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Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural

Print version ISSN 0122-1450

Cuad. Desarro. Rural vol.15 no.81 Bogotá Jan./June 2018 


Analysis of Determining the Leadership Approach and Factors Influencing Managerial Perceptions of the Agricultural Organizations’ President: An Empirical Exploration

Análisis para determinar el enfoque de liderazgo y los factores que influyen en las percepciones gerenciales del presidente de una organización agrícola: Una exploración empírica

1Süleyman Demirel University, Turkey

2Ege University, Turkey


The goal of this paper was to identify the leadership approach and dimensions influencing the managerial perceptions of the agricultural organization’s president. This research was carried out with agricultural organization presidents by using questionnaires. For this purpose, 29 items were given to presidents and a Likert scale used for the degree of agreement of each item. Factor analysis, Cronbach alpha coefficient was situated to be 0.933. To specify the dimensions influencing the managerial perception of agricultural organization’s president principle component analysis with varimax rotation was used. Eigenvalue belongs to seven of 29 items was calculated higher than one. As a result of this analysis, seven dimensions were examined. These dimensions clarified 75.75% of the total variance. The main aspects influencing the managerial perception of agricultural organization’s president were constructed to be motivation and team spirit, the power of initiative, put the organization interests over their individual interests, devotion to duty, entrepreneurial spirit, empathy ability and sense of belonging to an organization. La meta de este artículo fue identificar el enfoque de liderazgo y las dimensiones que influyen en las percepciones gerenciales del presidente de una organización agrícola. Esta investigación se llevó a cabo con presidentes de organizaciones agrícolas usando cuestionarios. Para tal propósito, a los presidentes se les entregaron 29 ítems usando la escala de Likert para ver en qué grado estaban de acuerdo con cada ítem. En el análisis de factorial, el coeficiente alfa de Cronbach se ubicó en 0,933. Para especificar las dimensiones que influyen en la percepción gerencial del presidente de una organización agrícola se usó el análisis de componentes de principales con rotación Varimax. El valor propio se calculó por encima de 1 en siete de los 29 ítems. Como resultado de este análisis, se examinaron siete dimensiones. Esas dimensiones aclararon el 75,75% de la variación total. Se determine que los principales aspectos que influyeron en la percepción gerencial del presidente de una organización agrícola fueron la motivación y el espíritu de trabajo en equipo, el poder de la iniciativa, poner los intereses de la organización por encima de sus intereses individuales, la dedicación al deber, el espíritu emprendedor, la capacidad de empatía y el sentido de pertenencia a una organización.

Keywords presidents' perceptions; leadership approach; cooperative; the managerial perception


La meta de este artículo fue identificar el enfoque de liderazgo y las dimensiones que influyen en las percepciones gerenciales del presidente de una organización agrícola. Esta investigación se llevó a cabo con presidentes de organizaciones agrícolas usando cuestionarios. Para tal propósito, a los presidentes se les entregaron 29 ítems usando la escala de Likert para ver en qué grado estaban de acuerdo con cada ítem. En el análisis de factorial, el coeficiente alfa de Cronbach se ubicó en 0,933. Para especificar las dimensiones que influyen en la percepción gerencial del presidente de una organización agrícola se usó el análisis de componentes de principales con rotación Varimax. El valor propio se calculó por encima de 1 en siete de los 29 ítems. Como resultado de este análisis, se examinaron siete dimensiones. Esas dimensiones aclararon el 75,75% de la variación total. Se determine que los principales aspectos que influyeron en la percepción gerencial del presidente de una organización agrícola fueron la motivación y el espíritu de trabajo en equipo, el poder de la iniciativa, poner los intereses de la organización por encima de sus intereses individuales, la dedicación al deber, el espíritu emprendedor, la capacidad de empatía y el sentido de pertenencia a una organización.

Palabras clave percepciones presidenciales; enfoque de liderazgo; cooperativa; percepción gerencial


Farmers’ set-ups such as unions, cooperatives, associations and commodity unions, as well as financial bodies in rural areas, may perform an essential role in the rural development besides fighting poverty (Costa Pinto, 2009). The existence of cooperatives affects the rural development in terms of effectiveness and accession to facilities. Some of these facilities that develop the essential circumstance of agriculture life. Cooperatives are essential for agricultural development because farmers organizations ensure employment of other professions, as part of direct employment (Chambo, 2009). Cooperatives reached higher income and help the small-scale farmers to live in decent places, provide a good education for their children and ensure health insurance to the continuance of agrarian life (Chambo, Mwangi & Oloo, 2007).

In developed and developing countries, various farmers' organizations are used to solve the essential problems of the rural and agricultural sector that have lasted for many years as well as to help to accomplish rural development and generating rural and agricultural policies. Since resources are limited in agriculture, it has a high-risk aspect related to the natural circumstances; it has needed a special preservation of goods, and because of the price fluctuations caused by supply-demand mismatch, the management of organizations plays a substantial role in achieving rural and agricultural development (Yılmaz, 2016). In addition, the priority is to increase the competitiveness of the European Union (EU) countries, which are developed in agriculture, and to have a strong organizational structure. To have a forceful structure of an agricultural organization is the case for every country, as a member of the EU (Yılmaz, 2008).

Agricultural organizations are responsible for increasing the living standards, utilizing the current material more efficiently, increasing the incomes of farmers and reaching rural development (İnan, Direk, Başaran, Birinci & Erkmen, 2005; Ates & Terin, 2011). An agriculture cooperative is an organization owned and controlled by its associates for their common interest. Members pay an equal amount or rate of dues for investments. Membership provides them the right for controlling and vote for becoming the president. The members hire the president and define the policy under which the manager operates (Gray, Kraenzle & Charles, 2002). The administration literature proposes that when individuals are free to do so, they select a president who generates the expectation that they will be able to reach mission, vision and facilitate task achievement, and ensure union cohesiveness (Cook, 1994).

Despite an old cooperative background in Turkey, only 10% of the population is corporatized. Experts highlighted that despite the high number of cooperatives, they are not enough in Turkey. Compared to other countries, the cooperatives in Turkey have not reached a good performance regarding their potentials (Yercan & Kinikli, 2016).

The impact of agricultural cooperatives managers in the economic performance has not received enough attention from the organizational behavior economics (Emelianoff, 1948; Aizsilnieks, 1952; Clark, 1952; Phillips, 1953; Aresvik, 1955; Robotka, 1957; Cook, 1994). Cook (1994) explored organizational differences in different types of firms, which he categorized as the investor and user-based firms. He argued that organizational differences influence administration behavior by affecting administration roles. A president must have control skills while being a showman. The manager’s skills to influence members through administration will be helpful to detect the extent to which both members individually and the whole organization success aims (USDA, 1997). The leader’s efficiency is evaluated in four dimensions; which are; i) Generating a good vision for the organization by considering all the members, ii) Composing a path for important opportunities, foreseeing threats in the external world and having knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses side of the organization, iii) Building the cooperation between members and people committed to the realization of the vision and the strategies of the company, iv) Inspiring the members through the mission and the strategy of the organization (Zielnicki, 1997; Cieślińska, 2007).

The president is a staff member and therefore should not be part of the boards that hires managers and sets their salaries. Usually, the cooperative board of directors will give the manager the necessary authority to operate the cooperative on a day-to-day basis. Typically, the manager represents the cooperative to the public as the board decides (Williamson, 1998). Cieślińska (2007) begins with the definition of manager and presented the typologies of managerial roles, which takes into consideration different criteria. Çetinkaya (2009) investigated management competencies in terms of the level of management from the perceptions of managers in several cities, working in various sectors at various levels and on the manager. In the research findings, different managerial competencies in different management levels for their perceptions have been identified. Undoubtedly, organizations always have to deal with economic and work-oriented competencies. Managerial competencies are the "micro-skills" of the managers, and they are part of the values or abilities of the organization. These skills allow other values within the organization to expand into business outcomes and at the same time improve performance (Çetinkaya, 2009).

Gray et al. (2002) researched the main problems of farmer cooperatives in recent years and projected the challenges they might face in the near future. They identified problems in 17 categories by the cooperative administration. The results were analyzed for current and future situations in all cooperatives, by type and size, and by region of the country.

The role of management behavior in the economic performance of organizations has received little attention from scholars in management science, organizational behavior and economic research in Turkey. There were no studies relating to the managerial perceptions of agricultural organization's president in Turkey. The purpose of this study was to identify the leadership approach and the dimensions influencing the managerial perceptions of agricultural organization presidents. That is why this research is immensely substantial. It is thought that the findings of this study will supply fruitful knowledge for decision makers and the agricultural organizations.


Data was collected from the president of an agricultural organization using a face-to-face survey. The questionnaire was allocated to the data effective in administration approach and managerial roles. The surveys were carried out between December 19, 2013, and December 17, 2016. The literature review helped as a theoretical base to generate the questionnaires.

Statistical Methods

Factor Analysis

Factor analysis is a statistical technique widely used in psychology and the social sciences. Factor analysis is a method of condensation, is usually used to search for factors. When there is a highly complex field, as there usually are in real-life human affairs, as distinct from laboratory studies of human beings where one variable may be manipulated at a time, factor analysis simplifies the field by indicating what the important variables are (Kline, 2014).

Varimax Criterion

Varimax Criterion simplifies columns of the loading matrix and by that; it greatly facilitates the interpretability of factors. It is the most popular orthogonal rotation method, especially in social sciences. This usually allows for an easy explanation since data are not puzzled by dimensions (Kaiser, 1957). Only items with values higher than one and the data whose loading items were greater than 0.5 were selected (Kaiser, 1957; Kaiser, 1974; Molaie, 2014).

Analyzing Data

Cronbach alpha reliability coefficients compute for all statement values gathered in the study. Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) measure and Bartlett’s tests were done to provide data adequacy. Then after Principal Components Analysis is used to extract maximum variance from the dataset with each component thus reducing many variables into the smaller number of components (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2007). Principal Components analysis is a data reduction technique, and the issues of whether it is truly a factor analysis technique have been raised (Costello & Osborne, 2005). One criterion that can be used to determine the number of factors to retain is Kaiser's criterion which is a rule of thumb. This criterion suggests retaining all factors that are above the eigenvalue of 1 (Kaiser, 1960). Spearman's rank correlation coefficient was calculated among the characteristics which have higher factor loads (≥0.5) to observe the occurrence of a linear relationship among data. Statistics Program for Social Science were used to make calculations (SPSS, 2007).

Leadership Approach and the managerial perception

Perception defines a visual information mode, which is connected to concrete objectives in the external world. Perception is a social and psychological phenomenon that can be conducted and directed from the outside (Inceoğlu, 2000). The first component is attention and comment (Yelkikalan, Sumer & Temel, 2006). An agricultural organization’s president the managerial perceptions and their administration approach affect their behavior.

Leadership, in literature, is defined as an ability to influence others, such as the ability to show how to accomplish a target or mission (Aslanalp, 2002; Akın, Kara, Kara & Kurt, 2013). Leadership is mostly a personality characteristic and is not formal, meaning that leadership is defined in function of the situations (Tosun, 1978; Akın et al., 2013). A set of features that all leaders must have is not available and it is not necessary, because there is a need for differentiation of leader qualifications according to the situations (Özçatalbaş, 1998; Akın et al., 2013).

Cieslinska (2007) stated that one of the manager's roles is the Leader's role, which influences a lot the internal and indirectly external context of the functioning of the company. The role of leadership is to reach the goals of the organization by providing the motivation of the manager and satisfying the demands of the members. As reported by 2015 figures, there are almost 13 thousand cooperatives in five different types of cooperatives according to the working field under the assigned duties and the responsibility of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MFAL) in Turkey and they have almost 3.9 million members (MFAL, 2015; Yercan & Kinikli, 2016). Despite the agricultural organization's apparent growth in number in Turkey, they have made only a small effect on economic and social dimensions in rural areas due to some essential finance, managerial, legislation, and auditing problems (Mulayim, 2003; Özdemir, 2005).

Managerial roles usually categorize in three: i) activities concerned primarily with interpersonal relationships; ii) activities dealing with the transfer of information; and iii) activities essentially involving decision-making. Managerial role is a set of behaviors, which belongs to an identifiable office or position (Mintzberg, 1971; Cook, 1994).


In Table 1, 29 items codes and explanations were given to specified leadership approach and the managerial perceptions of presidents. The past studies which are used in scale development process, are the basis of the source. Opinions of experts were consulted during scale preparation. It can be said that there may be various other variants that can affect leadership and the managerial perceptions of presidents, which are immensely complex socio-psychological circumstances. However, in this study, the most researched subjects were investigated. Participants rated their participation from 5 level of Likert- Scale.

Table 1.  Items and Codes Relating Leadership Approach of Agricultural Organizations Presidents 

Source: own work

Descriptive statistics of the 29 items and the main findings of presidents’ the managerial perception on dimensions influencing and leadership approach are listed in Table 2 Presidents’ participation averages to the item related to leadership approach changes between 4.610 and 3.740. the highest average was calculated for X16 "I see the problems of the organization as my own problems" proposition and the lowest average was calculated for X4 "For the success of organization I try new methods that anyone has never tried." As it is shown in Table 2, all 29 items were positively perceived by presidents.

Table 2. Descriptive Statistics related to Leadership Approach of Agricultural Organizations Presidents1 = strongly disagree 5 = strongly agrees 

Source: own work

Table 3 shows the outcomes of the factor analysis. Cronbach alpha coefficients of 29 items were 0.933. High values mean participants have near participation value for the items. Widely, the reliability coefficient of 0.7 or higher is considered “acceptable” (Sekaran, 2000). High coefficient shows that internal consistency and reliability of data are high. Kaiser Meyer Olkin value found was 0.714 and this value ranges from 0 to 1. Hair, Rolph, Ronald and William (1992) stated that KMO index should be over 0.60. As reported by findings of factor analysis seven of eigenvalue belonging to 29 items were specified as higher than one. Therefore, outputs of factor analysis were investigated in seven dimensions. These dimensions represented 75.56% of total variance. Most literature suggests items with higher loadings than 0.50 as we accepted in this research. As reported by findings of the factor analysis Dimension 1 is named "motivation and team spirit" in the leadership approach and the managerial perception of agricultural organization presidents. This dimension describes 13.6% of total variance. “Motivation and team spirit” are substantial leadership approach and the managerial perceptions presidents of agricultural organizations. This dimension contains following perceptions such as "I provide a friendly and respectful environment" and "I instill respect to the members", "giving a speech that makes members excited", "motivating the members", "always ready to make a self-sacrifice" and “I manage the tasks of the organization with the cooperation members”. There is a positive relation between dimension 1 and items X29, X15, X17, X12, and X24. Dimension 2 is effective in the leadership approach and the managerial perception s of agricultural organizations. A president is entitled as “the power of initiative and to be open for innovation”. There is a positive relation between Dimension 2 and data from items X25, X14, X28, X4, and X23. This dimension describes 13.3% of total variance. Dimension 3 is called “put the organization interests over their individual interests”. This dimension describes 11.3% of the total variance. Dimension 3 is related to X26, X20, X13 and X27 items. Dimension 4 is called “devotion to duty.” This dimension describes 11.3% of the total variance. Dimension 4 is related to items X1, X19, X8 and X7. These findings show that presidents perceived devotion to duty as one of the leadership dimensions. Dimension 5 is called “entrepreneurial spirit and ability solving a problem.” This dimension describes 11% of the total variance. Dimension 5 is related to X10, X16, X5 and X2 items. Dimension 6 is called “empathy ability and sense of belonging to an organization.” This dimension describes 8.3% of the total variance. Dimension 6 is related to X22, X9, X21 and X18 items. Dimension 7 is called “awareness and dynamic interaction.” This dimension describes 6.8% of the total variance. Dimension 7 includes the X11 item.

Table 3. The Findings of Factor Analysis on Leadership Approach of Agricultural Organizations PresidentLoadings of > 0.50 are in italics. 

Source: own work

As it is shown in Table 4 effective dimensions in the leadership approach and the managerial perceptions of agricultural organization presidents, Spearman rho or rank correlation coefficients expressed the linear strength of linkage or co-occurrence between variables. Spearman rank correlation coefficients of all items in Table 4 were statistically meaningful, but their values were not high.

Table 4. Coefficients matrix in Spearman rho correlation***2-tail significances 0.01 level. 

Source: own work


The seven dimensions are listed from the most important to the least important in the hierarchy scheme. As supported by the literature, a president should complete first their personal skills and then focus on the cooperative, which uses his or her skills to succeed. In the end, a cooperative president will focus on the mental dimension, which provides a sense of belonging and dynamic interaction between other members.

Source: own work

Figure 1. Dimension of a successful cooperative manager 

Items in Dimension 1 show that a president behavior and speech skills are related to the managerial perceptions and leadership approach. Thus, the literature review supports that a good co-op manager should be an effective speaker and writer (Williamson, 1998).

Dimension 2 shows that to be open for innovation is crucial for the leadership approach and the managerial perception of the president. Presidents should also do conferment and motivate the staff. This coaching function involves seeking advice from employees, generating an ambiance where staff can be entrepreneurial, goal-oriented, inspiring and efficient, and developing teamwork and an esprit de corps among employees (Anonymous, 1997).

Azadi, Gholamhossein, Kiumars, Aligholi and Frank (2010) reported similar findings related to Dimension 3. In their study, they calculated three individual dimensions have a significant correlation with success, which are “interests”, “understand the term of cooperative”, “technical knowledge.” As all the coefficients are positive, when the interest of the managing director, his technical knowledge, and his understanding of the term of cooperative increase, the success rate of his cooperative also increases. It shows the significance of the individual characteristics of the managers on the success. These outputs show that presidents’ interest is substantial for the success of the cooperative endeavors.

Another study also supports the Dimension 4 because they detailed similar findings that the members support successful agrarian organizations because they meet the expectations and perform their missions (Ates & Terin, 2011). In addition, the manager's interpersonal activities give presidents unique access to information. Possessing authority and unique information places the manager in a key strategic decision-making position (Cook 1994; Mintzberg, 1971).

Cook (1994) defined this Dimension 5 as “the president initiates and design much of the controlled change within the organization. The entrepreneur role describes the manager as initiator and designer of much of the controlled change in his organization. The manager looks for opportunities and potential problems, which may cause him to initiate action. The action takes the form of improvement projects and the marketing of a new commodity, the strengthening of a weak department, the purchasing of new equipment, the reorganization of formal structure. Entrepreneurialism allows for proactive approaches to improving organizational performance” (Mintzberg, 1971, p. 105). This finding shows that problem-solving abilities are perceived as a considerable leadership approach by the president of agricultural organizations.

Dimension 6 shows that feelings of attachment to an organization relate to the leadership approach and the managerial perception of presidents. Maslow (1954) described belonging as one of the main human needs. Most of the research on the sense of belonging has focused on students about their educational centers or some element of these (Johnson et al., 2007). Perhaps the most emphasized approach in studying organization commitment is the theory offered by Porter, Steers, Mowday and Boulian, (1974). These authors sustain that organization commitment consists on the identification and involvement with a specific organization, which means a strong belief and approval of the organization’s targets and values, the will to make considerable efforts on its behalf and the desire to remain a member of the organization.

Dimension 7 shows that dynamic interaction such as losing the support of members or the existence of different opinions between members is effective on leadership approach and the managerial perception of presidents. In addition, Machete (1990) stated that members’ awareness of cooperative thought is one of the important determinants of cooperative success.


Any agricultural organization president who needs to increase productivity in the cooperative would like to learn the managerial perception or leadership approach of presidents. Recently, the management role has expanded, became more complex, mobile and inventive. Presidents who want to manage their cooperatives in good shape should go for branding and implement more management functions. The cooperative president is flexible and must be able to cope with different situations because the internal and external contexts of the company are functioning are incessantly changing (Penc, 2000; Cieslinska, 2007). Leaders who fail to follow innovations in management will fail in bringing success to any company.

In this study, we determined the leadership approach and dimensions influencing the managerial perceptions of agricultural organization’s presidents. To maintain this goal, Varimax rotation was applied and a factor analysis was done through the principal component analysis. As a conclusion of the factor analysis, presidents characteristics such as motivation and team spirit, the power of initiative and to be open for innovation, put the organization interests over their individual interests, devotion to duty, entrepreneurial spirit and ability solving a problem, empathy ability and sense of belonging to an organization, awareness and dynamic interaction were categorized in seven dimensions. These dimensions influence presidents’ managerial perceptions and their leadership of the cooperatives.

As reported by findings, the presidents think that motivation and team spirit at their cooperative are the most critical points to the success of cooperative. Members think that initiative and innovativeness is the important dimension for an effective leadership approach and the managerial perception. Findings are considerable for cooperative management as they could make an evaluation and develop novel administration techniques.

Rural development aims to increase farmers’ income and improve the welfare of rural people. Rural development calls for detailed planning and, most important, practical actions. Therefore, coordination among various institutes and economic activities becomes essential for ensuring rural development. Effective managerial skills of the agricultural organization presidents would enable a significant role in the decision making that affect the planning and implementation of rural development policies. Improved leadership skills on thematic areas such as the holding of productive meetings, governance, monitoring and evaluation are increasing the success of the agricultural organizations in rural development activities.

According to the study results, the following suggestions can increase an effective leadership approach. Organization’s work should be done with the cooperation of the members. A president tends to try new ideas of the members, think about of the changes and innovations; he/she should show impressive behavior make members amazed and is interested in the needs and feelings of members. Another important point is that presidents should benefit from the innovation for the cooperative success and they should notice possible challenges such as loss of support of members, humanitarian issues, and different opinions between the members.


The authors want to thank also the anonymous reviewers for their suggestions and improvements on this paper.


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Received: May 17, 2018; Accepted: June 01, 2018; Published: June 18, 2018

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