The Influence of extension professional’s job satisfaction and the quality of relationship with department heads on field faculty career commitment to Montana State University Extension

Keywords: leader-member exchange, LMX7, county agent, longevity, rentention


This research increased the understanding of Extension professionals’ career commitment by measuring the relationship between their job satisfaction and how they perceive their relationship with their supervisor using the Leader-Member Exchange Theory (LMX 7) and their career commitment. Montana State University Extension (MSUE) experiences periods of higher turnover among field-based professionals. The reasons for leaving are not well understood. Herzberg et al. (1959) identified intrinsic job satisfaction as a motivation factor and the extrinsic relationships with supervisors as one factor that influences employee dissatisfaction (Strong & Harder, 2009). Thirty-six early career Extension professionals at MSUE were surveyed regarding job satisfaction (Benge & Harder, 2017; Smerek & Peterson, 2007); LMX 7 (Graen & Uhl-Bien,1995); and original questions designed to establish the career commitment of Extension professionals to MSUE. Pearson’s r was calculated for the job satisfaction and LMX 7 scores with career commitment (the predicted percent of career worked for Extension). The research found a strong positive correlation between job satisfaction and career commitment (r(22) = .76); and a weak positive correlation between LMX 7 and career commitment (r(22) = .15). An additional question provided insights into the reasons why Extension professionals might leave their career.


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How to Cite
Siegelin, S., Lee, D., & Stone, C. (2021). The Influence of extension professional’s job satisfaction and the quality of relationship with department heads on field faculty career commitment to Montana State University Extension. Advancements in Agricultural Development, 2(3), 25-38.