Retention of county Extension faculty has been identified as a significant challenge facing the Extension Service system across the country (ECOP LAC, 2005). There are several influences that contribute to employee turnover in the Extension Service, including: burnout, dissatisfaction with pay related to the amount of time worked, downsizing, long and abnormal work hours including nights and weekends, balancing work and family, and job stress (Boltes, Lippke, & Gregory, 1995; Bradley, Driscoll, & Bardon, 2012; ECOP LAC, 2005; Ensle, 2005; Fetsch & Kennington, 1997; Kutilek, Conklin, & Gunderson, 2002; Rousan & Henderson, 1996). Within their positions, Extension personnel are required to fulfill a variety of roles including facilitator, negotiator, organizer, and primarily educator. Given the unique position descriptions and work assignments for county Extension faculty, there is a greater risk for job dissatisfaction.
This mixed-method study was completed with West Virginia University Extension Service county faculty. The study utilized document review of employment trend data at the West Virginia University Extension Service from the human resources department. An online questionnaire was implemented with county Extension faculty that included a modified Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) Short-Form, questions on perceptions of the work environment, and demographics. Interviews were also completed with supervisors on their perceptions and experiences of supervising county Extension faculty members. The study utilized the Herzberg Motivation-Hygiene Theory (1966) comparing intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors and discusses the results and significance of corrections with independent variables, including faculty tenure status and generational cohort groups. Results showed that West Virginia University Extension county are satisfied or very satisfied with their job. The county Extension faculty were more intrinsically than extrinsically motivated, which according to the Herzberg Motivation-Hygiene Theory, leads to greater job satisfaction. There was a significant relation between job satisfaction and recognition, and job satisfaction and supervision. Generational cohort and tenure status were not found to be predictors of job satisfaction for West Virginia University Extension Service county faculty. Qualitative differences were found on intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction based on county Extension faculty long-answer questions and supervisor interviews.
The results of this study will create a better understanding of how Extension faculty are professionally motivated in their work. The study findings will assist the West Virginia University Extension Service system by providing empirical data that will indicate the job satisfaction level, and extrinsic and intrinsic work factors of county Extension faculty. Results could assist the organization in learning how to best serve its' employees by designing experiences that lead to improved employee satisfaction and an opportunity to reduce turnover.
|Advisor:||Goeres, Ernest R., Lefebvre, Lauryl A.|
|Commitee:||Nichols, Allison H., Plein, L. C., Saab, Joy F.|
|School:||West Virginia University|
|Department:||Education and Human Services|
|School Location:||United States -- West Virginia|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||School administration, Occupational psychology|
|Keywords:||Extension service, Generational cohort, Job satisfaction, Tenure status|
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