Enhancing Rural Leadership and Institutions.Report as inadecuate

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Research on economic development efforts among 70 American Indian tribes, mostly in rural areas, yields information that may be applicable to rural areas generally. Local control matters--when decisions move into the hands of those whose future is at stake, the decision makers bear the consequences of their decisions, resulting in better decision making over time. Current trends in governmental devolution support the importance of local control. Local control must be backed up by effective institutions, which are characterized by four elements: stability in the rules themselves, depoliticizing day-to-day business decisions, depoliticizing dispute resolution, and bureaucratic structures and procedures that can get things done predictably and reliably. The significance of effective local institutions of governance rises dramatically as local control rises. Successful economic development requires strategic thinking, a systematic examination not only of assets and opportunities but of priorities and concerns characterized by long-term thinking, systemic thinking, and a broad societal focus. Good leadership is important. Good leaders are precipitators, breaking with past habits and establishing new kinds of behavior; they are conduits for information; they encourage leadership on the part of others; and they build governing institutions that are not themselves dependent on good leadership. Rural leadership training is needed, along with research-derived models of institutional structures that work best in particular community circumstance. (Contains 37 references.) (TD)

Descriptors: Community Control, Community Leaders, Decentralization, Economic Development, Institutional Characteristics, Institutional Role, Leadership Qualities, Leadership Training, Long Range Planning, Reservation American Indians, Rural Development, Self Determination, Strategic Planning, Tribal Sovereignty

Full text at Web site: http://www.kc.frb.org/PUBLICAT/beyond/beyondmain.htm.

Author: Cornell, Stephen

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=9828&id=ED449944

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