Organizational and Individual Factors Related to Retention of County Extension Agents Employed by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
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This study seeks to identify factors that contribute to why county extension agents choose to stay employed with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Demographics that have been identified define the relationship levels that exist between organizational, work and non-work individual related factors with demographics of why county extension agents choose to remain employed with Extension. The data for the target population were collected from 560 Texas county Extension agents. A web-based questionnaire was used to collect data for this study. The questionnaire was adapted by the researcher from a previously used instrument conducted on county Extension agent turnover by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. The questions were modified to reflect why agents stay with Extension as opposed to why agents leave Extension. The researcher used a Likert scale to measure attitudes, knowledge, perceptions, values, and behavior changes. Content validity of the questionnaire was established by a panel of Extension administrators. Data was analyzed using SPSS 2014 software package. Descriptive statistics were utilized to analyze the data including means, medians, standard deviations, percentages, and frequencies. Correlation matrix and reliability were calculated employing Cronbach’s alpha. Construct is the hypothetical variable that is being measured. All observed variables, except the demographic and open-ended items, were subjected to Shapiro-Wilk test for normality and were found to have a normal distribution. T-test (independent samples) were utilized to predict the dependent variables (organizational, individual work, and individual non-work factors) with the independent variables (demographic factors) with only two choices (ex: male and female) for reasons why county Extension agents choose to stay in Extension. Analysis of variance F-tests were utilized to predict the dependent variables with demographic factors with two or more choices (ex: ethnicity) for reasons why county Extension agents choose to stay in Extension. The ultimate goal and mission of Extension is carried out through employees. Retention of these employees and continuing to decrease employee turnover is paramount for Extension to attain its primary goal of education.
McLellan, Michael Shane (2014). Organizational and Individual Factors Related to Retention of County Extension Agents Employed by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from