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Title:Information Utilization Patterns of Rural Local Government Officials
Author(s):Caudillo, Nancy Lauts
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kozoll, C.,
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Adult and Continuing
Political Science, Public Administration
Abstract:More is now known about the way knowledge is used in the decision-making process. Much has been written in the past 15 years to help explain how new knowledge is obtained and used by policy-makers as they make decisions related to federal or state government.
This current study shares another perspective on how decision-makers seek and use information. The focus of this study is a group of relatively unknown policy-makers, elected officials serving in small towns and rural counties. Serious issues face these "volunteer" officials who generally have no special skill or background related to government or emerging economic, environmental, and human service issues.
The study sought answers to some basic questions related to the information-seeking behaviors of rural local officials. When faced with significant issues related to local government policy: (1) What information did local officials seek? (2) To whom did officials turn for information? (3) How did local officials use this information?
Forty-one officials from eight Illinois counties and municipalities were included in the study. Field interviews were conducted with each of the study participants, and each official completed a self-administered questionnaire.
Results of the study confirmed that officials relied heavily upon resources from within the community, but had also sought information from external sources, especially on controversial issues. Officials preferred information about how other communities handled similar issues or situations, and also about cost figures. Information gathered by officials was used in many ways. The data suggests a strong pattern of sharing of information among rural officials.
Issue Date:1992
Description:221 p.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1992.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9305483
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1992

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