating individuals or groups and write business scenarios in which the strategies apply

7) Create an annotated graphic (such as a flowchart, table, or mind map) illustrating the stages

of team development. Draw conclusions about the advantages and disadvantages of group

decision-making and evaluate the potential effectiveness of group decision-making at each



8) Practice effective verbal and nonverbal communication for use in business environments via

role-plays. Contrast communication appropriate for an agribusiness environment versus an

informal setting.

9) Recognize the consequences of poor communication skills and describe the importance of

effective communication among team members. Apply concepts of giving and receiving oral

and written instructions to accomplish a complex task.

10) Define constructive criticism; analyze potential conflicts involved in giving and receiving

feedback; and create a plan for engaging in productive dialogue. Role-play work-related

feedback as an employer and as an employee. Demonstrate active listening and appropriate

response skills.

11) Cite evidence to support the idea that conflict is a normal part of work relationships.

Compare and contrast assertive and aggressive communication in conflicts. Apply concepts

pertaining to different methods for handling conflicts by participating in role-play exercises

and constructively critiquing the practices of others.

12) Analyze the potential customer impact of sample verbal, print, and electronic

communications in agribusiness. Examine case studies in which various forms of

communication have facilitated or hampered effective business operations.

Management and Leadership

13) Develop a hypothesis surrounding the character traits and interpersonal skills needed by

effective agribusiness managers. Determine which individual traits and skills can be

developed and create a plan for personal growth. Example traits and skills include but are

not limited to: enthusiasm, effective communication, decision making, risk evaluation, selfdiscipline,

integrity, lifelong learning, and teamwork.

14) Analyze the outcomes of case studies or current events and critique how organizational

leaders managed people and made decisions. Write a narrative advocating alternative

management strategies that would benefit the organization and which lead to either a better

financial outcome or improved employee motivation.

15) Define organizational culture and evaluate the role of business leaders in establishing and maintaining a workplace in which employees work cooperatively with others from diverse


16) Research a variety of project management models and create a visual representation to

show important connections and distinctions between the essential phases of each model.

Select one model and modify it to meet the needs of a sample organization; justify its

application in an agribusiness setting.

17) Research professional ethical standards from recognized national organizations (such as the

United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Business Cooperative Service). Synthesize

principles from the standards to create a personal code of agribusiness ethics designed to

address professional, ethical, and legal issues such as:

a. Conducting business with friends, relatives, or competitors

b. Sales incentives

c. Pricing policies

d. Illegal practices

e. Behavior toward customers, employees, and shareholders

18) Demonstrate knowledge of basic parliamentary procedures by planning and conducting a

simulated annual or monthly stockholders meeting for a small agricultural corporation or

cooperative. Develop an agenda and take official minutes. Identify meeting materials to be

used, including data and reports, and outline the responsibilities of organizational

leadership in facilitating the meeting.

Innovation and Influence

19) Formulate a hypothesis about the relationship between the stages of innovation adoption

(knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation, confirmation) and the rate of innovation

adoption (innovator, early adopter, early majority, late majority, laggard). Analyze the role

that opinion leaders play in the adoption process. Write coherent arguments based on

evidence from real-world examples to support the hypothesis.

20) Analyze case studies of stakeholder resistance to change, identify the causes, and propose

measures for overcoming resistance.

21) Compare and contrast theories of persuasion and influence (reciprocity, commitment, social

proof, liking, authority, scarcity) and apply these theories to agricultural sales and marketing


22) Synthesize the understanding of stakeholder resistance, adoption models, and persuasion

theories. Develop a sales plan for a new agricultural product or service (such as commodity trading to farmers). Deliver a focused, coherent presentation on the plan.



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