Stakeholder Expectations of County Extension Agents in Texas
Dukes, Brandon K
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The purpose of this study was to determine if differences exist in the way stakeholder groups perceive job tasks county extension agents routinely perform. The study also sought to determine the presence or absence of role conflict and role ambiguity among county extension agents and their relationship to work and personal characteristics. The study consisted of an online or paper survey instrument distributed to county extension agents, extension administrators, and county judges and commissioners. Findings revealed differences between groups related to the level of importance placed upon certain tasks. Differences were greatest for tasks related to 4-H and youth development, where judges and commissioners viewed tasks as more important, and for tasks related to family and community health where AgriLife Administrators viewed tasks as more important. While there were fewer differences in tasks related to agriculture and natural resources, where they did occur, AgriLife Administrators tended to view the tasks as more important. Correlational analysis revealed there is a statistically significant relationship between the way county judges and commissioners and the way county extension agents view tasks related to 4-H and youth development. A strong relationship is also present between AgriLife Administrators and county extension agents, but not between AgriLife administrators and county judges and commissioners, suggesting that county extension agents are working to perform tasks that are important to both groups. The same findings were present for tasks related to agriculture and natural resources. Population size was determined to have less influence in stakeholder response than hypothesized. Role conflict and role ambiguity as determined by level of agreement statements was observed in respondents, albeit at a lower level than hypothesized. Role ambiguity was somewhat influenced by length of employment while role conflict was somewhat influenced by county population size. All agents largely disagreed with work-life balance statements suggesting that work-life balance is an issue the CES needs to address.