PR - Evaluating The Effectiveness Of Video Case Studies As A Value Chain Management (teaching) Learning Methodology (p477-487)
While value chain management is emerging as a business model that can assist farmers to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment, the rate at which closely-aligned value chains are forming in the agribusiness industry is slower than in other industries. This research examines the effectiveness of experiential workshops for motivating Canadian farm managers to adopt value chain management approaches. Structured to reflect theories of adult learning, value chain management and farmers’ preferred learning styles, the workshops used a combination of video case studies of successful value chain initiatives and interaction among the participants to establish an emotional connection between the individuals and the topic of value chain management. The expectation was that this would motivate farm managers to learn about a topic not traditionally associated with agriculture, and lead to them applying the acquired knowledge to solve problems faced in their daily lives.
The immediate effectiveness of the workshops was evaluated using exit surveys. The longer-term impact of the workshops on influencing changes in the perceptions, attitudes and behaviour of farm managers was evaluated through interviews conducted an average of 14 months after each workshop. To gain broader insights into not just if, but also why, the workshops may have been effective in motivating changes in the farm managers’ attitude and behaviour, interviews were also conducted with the workshop hosts and organizers. That the researcher and workshop facilitator was the same person, further strengthened the chain of evidence that stretched from the workshops’ inception through to the collection and analysis of results.
The results show that experiential workshops are an effective means of motivating farm managers to learn about topics not traditionally associated with agriculture, then act upon their newly acquired knowledge. In changing the majority of participants’ perceptions towards their businesses, other value chain participants and the overall environment in which their businesses operate, the majority of farm managers who attended the workshops were found to have made changes in the business practices. Forty percent of those who changed their behaviour benefitted financially through increased revenue, reduced costs, or a combination of both.
Keywords: Value Chain Management, Training, Experiential Workshops, Adult Learning