Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management
Linda S. Niehm
Rural communities need to move beyond their market remoteness and limitations by engaging in innovation and entrepreneurship that will enhance rural economic growth and strength. Self-development efforts provide opportunities for remote regions to increase their entrepreneurship activities, strengthen the rural economy, and enhance social interaction. The critical attribute of self-development is `revitalization' of the community, which affects not only the rural community but also its socioeconomic climate (Sutton, 2010). This study investigated the relationship between community self-development and local residents' perceived satisfaction and the impacts on community entrepreneurial climate and community outcomes. This study was framed by social capital theory, which emphasizes the importance of social relations in enhancing self-development activities.
Analysis included descriptive analysis, exploratory factor analysis (EFA), internal reliability assessment of research variables using Cronbach's alpha coefficients, and correlation analysis. Then, confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed using Mplus statistical software.
One of the main findings derived from this study was the identification of self-development efforts as a vital and practical strategy for enhancing entrepreneurial activities for rural communities. Rural communities with an enhanced entrepreneurial climate were strongly associated with residents' perceived satisfaction with the community. Enhanced community satisfaction generates strong attachment and support of local community that contributes towards rural community vitality. These results support findings from previous research on community satisfaction.
Results demonstrated that rural residents are very concerned with economic and quality of life factors resulting from self-development efforts. Thus, community leaders and economic developers should focus on transforming rural communities' economies by encouraging the development of entrepreneurs and attractive business activities that have a significant impact through job creation, good salaries, and a high quality of life. Findings from this study provide useful insights on the role of self-development as a strategy for rural communities wishing to strengthen their social and economic environments.
Rosita Mohd Tajuddin
Tajuddin, Rosita Mohd, "Social capital and rural community self-development: Understanding community satisfaction and its impact on entrepreneurial climate and community outcomes" (2011). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 10241.