Foundations of Economic Development

The Foundations of Economic Development Extension program focuses on several modules aimed at improving community and economic development. Currently, these modules focus on teaching how to use the economic concepts of adverse selection and moral hazard to manage teams and build high performance boards. Each module is approximately 2 hours in length. To request these programs, simply email or call me at or (662) 325-1796.


Module 1: Foundations of Team Decision Making focuses on understanding how teams (organizations, groups, associations, etc.) can make effective team decisions and successfully manage conflict.

Module 2: Foundations of Board Leadership explores how to successfully recruit and build a board no matter its industry setting or type of organization (e.g. private or public).

Module 3: Foundations of Rural Development explores the core elements of a comprehensive approach to rural economic development using the CARE model.


Module 1: Foundations of Team Decision Making {Overview}


Community development often relies on two important factors: Leadership and recognition of a community’s assets which can provide a competitive advantage. Community leaders allocate scarce resources within Mississippi communities and therefore influence how a community’s assets are used to promote improvements in economic development. In this workshop, participants learn an economic development framework and how leadership influences economic development in a community, or region. In this module, team members learn how to mitigate the risks of adverse selection and moral hazard when making team decisions. Through interactive, team-based exercises and discussion, participants learn how they can promote economic development. This workshop is approximately 2 hours in length and can be tailored for a county, community, regional audience, or any local government organization.

Module 2: Foundations of Board Leadership {Overview}

Boards function to govern scarce resources in communities. Therefore, boards influence investments in economic development projects in communities, or across a region. Often times boards have conflict, lack organizational abilities or simply do not know their respective roles to govern effectively. This 1 to 2 hour workshop provides board leaders with several research-based best practices that can be implemented to improve the organizational and team performance aspects of board service. In this module, board members learn how to mitigate the risks of adverse selection (recruiting the wrong members) and moral hazard (manage a poorly performing member after recruitment). Through interactive exercises and the use of case studies, board leaders learn their respective roles, how to build trust among members and how to perform their duties with integrity. Agricultural cooperatives, rural health organizations, industrial development and recruitment organizations, faith-based and non-profits of any type can benefit from this training.

Module 3: Foundations of Rural Development: The CARES Model {Overview}

Economic development is complex. Incentives are sometimes mixed or dull for innovation and development. Often times, constraints exist in policies that inhibit development efforts. With such complexity, economic developers and community development organizations in general need a simplified approach to achieve development goals while balancing the needs of communities, corporations, local entrepreneurs and governments. This module teaches an economic development framework that can be used to develop strategic direction for local, regional or state level economic development efforts. The framework is called CARES, which stands for Creating, Attracting,Recruiting, Expanding and Socializing development activities. Through an interactive, engaging discussion, this module unearths the various aspects of the CARES model to develop economic development plans. The CARE model was first developed by the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University Extension and in collaboration with Dr. Mike Woods.