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A Comparison of Organizational Socialization and Job Satisfaction in New Extension Agents within the Southern Region

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021654/00001

Material Information

Title: A Comparison of Organizational Socialization and Job Satisfaction in New Extension Agents within the Southern Region
Physical Description: 1 online resource (147 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Higgins, Cynthia M.
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: agent, extension, organizational, region, socialization, southern
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: People are one of company's greatest resources. How and when organizations socialize and train those people has a definite impact in job satisfaction and ultimately, job retention. Within the Cooperative Extension Service orientation and socialization programs vary as does the time frame in which new employees are formally and informally socialized into their new work environments. This comparative study was undertaken to examine how new extension professionals in eleven states in the southern region, with between six months to 18 months of on the job experience, perceived their organizational socialization experiences. In addition this study examined perceived level of job satisfaction, and identified methods of organizational socialization perceived important by participants. Each state's professional development specialist was contacted and asked to supply an email list of all new extension agents (six to eighteen months on the job). New extension professionals were contacted via email and asked to participate in an online survey. The survey was developed using two previously tested instruments, the Organizational Socialization Index and the Abridged Job in General instrument. A total of 321 participants were identified and a return rate of 75% (241 respondents) was achieved. Results of the study indicate that there is a strong positive relationship between knowledge of the participants and the training they received, as well as training and their perception of future prospects. Approximately 86% of participants indicated that they were satisfied with their jobs; however, most participants felt that they were underpaid. The number of months on the job negatively affected job satisfaction; the more months employed, the less satisfied participants were. With respect to methods of organizational socialization currently employed in the southern region, the interaction with county extension directors/ immediate supervisor was a significant indicator of job satisfaction as was immediate orientation (less than 3 months on the job) and self selection of mentors. Marginally significant were participants discussing job expectations and duties with co-workers, while the assignment of mentors, new agent orientation and training taking place after three months of hire and web modules as a form of socializing were not significant indicators of job satisfaction.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Cynthia M. Higgins.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Place, Nick T.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021654:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021654/00001

Material Information

Title: A Comparison of Organizational Socialization and Job Satisfaction in New Extension Agents within the Southern Region
Physical Description: 1 online resource (147 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Higgins, Cynthia M.
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: agent, extension, organizational, region, socialization, southern
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: People are one of company's greatest resources. How and when organizations socialize and train those people has a definite impact in job satisfaction and ultimately, job retention. Within the Cooperative Extension Service orientation and socialization programs vary as does the time frame in which new employees are formally and informally socialized into their new work environments. This comparative study was undertaken to examine how new extension professionals in eleven states in the southern region, with between six months to 18 months of on the job experience, perceived their organizational socialization experiences. In addition this study examined perceived level of job satisfaction, and identified methods of organizational socialization perceived important by participants. Each state's professional development specialist was contacted and asked to supply an email list of all new extension agents (six to eighteen months on the job). New extension professionals were contacted via email and asked to participate in an online survey. The survey was developed using two previously tested instruments, the Organizational Socialization Index and the Abridged Job in General instrument. A total of 321 participants were identified and a return rate of 75% (241 respondents) was achieved. Results of the study indicate that there is a strong positive relationship between knowledge of the participants and the training they received, as well as training and their perception of future prospects. Approximately 86% of participants indicated that they were satisfied with their jobs; however, most participants felt that they were underpaid. The number of months on the job negatively affected job satisfaction; the more months employed, the less satisfied participants were. With respect to methods of organizational socialization currently employed in the southern region, the interaction with county extension directors/ immediate supervisor was a significant indicator of job satisfaction as was immediate orientation (less than 3 months on the job) and self selection of mentors. Marginally significant were participants discussing job expectations and duties with co-workers, while the assignment of mentors, new agent orientation and training taking place after three months of hire and web modules as a form of socializing were not significant indicators of job satisfaction.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Cynthia M. Higgins.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Place, Nick T.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021654:00001


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A COMPARISON OF ORGANIZATIONAL SOCIALIZATION AND JOB SATISFACTION
IN NEW EXTENSION AGENTS WITHIN THE SOUTHERN REGION























CYNTHIA M. HIGGINS
















A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2007

































2007 Cynthia M. Higgins




































To my husband, Danny; my sons David and John, and my parents John and Jacqueline. Thanks
so much.









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

There are so many people that have helped me achieve this monumental goal. I am so

grateful to so many for their assistance, support and dedication through this very long process.

This list is dedicated to those people.

First, to my family, with incredible gratitude I thank my husband and best friend, Danny.

Without his encouragement, undying love and truly believing that I could accomplish this, I

never would have had the time or energy to complete this degree. Everything was always taken

care of during weekends typing papers and late nights in class. Often school got in the way of

family life, but you saw it to the end. Furthermore, I would like to acknowledge my sons, David

and John, who have been my inspiration, and my parents John and Jacqueline, for their help and

assistance, and mostly, their kitchen table where I typed many papers while the boys were

playing with their grandparents at the beach or pool. Thank you also to my brother Michael, and

his family for their support.

Second, I am so grateful to Dr. Howard Ladewig for helping me to begin this journey, and

Dr. Nick Place, committee chair, for helping me to finish. Without the wise council of either of

these men, I would not have finished this degree. I am especially grateful for the hours that Dr.

Place spent with me to work out the details, again and again, of this research project. I consider

him not only a trusted advisor, but also a friend. In addition to these men, I am also thankful for

the help and support of my current committee members; Dr. Marilyn Norman, Dr. Jim Dyer and

Dr. Al Wysocki, as well as those that have moved to other positions; Dr. Rick Rudd and Dr.

Mark Kistler. I have learned so much from each of these people and I have grown tremendously

by their involvement in my life as well involvement in the courses that they taught. I would also

like to thank Dr. Kate Fogerty, who helped me to understand and utilize SPSS.









Thank all of the friends that I made in the Department of Agriculture Education and

Communications as well as the wonderful faculty. I am so proud to be able to have so many

colleagues around the country to correspond with. Thanks specially to Dr. Kim Bellah for all her

wonderful jokes, hysterical emails and words of wisdom. You have no idea how much I needed

those.

Special thanks to the state 4-H professional development specialists who were wonderful

returning my emails and providing me with the information that was needed to complete this

study. Those specialists included: R. Dollman, University of Alabama, N. Place, University of

Florida; M. Blackburn, University of Georgia; J. Mowbray, University of Kentucky; D. Davis,

Louisiana State University; R. White, Mississippi State University; M. Owens, North Carolina

State University; J. Martin, Oklahoma State University; D. Baker, Clemson University; R.

Waters, University of Tennessee; R. Luckey, Texas A & M, and L. Delp, Virginia Polytechnical

Institute and State University.

And finally, I would like to thank my co-workers and colleagues from around the state. I

have been so lucky to have such a terrific support network. Yes, now I am done. To Amy

Duncan, Nancy Moores and Bill Heltemes, my camping buddies; thank you for your

contributions, advice and warm fuzzies. And we certainly cannot forget the tiara, wand, and boa!

What a team!









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A CK N O W LED G M EN T S ................................................................. ........... ............. .....

L IS T O F T A B L E S ................................................................................. 8

LIST O F FIG U RE S ................................................................. 9

D E F IN IT IO N S ................... ...................1...................0..........

A B S T R A C T ........................................... ................................................................ 1 1

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE OF THE STUDY .................................................. 13

In tro d u ctio n .................................. ...................................................................... ............... 13
History of the Cooperative Extension Service .................................................................. 13
Historical perspective on Organizational Socialization....................... ..................22
Organizational Socialization and Cooperative Extension: Significance of the Problem .......25
P u rp o se o f th e S tu dy ...................................................................................................2 8
Im p ortan ce of this stu dy : .....................................................................................2 9
L im station s of th e Stu dy ................................................................................................... 3 0
S u m m ary ................... ................... ...................0..........

2 CONCEPTUAL AND THEORECTICAL FRAMEWORK ............... .... ...............33

R research on C om p eten cies ............................................................................................... 34
Research in Mentoring................... .......................................... 36
Research in Custom er Satisfaction .................................. ...........................................37
Research on Organizational Socialization and Employee Turnover .............................. 37
Research in Orientation and Socialization.............................. ........ 38
T theoretical Fram ew ork ..............................................................................40
Socialization M models ......................... .............. ..................... ... .... 41
C conceptual M odel ..... ................... ................................................................ 43
Sum m ary ......... .. .. ....... .......................................................... ........... ... .46

3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY .................................................... 49

In tro d u ctio n .................. .... ............... ............................................................................4 9
Research Design .............. .... .......... ...... ..... .... .......... 50
In strum entation ....... ... ... ..................... .................................................................... 50
Reliability and Validity of the Instruments ................................. ..................55
Population ............................. ..... ................................55
Independent V ariable(s)........... .......................................................................... .. .. 56
D ata Collection ..... .................................... ........................57


6









D ata A n a ly sis .................................................................................................. ............... 5 9
C controlling for M missing D ata................................................. .............................. 59
D ata A analysis by O objective ............................... .............. .................................... 59
N on-response E rror ................. .................................... ...... ........ .. .............62
Summary ....................... .................................... ............... 63

4 PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA...........................................................68

Sum m ary of the Study D esign ......... ................. ................................................................68
Statistical Analysis of Research Objectives ......................................69
SUMMARY ............... ................................ ...............82

5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .......................................96

P o p u la tio n ......................................................................................................................... 9 6
Objective of the Study .................................. ... .. .......... ............... 96
D ata C o lle ctio n ................................................................................................................. 9 7
D ata A analysis ................................................... 98
Sum m ary of Findings ....................................................... 99
L im stations ......... .... .......... ...........................................103
Conclusions and Implications ...................................... .... ......... .........104
Recommendations for Future Research ........ ............................... ...................... 110
R ecom m endations.......................................................................................................112
Summary ................... ...... ................................... 113

REFERENCES ................................. ... ....... ..... .................. 138

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK ETCH ........................................................................................ 147

























7









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

1-1 Summary of Socialization/Orientation Program/Activity by State ...............................32

3-1 Number of New Agents With 6 to 18 Months of Extension Experience ........................65

3-2 Total Number of Agents By Programmatic Area. .............................................66

4-1 Months on the Job of Extension Professionals ........................................................... 89

4-2 Programmatic Areas of New Extension Professionals ............................................... 89

4-3 Comparison of New Agents and All Agents ... ..................... ...............89

4-4 Correlation Between the Four Organizational Socialization Domains............................90

4-5 Domain/ Combined Organizational Socialization Score ................................................90

4 -6 O S I T o ta l S c o re ...............................................................................................................9 1

4-7 aJIG Total Score ........................................................................... 91

4 -8 aJIG Scores ...............................................................................92

4-9 Job Satisfaction and Organizational Socialization...................... ..................... 93

4-10 Relationship Between Job Satisfaction and Months in Extension.............................. 93

4-11 Comparison of Levels of Organizational Socialization and Job Satisfaction .................93

4-12 M ethods of Organizational Socialization Checked................................. ............... 94

4-13 Job Satisfaction and Assigned Formal Mentor ............... ............ ....................... 94

4-14 Job Satisfaction and Self Selection of M entor........................................ ............... 94

4-15 Job Satisfaction and Immediate New Agent Orientation..................... ............... 94

4-16 Job Satisfaction of New Agents and Orientation....................................... 95

4-17 Job Satisfaction and Use of Web Modules ............................... ...................95

4-18 County Extension Directors and Effect on Job Satisfaction.................... ..................95

4-19 Job Satisfaction and Co-workers Discussion of Job Expectations and Duties ..................95

4-20 Job Satisfaction and Methods of Organizational Socialization ......................................95









LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

2-1 Taormina's Organizational Socialization M odel .............. .............................................48

3- 1 Number of Organizational Socialization Methods Participated In...............................67

4-1 M ean Training Score.................................... .. ............ ...... .... 84

4-2 M ean Scores for Knowledge Dom ain....................................................... .............. 85

4-3 M ean Score for Co-W orker Support........................................... ........................... 86

4- 4 Mean Scores for Future Prospect Domain............................ ...... .................87

4-5 M ean Score for Total Organizational Socialization Index ............................................. 88









DEFINITIONS


Career Stage Model


Model developed by Rennekamp and Noll for extension that
includes four stages of career growth.


Cooperative Extension Service (CES) A research based organization tasked with bringing
research knowledge to the general population to increase
knowledge and skills in a variety of programmatic areas.


Competencies



Extension professional




Mentors


Organizational Socialization


Orientation


Acquisition of knowledge, technical skills, and personal
characteristics that have been identified, through research, that lead
to outstanding performance.

Extension agent or extension educator hired by a land grant
university to bring research based programs to counties and
communities. Some extension professionals may also be hired only
by counties to carry out the mission of extension.

Co-worker assigned to work with a new agent. Can be formal,
with specific tasks assigned; or informal, with no set agenda. Also
can be a trusted peer who serves as an advisor. Mentors are non-
evaluative.

The process where employees learn about and adapt to their new
jobs, new roles, and learn and understand the culture and history of
the organization. There are a variety of ways that land grant
universities socialize their new extension agents; specifically
orientation programs, formal and informal mentoring, and web
modules.

A formalized program designed to acquaint new extension
professionals with their various job duties and performances
needed for success. It is s a part of the socialization process.









Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

A COMPARISON OF ORGANIZATIONAL SOCIALIZATION AND JOB SATISFACTION
IN NEW EXTENSION AGENTS WITHIN THE SOUTHERN REGION

By

Cynthia M. Higgins

December, 2007

Chair: Nick Place
Major: Agricultural Education and Communication

People are one of company's greatest resources. How and when organizations socialize

and train those people has a definite impact in job satisfaction and ultimately, job retention.

Within the Cooperative Extension Service orientation and socialization programs vary as does

the time frame in which new employees are formally and informally socialized into their new

work environments.

This comparative study was undertaken to examine how new extension professionals in

eleven states in the southern region, with between six months to 18 months of on the job

experience, perceived their organizational socialization experiences. In addition this study

examined perceived level of job satisfaction, and identified methods of organizational

socialization perceived important by participants.

Each state's professional development specialist was contacted and asked to supply an

email list of all new extension agents (six to eighteen months on the job). New extension

professionals were contacted via email and asked to participate in an online survey. The survey

was developed using two previously tested instruments, the Organizational Socialization Index

and the Abridged Job in General instrument. A total of 321 participants were identified and a

return rate of 75% (241 respondents) was achieved.









Results of the study indicate that there is a strong positive relationship between knowledge

of the participants and the training they received, as well as training and their perception of

future prospects. Approximately 86% of participants indicated that they were satisfied with their

jobs; however, most participants felt that they were underpaid. The number of months on the job

negatively affected job satisfaction; the more months employed, the less satisfied participants

were.

With respect to methods of organizational socialization currently employed in the southern

region, the interaction with county extension directors/ immediate supervisor was a significant

indicator of job satisfaction as was immediate orientation (less than 3 months on the job) and self

selection of mentors. Marginally significant were participants discussing job expectations and

duties with co-workers, while the assignment of mentors, new agent orientation and training

taking place after three months of hire and web modules as a form of socializing were not

significant indicators of job satisfaction.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

Introduction

As Mary Kay Ash, CEO of Mary Kay Cosmetics states; "People are definitely a

company's greatest asset. It doesn't make any difference whether the product is cars or

cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps." How an organization socializes

and orients new hires has direct influence over their job satisfaction and thus, job retention rate.

The Cooperative Extension organization spends vital dollars on socializing and orienting its new

hires, but are those resources being used to the best advantage possible? Is there a more effective

way to socialize and orient new hires as to maximize their job satisfaction rate and hopefully,

retain those employees for years to come?

History of the Cooperative Extension Service

According to Rogers (2003), "The agriculture extension service is reported to be one of the

world's most successful change agencies" (p. 391). The formation of the land grant system began

when Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862 out of concern for the common man.

Kelsey and Hearne (1949) reported, "Extension grew out of a situation... a period of pioneering

and change in agriculture and homemaking" (p. 3). The Morrill Act created the basis for

establishing the land grant college system, which combined agriculture with education. When

such a large portion of America's population, nearly three-quarters in the 1800's, were deriving

their livelihood from the land, it was thought that by bringing current information to the people

that research and information would benefit society as a whole. By the 1850's agriculture

methods were changing, America was becoming more mechanized with horse drawn reapers,

mowers and harvesters. Progressing through the 1800's to 1850 Americas farm population began

to dwindle about 2 percent per decade (Rogers, 2003).









In 1914, Congress passed the Smith Lever Act. The act was the foundation for the modern

day Cooperative Extension Service (CES). Because the country saw the benefits of the farmer's

institutes and activities of the state agricultural colleges there became a demand for public funds

for extension work. In the final form the Smith-Lever Act stated that cooperative agriculture

extension work consist of the education, instruction, and the use of and practical demonstration

in agriculture and home economics.

By 1920, America's farm population was down to about twenty-five percent of the total

United States population. According to Kelsey and Herne (1949), this did not mean that the

population of farmers was decreasing, only that America's population was growing and a large

number of people were flocking to the cities. The progress of American agriculture had the

benefit of being able to release workers on the farm to become workers of other products and

goods allowing America to grow and become more industrialized. Kelsey and Herne further

state, "And so from the days of our forefathers, who began as pioneers and woodsmen, there

developed a country which was primarily agricultural but which has since gradually become a

great industrial nation whose capacity for agricultural production has kept pace with our needs"

(p. 4). A large portion of the success of the American farmer and American society in general,

can be attributed to the CES.

During the early days, there were many agriculture societies formed to help farmers learn

about current trends in agriculture. Farmer's institutes were established and specialists from

agriculture colleges would present educational programming dealing with issues affecting

farmers in that area. In 1899, there were farmer's institutes in 47 states with an attendance of

approximately 500,000 farmers. These farmers' institutes were usually either connected directly

to the USDA or under agriculture colleges and experiment stations. Along with the farmer's









institutes, agriculture colleges began doing fieldwork, demonstrations, and lectures and, in

essence, bringing additional research based information directly to the farmer.

In 1905, A.B. Graham, known to some as the father of 4-H, began working with boys and

girls to establish 4-H clubs in Ohio, according to the National 4-H Headquarters (2007). It was

thought that by teaching boys the newest methods of growing crops, they would adopt these

practices earlier than their fathers and thus insures overall higher adoption rates by farmers. This

too was the thought using girls clubs and homemaking skills. This method of teaching youth the

newest methods in agriculture production and homemaking was an innovative approach used to

assist with helping the adults in the home become early adopters of the newest methods and

innovations. This practice proved to be very effective and is still one of the models used today

with youth development and the earlier adoption of the most current research based information.

Since those early days, the CES has served clientele in every state and almost every

county. According to Aurelia Scott (2001), the CES mandate was (and still is) to aid in diffusing

among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects relating to

agriculture and home economics.

Extension Agents were hired by the land grant university to bring current researched-based

information to the common man, to become part of the community, find key leaders and opinion

leaders in the community, and work with those leaders to establish county-based programming

that would directly impact the farmer and homemaker. Programs carried out by the CES are still

community-based, allowing information to be disseminated directly to the people, the

information that they feel is directly beneficial to their lives and livelihood. Scott (2001) also

goes on to say that the Extension service has changed over the past 80 years to include now

urban audiences but they remain true to their mission, which is the practical education of









Americans. "One of the great strengths of the CES is their obsession with meeting the needs of

the local community" (p. 30).

The CES has always been instrumental in shaping communities. As Bowling and Brahm

(2002) state, educational programs delivered to clientele all over the United States, play a

significant role in the knowledge-creation process and has been instrumental in shaping

neighborhoods and communities. This statement has been found true at the formation of the CES

and now in the present. Extension's goal is to provide citizens with educational programs to

enrich lives, whether rural or urban. The organization has expanded to include all aspects of

American life including business management, leadership, and building communities, as well as

those traditional aspects of home and family life.

The CES has been a success for a variety of reasons. First, extension professionals

(agents) are expected to be part of the community. Agents live and work in the county they are

hired in. When CES was beginning, extension professionals worked with rural Americans on

rural family issues dealing with agriculture, home making and youth. That "total family"

approach has not changed but has expanded to include urban and city issues as well. Agriculture,

This approach to the family as a unit has been of great benefit to the US. Not only families have

benefited from programs provided by the CES, also the community at large has been able to

broaden its scope of citizenship and leadership abilities.

Secondly, the CES is a cooperative organization between the USDA, state land grant

universities, and local governing boards. As the funding is contributed by all three bodies, there

is a great deal of flexibility in programming. Though flexible in nature, each funding partner

identifies major program emphasis. The USDA CSREES (Cooperative State Research,

Extension and Education Service) identifies national priorities and plays a key role in the land-









grant mission by distributing annual appropriated funding to supplement state and county

program funds. CSREES uses national program leadership to assist with identifying national

program initiatives. Six national program areas have been identified which include 4-H youth

development, agriculture, leadership development, natural resources, family and consumer

science, and community and economic development (CSREES, http://www.csrees.usda.gov/).

In addition to the federal partners, state land grant universities are able to determine where

their state programming focus should be using CSREES national program initiatives as a guide.

In addition extension professionals use county and state advisory committees, who assist with

determining county and community educational foci. The cooperative portion of the CES has

always been a benefit to the organization and the people it serves.

The third reason for the success of the CES is the scope of research carried out by state

land grant universities. Programs of the CES are locally driven and research undertaken by land

grant universities is primarily in direct response to problems and issues of local people. One of

the real underlying principles of the CES is that that research is driven by local needs and then

disseminated to the people, via extension professionals, to solve problems at the local level. Not

only is research driven by local needs, but research is also driven by national research initiatives,

which are often in direct response to needs of the community. A very key point here is that

research is carried out not only at the land grant university, but most states also have experiment

and/or research stations where research can be determined and undertaken in the different

regions of the state. With some states being very diverse in respect to agriculture produced

within that state, this is a distinct advantage for local clientele as research and solutions then

become more localized.









Fourth, another major success of the CES is unbiased research. Because land grant

universities, funded by the public, carry out the research, it is viewed as being unbiased. As

government bodies are not able to support one particular company or a particular way of

thinking, research supported by land grant universities holds the distinction of being non-biased.

Fifth, extension professionals use a wide variety of teaching methods and techniques to

disseminate information. As Rogers (2003) stated, information will be adopted more rapidly if

people are able to see its advantage, make sure it is compatible with their current system, test the

complexity of the innovation, are able to experiment with the innovation and can observe the

results of the innovation first hand. With the variety of teaching methods, both formal and non-

formal, clientele are able to see, hear, feel and experience the new information and are able to

determine if this knowledge fits their personal needs.

The ability to provide non-formal education to the citizens of the community is a distinct

advantage of the CES. Citizens have more opportunities than ever before for educational

experiences in their daily lives. Non-formal education is about "acknowledging the importance

of education, learning and training which takes place outside recognized educational institutions"

(Fordham, 1993). An additional definition of non-formal education is that it is not compulsory,

does not lead to a formal certification, and may or may not be state supported (Lingualinks,

1999). Non-formal education usually takes place outside of the formally organized school and

often refers to adult literacy and continuing education for adults. Non-formal education can also

be defined as "any organized educational activity outside the established formal system -

whether operating separately or as an important feature of some broader activity that is

intended to serve some identifiable learning clienteles and learning objectives" (Coombs, 1973)









Non-formal education offers hands-on experiences that are relevant to the needs of the

people in a community. Since non-formal education is learner centered, it is important for the

instructor to focus on the learning rather than the teaching. The learner is a participant in

determining the educational objectives and focus of the learning. Fordham (1993) discussed this

as an enduring theme with respect to non-formal education. That theme is that education should

be in the interest of the learner and the learners themselves should choose the curriculum that is

utilized. Learners are key to taking action to solve their own community concerns, issues and

problems. Non-formal education is often less costly than formal education which aids in the

flexibility of programs that can be offered.

The role of non-formal education in society is great, first as a way of assisting clientele

with solving local problems and dealing with local issues. One of the great benefits of non-

formal education is that it is learner centered and can assist the learner with finding solutions to

immediate problems that address local needs. Second, non-formal education assists with lifelong

learning. Life-long learning is fundamental for self-enrichment (Wolfe, 2000). Non-formal

education is especially effective with older clientele and those who have left formal education for

a variety of reasons. When formal education fails, non-formal education can fill the gap left if

lifelong learning is still a need or desire.

The CES is very responsive to immediate needs of clientele and the flexibility of non-

formal education allows extension educators to alter planned programs to respond to immediate

needs. The extension service has the great ability to develop programs that promote community

development, youth development, health education, adult education and non-formal leadership

development all within a given community. One of the great strengths of the extension service is

that it is locally driven.









Because extension agents are able and encouraged to teach non-formally, agents are able to

teach in groups, do field demonstrations and trials, and work one-on-one with clientele to assist

with adoption of innovations. CES professionals (extension agents) often provide programs for

individual groups (dairy farmers, beef farmers, vegetable or fruit growers, homemakers and/or

youth), and information is specific for that group of people. Extension agents also work with

volunteers to help channel information to other individuals and groups. The CES also works with

farm organizations; cooperatives and commodity groups that engage in agriculture, as well as

schools, church groups and civic groups of all types, to increase adoption rates of new

innovations. Collaborative efforts working with large groups have added to the knowledge base

of clientele.

Finally, vast numbers of resources are used to train "field agents" or extension

professionals. Many years ago, agents were "jack of all trades." Now, with the world changing

and population growing, extension professionals are expected to specialize. Agents are also

trained in current information by state specialists and have all of the Land Grant University

resources (teaching and research) available when needed.

Each state hires extension professionals to provide information and programming to

clientele in each of the approximately 3000 counties in the country. Some states have, as of late,

begun to form county "clusters" where each cluster (or a certain number of counties) has agents

in each programmatic area housed in a central office, and program and teach in a number of

different counties. Georgia and Kansas are two of these states. In general, this provides smaller

counties with a shared agent in a programmatic area that a county may not necessarily be able to

support, either financially or population wise, and allows for a better distribution of educational

support for clientele.









Each state has different requirements for hiring extension professionals but all states

require at least a Bachelors Degree, while most require a Master's degree (or to hold a Masters

within five years of hire). Extension professionals are usually hired with technical subject matter

knowledge, though they often lack skills in areas that are needed to be effective extension

professionals (Campbell, Grieshop, Sokolow & Wright, 2004). "Degree programs provide

excellent subject matter training, but often lack opportunities for students to obtain skills or

strengths in such necessary subjects as group facilitation, needs assessment, planning and

organizing educational programs, evaluation, volunteer management, local government relations,

educational technology, communications and many other related subjects" (Mississippi State

University Extension Service, 2007, p. 2).

Each state's land grant college provides orientation and training to their new hires in order

to increase knowledge and skills in their programmatic area as well as programming knowledge

and skills. When that orientation is provided and what information is included differs from state

to state. Professional development specialists in each of the thirteen states within the southern

region have generously shared information on their state's new agent socialization/ orientation

and training program. Each state orientation/training program is very different. The NEAT

program (New Extension Agent Training) in Virginia begins socialization/orientation on the first

day of hire (Gibson & Brown, 2002), as does Mississippi. Other states, such as Florida, have set

dates for orientation and training. Agents may be on the job two weeks or up to eleven months

before receiving a structured orientation and training program (Place, 2004). Most of the states in

the southern region (Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee,

and Virginia,) include web-based training modules, though an informal survey taken by Place

and Higgins (2004) concluded that new extension professionals in Florida do not have the time









to begin to learn their jobs and complete web modules in a timely manner. This unstructured

survey was undertaken as part of a goal focus team survey to determine if new agents were

aware of the web training modules and, if they were, had they been able to utilize those models

to increase their knowledge and skills with respect to the extension service in Florida.

Professional development specialists in the southern region shared socialization/

orientation and training information with the researcher. This information concluded that several

states in the southern region that have a formal mentoring system in place (Georgia, Louisiana,

Mississippi and Texas) using trained mentors to assist with role adjustment as well as co-worker

support. Virginia uses "training agents" to assist with socialization and orientation of new

extension agents (NEAT Program). A training agent is a trained, extension agent with several

(four to five) years of experience on the job that is responsible for socializing and orienting new

agents to their current role. The difference between a training agent and mentor is that the

training agent is given an evaluatory role; in other words, they may recommend keeping or

terminating a new agent after a three-month period (Lambur, 2005). A summary of

socialization/orientation for each state in the southern region can be found in Table 1.

Historical perspective on Organizational Socialization

"Growing disillusionment among new members of an organization have been linked to

inadequacies in approaches used by organizations to socialize their new hires" (Louis, 1980, p.

226). Organizational entry has been studied from two distinct perspectives. The first is employee

turnover and the second focuses on organizational socialization.

According to Louis (1980), turnover research is numerous. Turnover research can also be

divided into voluntary and involuntary turnover. Voluntary turnover suggests that new hires

expectations of the job are critical to their success and to their tenure within the organization

(Ross & Zander, 1957; Katzell, 1968; Wanous, 1977). Many times new hires have unrealistic









views or expectations of the job. In the early seventies the Realistic Job Preview (RJP) was

developed to determine expectations of new hires and assist with orientation information for

those new recruits (Louis, 1980).

From the organizational socialization perspective, models became available that involved

the total institution in the fifties. Goffman (1961) characterized an institution as "a place of

residence and work where a large number of like-situated individuals, cut off from the wider

society for an appreciable period of time, together lead an enclosed, formally administered round

of life" (pg. 13). Studies of how the military, correctional institutions, etc. socialized their new

hires were among the descriptions of how individuals were made to conform to the norms of

those institutions.

Socialization stage models became important in the early seventies. These different models

were developed to determine what occurred during the socialization process. The premise of

stage models involved developing an understanding of how new employees move from one stage

to the next in the socialization process. There are four generally agreed upon stages, according to

Ashforth, Sluss & Harrison (2007). Those stages include anticipation, encounter, adjustment and

stabilization. Porter, Lawler & Hackman (1975) were one of the original authors of the stage

models, determining their model from past research on organizational socialization. Feldman

(1976) and Schein (1978) also developed very similar stage models to describe how

organizations socialized new hires.

The second type of stage models can be defined as integrative models. These models

blended initial models but these models serve as more of a conceptual framework (Ashforth, et

al., 2007). These models also took into account the importance of job anticipation and job

expectation.









The final set of models identify mentors as being an important part of the socialization

process as well as the relationship with how organizations socialize and the stress level of new

hires. These models are also more "fluid" than earlier stage models, where the stages may

overlap and specific events may or may not occur at a specific time.

Landmark work in the area of organizational socialization came about by Van Maanen &

Schein (1979). This is one of the most often cited models of organizational socialization (Lueke

& Svyantek, 2000).Van Maanen and Schein determined that there were six tactics that were

employed by organizations to socialize or integrate their new employees. The six tactics

identified include: collective versus individual socialization, formal versus informal

socialization, sequential versus random socialization, fixed versus variable socialization, serial

versus disjunctive, and finally investiture versus divestiture. It was hypothesized that

organizations using these six tactics would increase job satisfaction as well as decrease turnover

rate of new employees. These six tactics are discussed in greater detail in Chapter 2.

Research on newcomer learning, or how newcomers learn their roles and responsibilities,

as well as learn about the organization, began in the early nineties with research undertaken by

Chao, O'Leary-Kelly, Wolf, Klein & Garner (1994), Saks & Ashforth (1997) and Taormina

(1994). This research was focused more on the employee and less on the employer. Research in

this area has determined that learning is not a stage process and can span the life of the job, as

well as interpersonal and group dynamics. Using the employee as the focus for organizational

socialization, there are now four agreed upon domains of organizational socialization. Those

domains include: task and job proficiency, role clarity, co-worker or group support, and

understanding the organization itself (history, language, politics, goals and values). An additional

domain, identified by Taormina (1997) is future prospects.









Organizational socialization is a rich and varied field where many research challenges lay

ahead. As Ashforth, et al., (2007) state, "Perhaps the biggest research challenge in the years

ahead will be understanding how organizations might socialize for instability as well as for

stability. As the conditions confronting organizations and individual's careers become

increasingly turbulent, particular research attention will need to be paid to task/project and

group specific, socialization, to newcomer proactively, and to role innovation" (pg. 54).

Organizational Socialization and Cooperative Extension: Significance of the Problem

Organizations train, teach, induct and/ or socialize new employees much as a parent does a

child. Orientation and training can be considered within the organizational socialization concept

model, as these programs do familiarize new hires with specific information on their job duties

and responsibilities, assist those new hires with understanding the organization itself, assist with

social interactions with colleagues, and help new hires understand some of the established ways

of an organization. Training is simply one aspect of socialization and is related to job related

skills and abilities. According to Taormina (1997), "training is defined as the act, process or

method by which one acquires any type of functional skill or ability that is required to perform a

specific job" (p. 31).

According to Klein and Weaver (2000) "Organizational socialization is the process where

employees learn about and adapt to new jobs, roles and the culture of the work place." Van

Maanen and Schein (1979) also define organizational socialization as "the fashion in which an

individual is taught and learns what behaviors and perspectives are customary and desirable

within the work setting as well as what ones are not." In addition, Ashford and Black (1996)

define socialization as the process that newcomers engage in to learn about their work

environments. Furthermore, Jahi and Newcomb (1981) emphasize that orientation is designed to

assist new agents with adjusting to the workplace and the "living conditions" within their new









environment. Sanders and Kleiner (2002) also state that orientation programs are the single most

prevalent training program that organizations participate.

The objective of employee orientation (Davis & Kleiner, 2001) is to provide a smooth

transition for the employee into the new work environment in a way that maximizes motivation

and allows the employee the opportunity to become productive as soon as possible, which is

similar in definition to organizational socialization. Saks (1996) further explains that training

programs within organizations are often the main way that employees learn socialization skills

specific to that organization. Zimmer and Smith (1992) also agree with to this. Extension's

effectiveness as an organization depends on well-trained extension professionals to carry out the

mission of the Cooperative Extension Service and professional development helps with

achieving excellence within the organization (Stone & Coppemol, 2004).

Why does socialization matter? Successful completion of a formal socialization program

and/or set of socialization experiences increase employee productivity, increases self-assurance

on the job, increases job satisfaction, motivation and commitment to the organization (Baker &

Jennings, 2000). Other studies show that the initial period of employment within an organization

is important in shaping subsequent attitudes and behaviors of that new hire (Buchanan, 1974;

Hall, 1976; Wanous, 1980). The socialization process within an organization has a major

influence on the performance of the new hires and can have a major influence on the

performance of the organization (Louis, Posner & Powel, 1983). Early socialization assists the

new hire with long-term adjustment and can help with fostering lifelong learning and confidence

as well as transform the newcomer into a contributing member of the organization, which also

enriches the organization itself (Ashforth, Sluss & Harrison, 2007).









Extension agent socialization is an important part of learning the roles and responsibilities

of the job (Zimmer & Smith, 1992). It is important that new agents understand what is expected

of them. Jahi and Newcomb (1981) state that the orientation process also helps to acquaint new

agents with their expected roles, provide knowledge and skills necessary to become effective

extension professionals, and assists new employees with understanding performance standards,

all of which are necessary for building a commitment to the organization.

There is a growing concern among those in the field of business, that there are

inadequacies in the socialization/orientation of new hires (Louis, 1980). Not only that, currently

organizational socialization is newly being defined as a continuous process and not something

that has a definite beginning and end (Taormina, 1997). As personnel move from one position to

another, the socialization process continues. Even if not new to the organization, a new position

within the organization will still have a period of socialization that will take place.

Entering into a new job as varied and diverse as extension can be confusing. "Where do I

begin," and "what is my role," are words that are frequently heard within the Cooperative

Extension Service with respect to new extension agents (Ritchie, 1996). The role of the extension

agent is ever changing and very diverse (Cooper & Graham, 2001) as is the role of extension as

an organization (Jahi & Newcomb, 1981). Stone and Coppernoll (2004) stressed that in order to

achieve the mission of CES, agents must maintain professional competencies and technical

expertise. But how do we do this? How effective is the CES in socializing and orientating new

employees to the organization? According to Jahi and Newcomb (1981), "Orientation training is

an early part of employee development," and should be designed to provide a transitional period

for newly hired agents. Only two states reported to orient and socialize their new extension









employees immediately upon hire (Kentucky and Virginia); most however, do conduct new

agent orientation at some point after being hired (Gibson & Brown, 2002).

Purpose of the Study

This study was designed to determine the perception of new extension professional's

level of organizational socialization with respect to (1) job skills and duties, (2) co-worker

support, (3) knowledge of the organization, and (4) future job prospects, using Taormina's

Organizational Socialization Index (OSI). In addition to the new hire's perception of their level

of organizational socialization, this study was designed to examine the level of job satisfaction

using JDI Research Group's Abridged Job in General Scale (aJIG). In addition, the perceived

level of organizational socialization and level of job satisfaction will be compared in states with

mentoring programs, states with immediate and not immediate orientation programs, and states

that also utilize web modules as a socialization method.

The specific objectives of this study were to:

* Gather demographic data on new extension agents in each state including: months on the
job, programmatic area, and other professional positions held prior to gaining employment
with the extension service.

* Examine perceived level of organizational socialization of new extension hires using OSI.

* Examine perceived level of job satisfaction of new extension hires using aJIG.

* Compare the perceived level of organizational socialization with job satisfaction to
examine if perceived level of organizational socialization impacts job satisfaction, and
examine the possible relationship of organizational socialization and job satisfaction.

* Compare job satisfaction with type of organizational socialization taking place; (1) formal
mentor, (2) informal, self selected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program (within three
months after hire), (4) formal orientation program after three months of hire, (5), web-
based modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with CED/immediate supervisor
and (7) discussing job expectations and duties with co-workers; to examine if there are
differences in methods and job satisfaction.

* Compare the number of organizational socialization methods participated in by new agents
with respect to their job satisfaction.









The subjects for this study were new extension professionals (those with six months to

eighteen months of extension experience) within twelve of the thirteen states in the southern

region. Those states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North

Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Arkansas opted not to

participate. State program development specialists at the start of the study identified the new

agents with the correct number of months and supplied researcher with emails of all qualified

participants.

Importance of this study:

This study holds importance for several reasons. First, it is important to determine new

agents' perception of how well the organization socialized new hires to their new jobs and

organizations. As the employee is the focus of socialization, this study evaluates the areas in

which the socialization is taking place for that new hire and examines the success of the

organization socialization traditionally used with new agents. The higher degree of perceived

organizational socialization, the higher the job satisfaction. Second, in comparing how new

agents were socialized, state specialists can determine if the socialization/orientation programs

and activities are "doing their jobs" and can evaluate the effectiveness of socialization/

orientation programs. This allows the professional development specialists to modify, if needed,

what they are currently doing in each state. It also allows for prioritizing socialization methods

that have the most impact. This will assist with maximizing professional development dollars

and increasing agent's ability to perform effectively and efficiently at a faster rate, as well as

assist in the retention rate of new agents. In addition, how and when new hires are socialized

impacts job satisfaction and has the potential to increase new hire tenure. If agent tenure can be

increased, state land grant universities stand to save a substantial amount of money reducing

agent turnover (Chandler, 2004; Kudilek, 2000; Abbasi & Hollman, 2000).









Limitations of the Study

This study is limited to new extension faculty within twelve states in the southern region

with six to eighteen months of continuous extension service; therefore generalization will be

limited to new agents within the southern region.

An additional limitation is possible researcher bias. This researcher has been employed

with the CES for 21 years and may have preconceived notions on organizational socialization

within the CES. Therefore and as more formally discussed in Chapter 3, the researcher used a

data base management system, ZoomerangTM, and had no access to original data prior to

importing into the statistical program. The data was protected by a login and password on the

Zoomerang site and was downloaded onto a disc in its entirety following the close of the survey.

In addition the researcher had assistance from a professor at the University of Florida to assist

with checking data and assistance with statistical analysis.

Summary

Extension has a rich history providing research-based knowledge and information to the

citizens of this country and extension professionals are hired to disseminate this information to

clientele using a variety of teaching methods. Research shows that early organizational

socialization/orientation of new hires increases role clarity, job motivation, job satisfaction and

tenure. With the diverse role that extension agents play within a community and state, it is

important to understand how new agents feel they are socialized, when they undergo this formal

process within the first year of hire, and which socialization methods may have the most impact

on their perceived level of job satisfaction. Chapter 1 presented an overview of the history of

extension, understanding why socialization is important for new hires, and discussed four aspects

of socialization.









Chapter 2 will present information dealing with the literature associated with

organizational socialization as well as the conceptual and theoretical framework associated with

this study.









Table 1-1 Summary of Socialization/Orientation Program/Activity by State.
State Immediate Web Based Formal Formal
Orientation Modules Mentoring Orientation
Program Program
Alabama X X
Florida X X
Georgia X X X
Kentucky 2 6 weeks after X X
hire
Louisiana X
Mississippi X
North Carolina X X
Oklahoma X
South Carolina X X
Tennessee X X
Texas In planning X X X
Virginia X X X X
Data was obtained from professional development specialists in each state prior to the start of
this research project. Those specialists include:

R. Dollman, University of Alabama
N. Place, University of Florida
M. Blackburn, University of Georgia
J. Mowbray, University of Kentucky
D. Davis, Louisiana State University
R. White, Mississippi State University
M. Owens, North Carolina State University
J. Martin, Oklahoma State University
D. Baker, Clemson University
R. Waters, University of Tennessee
R. Luckey, Texas A & M
L. Delp, Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University









CHAPTER 2
CONCEPTUAL AND THEORECTICAL FRAMEWORK

According to Stephen Brown (1999), new employees are incompetent, not necessarily with

respect to content knowledge but with respect to the organization. This chapter will present

literature findings that focus on the concepts and theories of socialization and orientation both in

extension and in the business community. This chapter will also present information on the

importance of early socialization as well as the different types of research that can be associated

with socialization.

New employees want to feel that they play an important part in an organization and

therefore, employers must make sure that proper employee socialization/orientation is

undertaken (Mahaffee, 1999). Socialization is vital in getting new employees quickly on board

and to feel like they are an integral part of an organization. While it can be assumed that the

extension organization as a whole understands that new agent socialization/orientation and is

vital, there is little research that deals with new agent socialization and/orientation, especially

research that is current. Extension work, and following the expressed mission of extension, relies

heavily upon the extension agent, as with any job or employee. The effectiveness of the

extension professional determines the success or failure of an extension program.

Successful completion of the formal organizational socialization/orientation experience has

a number of favorable outcomes for both the employee and the organization. Organizations are

able to add new, productive employees that accept the company's beliefs, values and attitudes,

while the new employee is able to contribute to the organizations goals and objectives (Feldman,

1981).









Research on Competencies

Within the CES, there is little information published with respect to organizational

socialization. However there is research that addresses competencies needed for new hires. What

consists of a competency defined by Stone (1997) is the "application of knowledge, technical

skills, and personal characteristics that lead to outstanding performance" (p. 1)

Stone and Bieber (1997) suggest that competencies need to be used as a foundation for

improved performance of CES personnel. Competency models are then used to identify those

core skills and characteristics that are essential in extension work. Core competencies for

extension professionals can include: understanding the vision, mission and goals of extension,

understanding partnerships, program planning and evaluation, ethical behavior, networking, oral

communication, in addition to knowledge and skills in programmatic areas (Owen, 2004).

Traditionally, organizations rely on academic achievement to hire potential employees, while

McClelland (1973) concluded that job selection and performance should be based on desired,

observable behaviors, or competencies, instead of grades and/or academic achievements (Ayers

& Stone, 1999). Many of those competencies are addressed within the organizational

socialization concept (role clarity, co-worker support, politics, organizational goals and values).

According to Gammon, Mohamed and Trede (1992) one of the most important issues within the

cooperative extension service with developing orientation and training is determining the needs

of professionals in the field.

It is agreed that Extension professionals have a very diverse position (Cooper & Graham,

2001) and that the number of competencies extension agents should possess have increased

(Beeman, Cheek & McGhee, 1979). The Texas Extension Competency Model identifies

"organizational effectiveness" as one of the six categories of competencies that agents need to

possess (Stone, 1997; Stone & Coppernoll, 2004). This competency category includes









understanding the mission and scope of the Cooperative Extension Service. Additionally, studies

were conducted by Keita, and Luft in 1987, which also listed "extension philosophy and

knowledge of the organization" as an important competency needed by new extension

professionals. Both of these aspects relate to role clarity or performance proficiency within the

organizational socialization concept. Gibson and Hillison, (1994) conducted research on the

training needs of existing extension faculty and identified necessary competencies.

Dalton, Thompson and Price (1977) developed a career stage model for professional

growth that was adapted by Rennekamp and Nall (1994) for the Kentucky Cooperative

Extension Service. This model uses competencies in defining areas of professional growth.

According to Rennekamp and Nall, each stage in this four-stage model, "includes a distinct set of

motivators that can drive professional development at that point." Professional development

specialists are able to use this model to assist with planning and implementing professional

development programs and opportunities for extension professionals.

In the career stage model, the "entry stage" is indeed classified, in part, by psychological

dependency of the new employee on the employer, to make sure that those critical foundational

skills or opportunities to gain professional competencies (understanding structure, function and

culture of the organization) are made available to that new employee. Additional competencies

that should be attained at the entry stage include attaining base-level skills (which corresponds to

the domain of role clarity and performance proficiency in the socialization models), and building

relationships with professional peers (the domain of co-worker support). These are essential

components of the socialization process for new employees and according to career stage model;

it is difficult to move out of stage 1 (entry stage) until employees understand those key

components that are sequential in nature.









Kutilek, Gunderson and Conklin (2002) adapted and revised the career stage model into a

systems approach using competencies defined in the model. Where a competency (or motivator)

is listed, there is an organizational strategy developed to assist with gaining that identified

competency. This is a multi-layered approach that adds structure to the career stage model and

assists agents with addressing their professional development needs at any given stage, but

especially those in the entry stage.

Research in Mentoring

In addition to competency studies, there are studies that have been undertaken that

specifically deal with mentoring of new extension agents (Kutilek & Earnest, 2001; Zimmer &

Smith, 1992; Smith & Beckley, 1985). Kutilek et al. (2002) define a mentor as "a trusted

advisor, friend and teacher, and should be a peer who is a non-evaluator." Findings conclude that

mentoring of new agents is indeed beneficial to the induction and socialization of those new

agents. According to Kutilek and Earnest (2001) mentoring and coaching contribute to job

satisfaction, increased productivity and employee tenure. This research concluded that mentoring

increased new agent's skills in program planning as well as understanding the political structure

of extension. Mincemoyer and Thomson (1998) also completed a study on effective mentoring

within the CES. Their definition of mentoring includes a senior member of the organization with

advanced experience and knowledge who is committed to providing support to a new hire. For

this study, mentors were not formally trained but did provide essential foundational skills, as

well as co-worker support, another aspect of the organizational socialization model. In a review

of state 4-H mentoring programs around the nation, Safrit (2006) concluded that most states have

a mentoring system in place for extension 4-H agents, either formal or informal, but it was

reported that those existing mentoring programs needed some changes.









Research in Customer Satisfaction

There are also studies that link customer satisfaction with the satisfaction level of

employees (Hallowell, Schlesinger & Zornitsky, 1996; Goldstein, 2003), especially in "high

contact service industries." Extension is one of those high service industries where agents come

into contact with clientele on a daily basis (Chase, 1981). Organizations find that when

employees are satisfied, customers are also more satisfied with the relationship that they have

with that particular business or organization (Goldstein, 2003). Terry and Israel (2004) point out,

experience of employees and the level of staffing is key to the success of most organizations, and

this concept is certainly true in extension. "Dissatisfied employees make dispirited employees

who don't perform optimally for the organization and who suffer personally through high levels

of stress and frustration" (Manton & van Es. 1985. pg. 1).

Research on Organizational Socialization and Employee Turnover

Organizational Socialization has also been broached from a number of other perspectives,

one of those being research related to turnover of new employees (Louis, 1980). There are

several studies that discuss the high cost of turnover and the costs associated with hiring a new

employee. In the Texas Cooperative Extension Service, it is estimated that an agent whose salary

is $30,000 could cost the organization between $7,200 to $30,000 in turnover costs per employee

(Chandler, 2004). Kutilek (2000), in a study conducted at Ohio State Extension, concluded that

Ohio extension lost approximately $80,000 each year due to agent turnover and prolonged

vacancies. In addition, Pinkovitz, Moskal and Green (2001) estimate that the cost for hiring

extension professionals is approximately $2,300, however those figures were used in 2001 and

would be somewhat higher now. Just the cost of hiring alone, not specific to extension, has been

documented by Abassi and Hollman (2000) at approximately $4,000 per professional.









There are also costs associated with vacancies, which can be tangible or intangible costs.

The intangible costs include decreases in employee satisfaction for those remaining, disruption

of customer relations until the job is filled, the costs from the disruption of workflow, and the

erosion of morale (Abbasi, & Hollman, 2000). "One estimate reveals that the cost of voluntary

and involuntary employee turnover to American industry the 'find them, lose them, replace

them' syndrome is about $11 billion a year" (Abbasi & Hollman, p. 334). Ramlall (2004) also

suggested that the average company loses $1 million with every ten professional employees that

leave the company. Those figures were reported from a 1997 study and are certainly significantly

higher almost ten years later. One of the most significant losses for organizations is the loss of

knowledge that comes with employee turnover. This is the knowledge that is used to meet the

needs of clientele that is so vital to the mission of cooperative extension (Ramlall, 2004).

Research in Orientation and Socialization

Even though there is limited research with respect to extension on orientation and

socialization, there is much research dealing with new employee orientation, induction, and

socialization in the private sector ( Kainen, Begley, & Maggard, 1983; Ashforth, Sakes & Lee,

1998; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979). King and Sethi, (1998) suggest that socialization assists

with role adjustment, or how well new professionals cope with their newfound careers. Also,

research has demonstrated that employees have a higher job satisfaction when their orientation is

completed as early as possible (Bailey, 1993).

Organizational socialization has been proven to increase organizational commitment and

involvement in the job (Klein & Weaver, 2000). The induction/socialization period helps in

shaping the new employee and helps employees to understand the mission of the organization,

the rules and regulations, and acceptable cultural practices of that organization. King and Sethi

(1998) show that socialization does affect professional role adjustment in information systems









professions through their research study. Saks (1996) conducted research on training and

socialization and worker outcomes finding that the amount of training new professionals receives

positively impacts job performance and commitment to the organization.

Research available on the process of organizational socialization is numerous. This type

of research is concerned with understanding the different stages that a new employee passes

through as s/he becomes a part of the organization (Chao, 1988; Feldman, 1976; Wanous, 1980).

There are several "stage" models available from which to operate (Buchanan, 1974; Fisher,

1986; Wanous, 1992). These models incorporate four stages, which include: anticipation (pre

entry), encounter (basic training), adjustment (becoming integrated) and stabilization (mutual

acceptance of the organization).

Although Ashforth, Sluss and Harrison (2007) state that these types of research have not

attracted as much attention as of late due to the fact that there is little attention to how the change

occurs and more associated with the sequence of the socialization. As Taormina also discusses

(1997), stage models have been useful but do not take into account the socialization process,

which is continuous and ongoing.

Additionally, research on the content of socialization is also available. This type of

research deals primarily with what is actually learned by the newcomer during the socialization

process (Fisher, 1986; Feldman, 1986). This concept is the basis for most organizational

socialization models (Chao, O'Leary-Kelly, Wolf, Klein & Gardner, 1994; Saks & Ashforth,

1997). According to Ashforth (2007), "socialization content has been characterized in three

related ways: (1) acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities; (2) as general adjustment

(including role clarity); and (3) as effective support from various sources during the socialization

process (e.g. Organization, group, supervisor)" (p. 17).









Theoretical Framework

There are several theories identified with organizational socialization. Graen's (1976) "role

making" theory discusses that defining employee roles helps ensure that acceptable patterns of

social behavior become established, and assists employees with understanding the culture of that

organization. Becoming socialized to a new position, especially in extension, where tenure and

promotion are often tied to working with other professionals is especially important.

An additional and important theory (cited in most socialization articles and research) that

can be tied to new agent orientation/ induction and socialization is Van Maanen and Schein's,

typology of socialization tactics (1979). Van Maanen and Schein proposed that organizations use

at least six tactics to structure the socialization of new hires. Those six tactics included collective

versus individual (which involves common group experiences for new employees); collective

versus individual (which involves grouping new employees together for common learning

experiences and programs); formal versus informal (which involves separating the new

employees from those within the organization for orientation programs); sequential versus

random (involving new employees in a series of socialization experiences); fixed versus variable

(following a set time table when moving newcomers from one experience to another); serial

versus disjunctive (learning the job roles and responsibilities from a mentor, supervisor or co-

worker), and investiture versus divestiture (affirming the new employees role within the

organization). Van Maanen and Schein also stated that those socialization tactics could be used

within any organization where there are individual careers (Ashforth, Saks, & Lee, 1998).

Institutionalized socialization encourages tactics that include collective learning that is formal,

sequential, fixed, serial, versus individual socialization where the new employee is left to "fend

for himself' (Ashforth, Sluss & Harrison, 2007). As reported by Saks and Ashforth (1997),









institutional socialization is associated with higherjob satisfaction, organizational commitment,

higher performance proficiency and higher retention rate than individual socialization.

Socialization Models

Socialization models are varied but most have similar or common basic components or

domains associated with them (Taormina, 1997; Chao et al., 1994). The first component or

domain of organizational socialization can be termed "role clarity." Role clarity, or performance

proficiency, is defined as the development ofjob-related skills and abilities (Taormina, 1997).

Feldman (1981) stated, "No matter how motivated the employee, without enough job skills there

is little chance of success" (p. 313). However, as Gonzalez (1982) stated, "mastery of the

knowledge alone does not insure that the individual can successfully apply what he has learned"

(p. 40). It is very important that individuals develop the proper abilities, as well as the attitudes

and behaviors necessary to carry out their professional roles.

The second component/domain of organizational socialization is co-worker support.

Establishing successful relationship with co-workers and other organizational members plays a

pivotal role in the socialization process. Furthermore, Fisher (1986) suggested that finding the

right person from whom to learn about the organization is also important in the socialization

process of the new hire. Co-worker support is essential within extension, where promotion and

permanent status can be directly tied to teamwork and ability to work productively with co-

workers.

A third component/ domain of organizational socialization is understanding the politics,

language, and history of the organization. Learning and understanding the formal and informal

work relationships and power structures within the organization increases the success of the

individual (Louis, 1980). Learning the correct organizational jargon assists with the basic









organizational-specific language in order to comprehend information and communication from

others.

A fourth component of socialization at the organizational level is learning and

understanding organizational goals and values. These goals and values include the understanding

of the rules and principals, the unwritten and informal goals and values held dear by the

organization and those in powerful and controlling positions. Understanding goals and values

also link the individual to the larger organization, beyond their immediate job and work

environment (Chao, Oleary-Kelly, Klein & Gardner, 1994).

A fifth component/domain of organizational socialization newly defined by Taormina

(1997) is "future prospects". Future prospects relates to how a new employee perceives their

future within the organization, which includes perception about raises, promotions and job

security.

The addition of this relatively new domain can be substantiated using current research

conducted by Taormina (1997) as well as research which identifies "free agents" and "generation

X'ers" as looking for jobs that offer them the opportunity for the growth they need to maintain

their employability (Opengart, 2002). The term "free agent" applies to this new type of

employee, or further classified by using the term "generation X'ers" though not all free agents

may be generation X'ers. Opengart (2002) defines the term "free agent" as either high potential

employees, high tech employees and younger employees. Generation X'ers fall in to the category

of younger employee. According to Knott (1999) generation X'ers are defined as those born

between 1961 and 1981, though those born at the bottom end of that spectrum may not

necessarily consider themselves to be "generation X'ers." Typically the free agent looks for

opportunities to learn knowledge and skills that will assist them in further employment. Opengart









suggests that employers offer opportunity for growth and learning to attract those types of

employees. The findings of the study conducted on the free agents suggests that "continuous

learning in the workplace as a key component to achieving their goal of retaining employment

for the duration of their careers" is vital in being able to attract top candidates. Typically, the free

agent values freedom and life-long learning and opportunities to apply that lifelong learning

(Opengart, 2002). Taking into account the current research on this type of employee, this model

best fits this study.

Conceptual Model

The model that fits best into this research study is the model designed by Taormina (1997),

which encompasses four domains of organizational socialization. Those four domains include:

(1) training, (2) understanding, (3) coworker support, and (4) future prospects (Figure 2- 1). As

Taormina (1997) discusses, these four domains encompass both content and process, are

continuous, and are different for each employee at each different level. The first domain is

labeled "training" which includes learning job related skills and abilities. Training is defined as

"the act, process or method by which one acquires any type of functional skill or ability that is

required to perform a specific job." (Taormina, p. 31). There is both formal and informal training

involved with this domain. Formal training would be those training organized and carried out by

the organization (workshops, in-service training, formal orientation programs, etc) to enhance

job skills, while informal training can be classified as any unstructured way a newcomer learns

job skills. These skills can be learned in a variety of ways including observation or trial and

error.

As training is considered a domain of organizational socialization, Taormina discusses that

this training should be provided by the organization and should be a process that is experienced

by the employees. Training is important and, as stated by Gonzalez (1982), "mastery of the









knowledge alone does not insure that the individual can successfully apply what he has learned"

(p. 40). It is also important to remember that training is a continuous process and may have a

beginning, for a new hire, but does not have an end. Life-long learning has been proven to be a

high motivator in the retention of employees. Fourman and Jones (1977), describe Herzberg's

theory of "vertical job enrichment" which helps to support positive attitudes towards work. They

contend that one of the key issues in human resource management, and professional development

specialists, is motivating the workforce. "Vertical job enrichment adds more authority,

accountability, degree of difficulty and specialization to an individual's work. By doing so,

motivational factors such as responsibility, achievement, growth and learning, advancement and

recognition are further developed" (Fourman & Jones, 1977, p. 1).

The second domain included in this organizational socialization model is

"understanding." Understanding is "the power or ability to apply concepts based on having a

clear idea of the nature, significance or explanation of something." (Taormina, p. 34). In other

words, understanding consists of the extent of which an employee can apply knowledge of the

job, the organization, the history, culture and values or the organization. Understanding

especially the history, culture and values of an organization assists the newcomer with

understanding what behavior is appropriate and inappropriate in specific circumstances

according to the culture of the organization. Fisher (1986) emphasizes that understanding the

organizational history is also a "means of learning key organizational principles." Chao et al.

(1994) discovered that understanding the history of the organization was positively correlated

with job tenure and organizational commitment.

Understanding can also be a direct reflection of information seeking. Past studies show that

information seeking, engaging in proactive behaviors to learn about role clarity, and









organizational principles, are positively related to attitudes, performance and organizational

adjustment (Holder, 1996; Ostroff & Kozlowski, 1993). Social information seeking was found

related to overall social integration into the organization (Morrison, 1993) as well as

understanding appropriate and inappropriate social behavior (Chatman, 1991).

The third domain in this model is "co-worker support." Co-worker support is defined as

"the emotional, moral or instrumental sustenance which is provided without financial obligation

by other employees in the organization in which one works with the objective of alleviating

anxiety, fear or doubt" (Taormina, p. 37). Critical aspects of co-worker support include

emotional and moral support. Co-workers can include peers, mentors, and other employees

within the organization (supervisors). Successful socialization involves learning how to establish

positive relationships with co-workers. Finding the right person to assist the new employee to

learn about the organization, politics, and job roles and responsibilities is also key to successful

socialization (Fisher, 1986). Mentors are often used within organizations to assist newcomers

with job adjustment through advice, additional training, and assisting with the establishment of a

social support network (Kram, 1988). Mentors, as the research suggests, assist new employees

with the adjustment into the new work environment within their organization (Lankau

&Scandura, 2002; Wanberg, 2003).

In extension, where promotion and tenure (or permanent status) is often dependant on co-

workers and peer groups, it is important that those new hires establish positive social networks

and relationships among their peer groups and colleagues. Working in teams and groups is an

organizational value of Cooperative Extension. Positive relationships with co-workers also

reduce the amount of stress on the job and assist with having more positive feelings about co-

workers and the job itself (Taormina, 1997). Kaufmann and Beehr (1986) concluded that social









support is a moderator of a high stress job. In other words, stressful job situations have less of an

impact on an employee if there is a positive social network within that organization.

The fourth domain of organization socialization is "future prospects." Taormina (1997)

defines future prospects as "the extent to which an employee anticipates having a rewarding

career within his or her employing organization" (p.40). Basically, this domain relates to new

employees perception of future promotions, future salary potential, awards and recognition, and

their overall perception about their tenure within the organization. This domain can also be

associated with the commitment of an individual to stay within an organization. Buchanan

(1974) described three components of commitment, which include: 1) the individuals' ability to

adopt the goals and values of the organization, 2) the psychological involvement of an individual

to his or her work role and 3) the feeling of loyalty, or attachment to the organization. Buchanan

studied commitment in managers and discovered that job achievement and hierarchical

advancement were significant aspects of organizational commitment. Perception of future

prospects includes job achievement and advancement potential within an organization. "An

underlying assumption here is that employees may choose to leave an organization that they

perceive is not providing a rewarding environment which supports their careers" (Taormina,

1997)

Summary

In summary, there is much literature available that supports organizational socialization

from a number of different aspects. Extension work, and following the expressed mission of

extension, relies heavily upon the extension agent and the effectiveness of the extension

professional determines the success or failure of an extension program therefore completion of

the formal socialization experience has a number of favorable outcomes for both the employee

and the organization.









Literature is also available that supports the need to retain extension agents as well as the

dollar value when those employees leave the organization. In addition, there is research available

that identifies competencies needed for extension agents in order for those agents to be able to

positively impact the clientele that they serve.

The organizational socialization model that will be used for this study was developed by

Taormina (1997) and includes four domains; training, understanding, co-worker support and

future prospects. This model best fits the extension organization as explained in Chapter 2.

Chapter 3 will present the research design and methodology proposed for this study as

well as identifies participants, and discusses data collection and data analysis by objectives.





































/TR !UN / TR : UN\
1i... j. i ........... ........
FP CS
Coworker i I Future
Sup.pri Prospects



Figure 1: The four :!vmains of organizational



Figure 2-1 Taormina's Organizational Socialization Model.

Source Taormina (1997)









CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

Introduction

This chapter describes the population, design, instrumentation, data collection procedures

and statistical data analysis of this research study. This study was conducted to compare how

new extension agents in the southern region perceive their degree of organizational socialization

and job satisfaction. In addition, seven (7) formal methods of socializing/orienting new

employees at the organizational level have been identified (formal and informal mentors,

immediate orientation, non immediate orientation, web based module orientation, County

Extension Director orientation, and discussion with co-workers) and a comparison of those

programs with level of job satisfaction was studied to examine if any of the organizational

socialization methods employed by states made a difference in job satisfaction of those new

employees.

The research objectives of this study are as follows:

Objective 1: Gather demographic data on new extension agents in each state including:

months on the job, programmatic area, and other professional positions held prior to gaining

employment with the extension service.

Objective 2: Determine perceived level of organizational socialization of new extension

hires using OSI.

Objective 3: Determine perceived level of job satisfaction of new extension hires using

aJIG.

Objective 4: Compare the perceived level of organizational socialization with job

satisfaction to examine if perceived level of organizational socialization impacts job satisfaction,

and examine the possible relationship of organizational socialization and job satisfaction.









Objective 5: Compare job satisfaction with type of organizational socialization taking

place; (1) formal mentor, (2) informal, self selected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program

(within three months after hire), (4) formal orientation program after three months of hire, (5),

web-based modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with CED/immediate supervisor

and (7) discussing job expectations and duties with co-workers; to examine if any method

employed by states made an impact in job satisfaction of those new agents. In addition, compare

the number of organizational socialization methods participated in by new agents with respect to

their job satisfaction.

Research Design

The primary design of this study was descriptive in nature and is considered a single-

method survey research design as defined by Ary, Jacobs and Razavieh (2002). The study sought

to examine the perceived level of organizational socialization and perceived level of job

satisfaction of new extension agents in the southern region. In addition, this study design

employed correlation research methods to explore any possible relationship in methods of

socializing of new extension faculty and job satisfaction. The researcher used a web-based,

questionnaire instrument to collect data from identified population.

Instrumentation

The data in this study was collected in the form of responses to questions using an internet

survey. The researched developed a questionnaire instrument consisting of four components; (1)

questions related to demographics of participants, (2) one question to identify the primary

methods that were used to socialize new agents within their organizations. One "check all that

apply" question was used to identify those methods of organizational socialization identified by

state's professional development specialists, (3) the OSI, used to measure perceived level of

organizational socialization and (3) the aJIG, which measures job satisfaction. The researcher









submitted the survey instrument to the University of Florida's Institutional Review Board

(Appendix A) and was approved (Appendix B).

The study included two instruments that have been previously used as study instruments;

the first measured organizational socialization, and the second, job satisfaction. For this study,

there were two measures of organizational socialization available that were similar in nature, The

Organizational Socialization Inventory (OSI), developed by R.J. Taormina, and Content Area of

Socialization (CAS) developed by Chao et al. (1994). Both research instruments have practical

applications for the human resource manager, both can assess how well organizational

socialization programs are working within an organization, and both assess not only newcomers

but also assess the socialization of organizational members at any time during employment.

According to Taormina (2004), both measures are comparable, however the CAS is "a more

specific measure and the OSI a more general measure of organizational socialization. This

implies that the OSI can be used for more general purposes in a wide variety of organizational

settings" (p. 91). In addition, the CAS contains six domains (which correspond to three of four of

the OSI domains), but does not contain the fourth domain described in the model being used for

this study, future prospects. "Future prospects assess the employee's long-term view with the

organization, such as his or her anticipation of continued employment in and the rewards offered

by the organization" (Taormina, 2004, p. 78). It is felt from the review of literature that the

fourth domain, future prospects, is important for this study and therefore, the OSI was used in

place of the CAS. R.J. Taormina provided permission for the OSI to be used in this study

(Appendix D).

The OSI is a twenty-item scale instrument with four subscales or domains (Appendix I).

The four subscales (domains) are: 1. training, 2. understanding, 3. co-worker support and, 4.









future prospects. A 5-point Likert scale was used with the OSI, ranging from 1 (strongly agree)

to 5 (strongly disagree). There were five questions dealing with training, five questions that dealt

with understanding, five that related to co-worker support and five that related to the future

prospects domain. This instrument has been tested for reliability and validity in a wide variety of

organizations and with a diverse group of employees.

The second instrument that was used was the Abridged Job Descriptive Index (aJDI),

developed by P.C. Smith, Kendall & Hulin in 1969 and revised several times during the years,

most recently in 1997. The aJDI was designed to measure the construct of job satisfaction, how

the employee feels about their job (Kinicki, Schriesheim, McKee-Ryan & Carson, 2002) and is

reported to be used more frequently than any other job satisfactory measure (Rain, Lane &

Steiner, 1991). The aJDI is also considered one of the most reliable and valid measurements of

job satisfaction (Roznowski, 1989; Kinicki et al. 2002). The aJDI includes items that pertain to

satisfaction with co-workers, pay, promotions, supervision and work. The aJDI uses a 3-point

response scale of either "No," "Yes," or "?" for not sure (Appendix H). Permission to use the JDI

was obtained from JDI Research Group; Bowling Green State University (Appendix C).

In addition to the two surveys described above, participants were also asked to indicate

their major programmatic area, the number of months that they have been employed in their

current job, their state association, previous extension employment, and orientation programs

participated in.

Objective 1. Gather demographic data on new extension agents in each state including:

months on the job, programmatic area, and other professional positions held prior to gaining

employment with the extension service.









The researcher used four demographic questions to be answered by participants. Those

questions included, (1) major programmatic area, (2) number of months employed in current

position, (3) state employed, and (4) previous extension employment. The purpose of these

questions was to gain insight into participants and use demographic data to examine if months of

extension had an impact on any of the other components of the survey.

Objective 2. Examine the perceived level of organizational socialization of new extension

hires using the Organizational Socialization Index (OSI).

The OSI consists of twenty questions and includes questions related to the four domains of

organizational socialization, five questions for each domain. The question type was a 5-point

Likert scale, one (1) indicated strongly agree, three (3) indicated neither agree nor disagree, and

five (5) indicated strongly disagree. The Likert scale was re-coded at the end of the analysis (1=

strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). Descriptive statistics were used to determine sub-score

for each of the four domains of organizational socialization, as identified by Taormina's model

of organizational socialization (training, understanding, co-worker support, and future

prospects). In addition, a total organizational socialization score was calculated and reported.

This total score was also used to achieve Objective 4.

Objective 3. Examine the perceived level of job satisfaction of new extension hires using

Abridged Job in General Measurement (aJIG) instrument.

The aJIG was utilized to determine perceived level of job satisfaction of participants. The

aJIG contains a series of 20 questions in the following categories: work on present job, present

pay, opportunities for promotion, and supervision. The questions are measured, "yes", "no" and

"not sure," and were ordered exactly as the original survey. Each of these questions was









analyzed separately, and then a combined job satisfaction score was calculated to determine a

total score which was used for analysis in Objective 4.

Objective 4. Compare the perceived level of organizational socialization with job

satisfaction to examine if perceived level of organizational socialization impacts job satisfaction,

and examine the possible relationship of organizational socialization and job satisfaction.

Comparisons were made between the total scores of the OSI and aJIG by use of a Pearson

correlation coefficient and correlations were viewed collectively in a correlation matrix to

determine if organizational socialization and job satisfaction are correlated.

Objective 5. Compare job satisfaction with type of organizational socialization taking

place; (1) formal mentor, (2) informal, self selected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program

(within three months after hire), (4) formal orientation program after three months of hire, (5)

web-based modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with CED/immediate supervisor

and (7) discussing job expectations and duties with co-workers; to examine if there are

differences in methods and job satisfaction. In addition, compare the number of organizational

socialization methods participated in by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction

To examine the impact of socialization/orientation methods employed by the organizations

to participants perceived level of job satisfaction, a one-way analysis of variance was conducted

to on all seven (7) levels of the variable to determine what proportion of the variance in job

satisfaction was associated with each different method of organizational socialization and which

method may prove to impact job satisfaction. One question was used to determine which

methods were used with participants and participants were asked to check "all that apply" for

this question.









Objective 6: Compare the number of organizational socialization methods participated in

by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction.

A way one ANOVA was conducted to determine if the number of organizational

socialization methods new agents participated in had any impact on job satisfaction. Three

groups were identified by use of the histogram displayed in Chapter 3 and three (3) levels, or

groups, were identified (Figure 3 1).

Reliability and Validity of the Instruments

The OSI contains twenty questions, with each identified domain having five questions

associated. The OSI has been tested for reliability and validity and as Taormina (1997) reported,

the OSI was designed for use in most types of organizations, and the original Chronbach alpha

reliabilities had values of .76 or higher for each of the five domains and a .90 for the overall

scale.

The aJDI and aJIG has also been tested for reliability (Roznowski, 1989; Ironson,

Brannick, Smith, Gibson and Paul, 1989; Kinicki et al, 2002), and JDI associates are

continuously updating their data and measurement instrument to be able to be used within a wide

variety of organizations.

Population

The population studied consisted of all new extension agents with six (6) months to 18

months of time on the job in twelve states in the southern region. The parameter of six months to

eighteen months was selected as it was surmised that agents with less than six months of

experience may not have had enough experience in answering these questions, and agents with

more than eighteen months of experience are no longer considered "new." States with mentoring

programs (Texas, Mississippi, etc.) discontinue the formal mentoring program after agents reach

twelve months of employment.









In order to gather a sampling frame, each state's professional development specialist was

contacted via email to determine approximate numbers of new agents fitting into the above

category for this study. The breakdown, by state, of the number of new agents that fit within that

category is shown in Table 3-1. There were a total of three hundred and forty nine (349) new

extension agents that were identified and invited to participate. Twenty eight of those that were

identified by state professional development specialists were deleted from the list due to the fact

that those agents didn't fit into the prescribed category of months on the job (15 participants), or

had already left the job (13 participants), for a total of three hundred and twenty one (321)

potential participants. All fifteen agents that did not fit into the proper number of months emailed

the researcher and their names were removed from the survey group list. It was decided to use

the entire population of new agents (census study) so that participants involved in this study

would remain anonymous and an appropriate response rate (over 60%) would be obtained.

Independent Variable(s)

In this study, the independent variable measured was the methods employed by the

organization to socialize new employees. Those methods include:

1. Having an assigned formal mentor.
2. Self selecting an informal mentor.
3. Attending new agent orientation immediately after being hired (within three months).
4. Attending new agent orientation three months or more after being hired.
5. Using orientation and training web modules.
6. Meeting with the County Extension Director to review job expectations and duties.
7. Working with co-workers to discuss job duties and expectations.
8. Not participating in any of the above.


The study looked for the relationship between the dependant variable, job satisfaction, and

the participation in any or all of the socialization methods employed by the organization. In

addition, the decision was made, after analyzing all methods together, to then separate each









method and examine those seven identified methods as separate independent variables to

determine if there was an impact on any of the different methods on job satisfaction.

Data Collection

The researcher used a web-based program, Zoomerang, to disseminate the questionnaire

to participants and facilitate data collection. It was decided to use this method for several

reasons; the low cost to develop and disseminate the survey, uncomplicated distribution, ease of

return for participants, and ease of data retrieval. Dillman (2000) listed several limitations to

using an internet survey; respondents may not have a computer, internet access, or feel that they

are confident enough to use an internet based survey. However, this researcher concluded that

most extension agents have access to computers, the internet, and are comfortable using an

internet survey format as most agents hold at least a Bachelors Degree and do extensive work

using computers.

The measurement instrument was developed using the two surveys discussed above, as

well as the demographic question, a question on methods of organizational socialization

participated in as well as a "comments" section, and made available to participants on the

Zoomerang web site. State program development specialists identified participants and an email

list was submitted to the researcher from twelve states in the southern region. Dillman's

methodology (2000) was used as a guide in designing this study. As Dillman recommends,

participants were sent an email announcing the study, providing details on nature of the study,

the use of the data, instructions for completing the study instruments, IRB information, and an

invitation to participate. The email also contained contact information of researcher and

committee chair ,a brief personal introduction by researcher and the subject heading "From a

Colleague" to help prevent participants from deleting this as "junk mail". In addition,

information on how to link to the questionnaire was provided. (Appendix E). The researcher









personally self addressed each email to participants and provided a personal code they were

asked to include on Question 1, so that they could be checked off a participant list. Each

participant received the same introductory email with individual participant code.

Researcher emailed a reminder to participants who did not respond after a 2-week period,

again using the same method as above and "Survey Reminder" in the subject line (Appendix F).

An additional follow up was sent to non-respondents four weeks after the initial correspondence

(Appendix G) with email the subject heading "Last Chance to Participate". The researcher

addressed the third email in exactly the same way as the first and second emails, with the same

information included.

In addition, a random sample of five non participants were called and asked to take the

survey by phone to determine if there was any difference between those that responded to the

survey on line, and those that did not. Those participants were selected using a random number

generator. With this process, an adequate response rate of 75.07% was attained (241 respondents

out of 321 possible participants).

Data was stored in the Zoomerang data management system, retrieved into an Excel spread

sheet, and then converted to an SPSS file at the conclusion of the survey phase of this project.

The time frame for the data collection was as follows:

First email and invitation to participate May 29, 30, 31 2007

First reminder June 13, 14, 15 2007

Final Reminder June 27, 28, 29 2007

Phone calls to non respondents August 1, 2 2007

Emails were sent individually by the researcher and two to three days were allowed to send

and resend survey information due to the large numbers of potential participants.









Data Analysis

To analyze the first objective, descriptive statistics were used to summarize the

demographic data (state, program area, and other professional extension job experiences) and

consisted of means, rankings, frequencies and percentages. SPSS Version 12 was utilized for all

calculations. In addition, descriptive statistics were used to determine scores for perceived level

of organizational socialization, as well as job satisfaction. Also, analysis of variance (ANOVA)

was used to compare means and examine the independent variable (training methods) on the

dependant variable (job satisfaction) and, number of organizational socialization methods new

agents participated in.

Controlling for Missing Data

Utilizing Zoomerang has a distinct advantage over traditional mail surveys as the

researcher can control for missing data. The survey was developed so that each question had to

be answered in order to proceed to the next question and to complete the survey. Each question

did allow the participant to select a non threatening answer (examples: I prefer not to answer, not

sure, etc.) as one of the choices to assist with completion of the survey and address any concerns

participants had about answering the different questions.

Data Analysis by Objective

The objectives stated in Chapter 1 were measured using the following statistics:

Objective 1. Gather demographic data on new extension agents in each state including:

major program area, months on the job, current state of employment, and other professional

extension positions held prior to gaining employment with their current extension service.

Procedure. Participants were asked for demographic information included on the survey.

SPSS was utilized to describe means, frequencies, and percentages. In addition, a table showing

the total number of agents in the southern region is included for comparison (Table 3-2). Those









numbers were obtained by either professional development specialists or the state's extension

web site, noted on the table.

Objective 2. Examine the perceived level of organizational socialization of new extension

hires using the OSI.

Procedure. Participants were asked a series of twenty questions using a five-point Likert

type scale with 1 (strongly agree) to 5 (strongly disagree). Each question was analyzed using

descriptive statistics; frequency and percent were reported for each item. Items were re-coded

after survey was completed (1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). According to Borg and

Gall (1983), Likert type scales are the most commonly used scales for the measurement of

attitudes and perceptions. This scale was also recommended by Taormina (1997). Each domain

was analyzed and a domain score was obtained for each of the four organizational socialization

domains. In addition, a combined organizational socialization score was then determined from

the responses to the instrument. That combined score is reported as mean, and standard

deviation, and was used to complete the analysis in Objective 4.

A Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated and correlations were viewed collectively

in a correlation matrix to determine if there was a relationship between any of the four domains

of organizational socialization (knowledge, training, co-worker support and future prospects) and

a total score was calculated for organizational socialization.

It was also decided to examine the months of extension employment and the OSI to

determine if months of extension had any relationship to the four domains of organizational

socialization.

Objective 3. Examine the perceived level of job satisfaction of new extension hires using

aJIG instrument.









Procedure. Scores were calculated using SPSS Version 12 to determine individual scores

for each of the twenty questions relating to job satisfaction. Questions were ranked as Yes = 2,

No = 1 and Not Sure = 1.5. Each question was analyzed using descriptive statistics and reported

as frequency and percent. In addition, a total job satisfaction score was determined for

participants and reported again as mean and standard deviation. This total score was also used in

the analysis of Objective 4.

Objective 4. Compare the perceived level of organizational socialization with job

satisfaction to examine if perceived level of organizational socialization impacts job satisfaction,

and examine the possible relationship of organizational socialization and job satisfaction.

Procedure. A Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated and correlations were viewed

collectively in a correlation matrix to examine a possible relationship between organizational

socialization and job satisfaction using the total scores from the OSI and aJIG.

Objective 5. Compare job satisfaction with type of organizational socialization taking

place; (1) formal mentor, (2) informal, self selected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program

(within three months after hire), (4) formal orientation program after three months of hire, (5)

web-based modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with CED/immediate supervisor

and (7) discussing job expectations and duties with co-workers; to examine if there are

differences in methods and job satisfaction. Also, compare the number of organizational

socialization methods new agents participated in to determine if the number of methods impact

job satisfaction.

Procedure. To examine if any method of socialization makes a difference in job

satisfaction, all seven (7) levels of the variable (methods of organizational socialization), were

combined and analyzed using one way ANOVA. In addition, each method was then treated as a









separate variable and analyzed using a one way between-group analysis of variance that

controlled for months of extension. This was undertaken to explore the impact of job satisfaction

and the different organizational socialization method employed by the states within the southern

region to assist with determining if any of the different individual methods made an impact in job

satisfaction.

Objective 6: Compare the number of organizational socialization methods participated in

by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction

Procedure: Using an additional one way ANOVA to determine if the number of

organizational socialization methods that individual new agents participated in made an impact

on job satisfaction, agents were combined into three (3) groups, based on the findings of a

histogram (Figure 3 -1 ). Group one (1) were those new agents that participated in one (1) to

three (3) methods of organizational socialization, group two (2) indicated that they participated

in four (4) methods, and group three (3) participated in five to seven methods of organizational

socialization.

Non-response Error

According to Lindner, Murphy, and Briers (2001), there are three methods for handling

non response error. Those methods include:

1. Comparison of early to late responders.
2. Using "days to respond" as a regression variable, and
3. Comparison of respondents to non respondents.

Lindner, et al. (2001), suggest that with less than an 85% response rate, additional

procedures need to be implemented for handling non response issues. For this study, method 1

was employed, "comparison of early to late respondents". A random sample of five (5) non-

respondents were surveyed by telephone, and responses were added to the existing data bank

contained on Zoomerang. All Zoomerang data was listed in "response order", from early to late









respondents, and the five telephone survey participants were added to the bottom of the

Zoomerang data list (late respondents). Lindner and Wingenback (2002), suggest a minimum of

20 respondents to use when comparing early to late respondents. It was decided to use twenty-

five late respondents, those five agents called were combined with 20 of the last group of

respondents and twenty five of the earliest respondents were used. Data was analyzed comparing

late responders with early responders on variables of interest. Those included total OSI score,

total aJIG score and programmatic area. T-tests indicated no significant differences between

early and late respondents on the total OSI. Total OSI score of early respondents (M= 76.04, SD

= 10.90), late respondents (M= 75.76, SD = 10.94), t (48) = .091. Total aJIG scores of early

respondents (M= 34.08, SD = 4.16), later respondents (M= 34.44, SD = 3.76), t (48) = -.32. It

was, therefore, concluded that results could be generalized to the population and that

nonresponse was not a threat to the validity of this study.

Summary

This chapter provided an overview on selection of participants, number of potential

participants for the study, and number of total respondents. Instrumentation and the reasoning

behind the selection of the OSI over the CAS were also discussed as well as the use of the aJIG

to measure job satisfaction in new agents. In addition, this chapter discusses how participants

were selected, contacted and distribution of survey instrument.

Zoomerang, a web based survey program, was used to facilitate the dissemination of the

survey instrument for this study. Zoomerang is an easy to use survey instrument design tool,

which allowed data to be collected and placed in a data management system for easy retrieval

into SPSS. This allowed the researcher to have data collected directly by computer and not by

hand, minimizing possible research bias issues.









Six objectives were measured using a variety of statistical methods. Those objectives were:

(1) to gather demographic data on new extension employees, (2) examine perceived level of

organizational socialization of new hires using OSI, (3) examine perceived level of job

satisfaction of new hires using the aJIG; (4) Compare organizational socialization with job

satisfaction to determine if there is a correlation; (5) Examine the differences between each

method of organizational socialization and explore the impact of job satisfaction with each

different method used, and (6) Compare the number of organizational socialization methods

participated in by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction.












Table 3-1 Number of New Agents With 6 to 18 Months of Extension Experience.
States
Alabama 11
Florida 44
Georgia 37
Kentucky 40
Louisiana 13
Mississippi 11
North Carolina 50
Oklahoma 13
South Carolina 11
Tennessee 12
Texas 36
Virginia 43
Total for Southern Region 321











Table 3-2 Total Number of Agents By Programmatic Area.


State
4-H A

Alabama 37
Florida* 81
Georgia 86 1
Kentucky 128 1
Louisiana 100
Mississippi 65
North Carolina** 91 1
Oklahoma 53
South Carolina ** 40
Tennessee 80 1l
Texas ** 79 2
Virginia* 90
Total Number 930 10:
Total Percent 25.7% 28.4
From State Extension Web Site *
From Professional development specialist **


Programmatic Area
9g. Natural Hort.
Res.
21 16 6
68 21 58
05 5 8
17 2 25
91 16 23
42 2 17
16 14 55
60 0 6


32
03
29
49
33
%


13
0
12
37
138
3.8%


24
3
20
19
264
7.3%


F.C.S.

27
101
62
120
95
69
99
70
14
92
200
52
1001
27.6%


Other

18
11
12
2
18
35
85
18
13
21
27
3
263
7.2%

























40










lean- *.112
id. Deu.- 1.46N 1
___ N 201
0 I I I I = 2,1
DOrE 2C1 *C 6of sMe


Figure 3- 1. Number of Organizational Socialization Methods Participated In









CHAPTER 4
PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA

This chapter presents a detailed analysis of data collected during this study. A summary

of the study design is followed by discussion of the research objectives identified in Chapter 3.

Included in this chapter are extensive descriptive statistics of participants, including demographic

data; scores for the four domains of organizational socialization, as well as total organizational

socialization score; perceived level of job satisfaction of new extension agents, a comparison of

organizational socialization and job satisfaction, and an examination of the different methods of

organizational socialization/orientation and job satisfaction. In addition, a summary of answers

from an open ended question on the survey is also included. Five research objectives have been

identified and the results of those objects are presented in this chapter.

Summary of the Study Design

This study involved collecting data by use of Internet survey research methods to

measure research objectives. The population consisted of three hundred and twenty one (321)

new extension agents in twelve (12) states within the southern region of the United States. Two

hundred and forty-one (241) new agents responded to the survey with a response rate of 75.07%.

"New agents" considered in the population had between six months and eighteen (18) months of

current employment on the job. Two survey questionnaires were used for this research study, the

OSI and aJIG. Additional questions were also asked that pertained to participant demographics.

One open-ended "comment" question was also included in the survey instrument to gather

qualitative data on participants and their experiences with the four domains of organizational

socialization as well as gain insight on additional issues related to job satisfaction.

Zoomerang, an online survey development software system was utilized to develop and

distribute the survey instrument to participants. All data was analyzed using the Statistical









Package for Social Science Research, version 12 and was downloaded from the Zoomerang data

base management system into an excel document and then, transferred to SPSS for analysis.

Statistical Analysis of Research Objectives

As discussed in Chapter 1, this study was designed to examine the perception of new

extension professional's level of organizational socialization with respect to job skills and duties

(training domain), co-worker support, politics of the organization, the history and culture of the

organization (organizational knowledge domain), and future job prospects using the OSI. In

addition, this study was designed to examine perceived level of job satisfaction using JDI

Research Group's Abridged Job in General Scale (aJIG). The perceived level of organizational

socialization and job satisfaction were compared, and finally, the seven methods of

organizational socialization employed by the different states were examined using one-way

ANOVA and linear regression. ANOVA's were used to determine if any of the methods

employed impacted job satisfaction, and linear regression was employed to analyze any possible

differences in the number of methods a new agent participated and their perceived level of job

satisfaction. Specific objectives of this study were to:

1. Gather demographic data on new extension agents in each state including: months on the
job, programmatic area, and other professional positions held prior to gaining
employment with the extension service.

2. Determine perceived level of organizational socialization of new extension hires using
OSI.

3. Determine perceived level of job satisfaction of new extension hires using aJIG.

4. Compare the perceived level of organizational socialization with job satisfaction to
examine if perceived level of organizational socialization impacts job satisfaction, and
examine the possible relationship of organizational socialization and job satisfaction.

5. Compare job satisfaction with type of organizational socialization taking place; (1)
formal mentor, (2) informal, self selected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program
(within three months after hire), (4) formal orientation program after three months of
hire, (5) web-based modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with









CED/immediate supervisor and (7) discussing job expectations and duties with co-
workers; to examine if any method employed by states made an impact in job satisfaction
of those new agents.

6. Compare the number of organizational socialization methods participated in by new
agents with respect to their job satisfaction.


A detailed analysis and discussion of the relevant data follows:

Objective 1: Gather demographic data on new extension agents in each state including:

months on the job, programmatic area, and other professional extension positions held prior to

gaining employment with the current employer.

The largest categories of new professionals have been employed in their current positions

between 16 18 months (32.4%), and between 9 to 12 months on the job (31.5%). 19.9% of

participants had between 13 and 15 months on the job, whilel6.2% had 6 months to 8 months on

the job (Table 4-1).

With respect to programmatic area, as indicated, 32.8% of new agents were in the 4-H

youth development programmatic area, 22.8% of agents indicated that agriculture was the main

programmatic area, 18.7% were family and consumer science agents, 10.8% were horticulture

agents and 5.4% indicated their main programmatic area was natural resources. 9.5% of

participants indicated "other" which include a "split" programmatic appointment, including those

agents with a 50% 4-H and other (FCS, horticulture, and agriculture); EPNEP (Expanded

Nutrition Education Program) and Sea Grant, and those considered to be 100% CED/immediate

supervisor (Table 4-2).

In comparison to this, using the total number of agents employed within the southern

region, 25.7% were considered 4-H, 28.4% were agriculture agents, 3.8% were listed as natural









resource agents, 27.6% Family and Consumer Sciences, and 7.2% were "other" (as defined

above) and can be seen in Table 4-3.

In addition, 89.2% of new professionals indicated that they had not held another position

within extension prior to obtaining their current extension position; this was their first

professional extension position.

Objective 2: Examine perceived level of organizational socialization of new extension

hires using the OSI.

Each of the twenty questions was analyzed separately, and combined scores of each of the

four domains were totaled to obtain a domain score. A Pearson Correlation was then conducted

to explore the strength of the relationship between the four organizational socialization domains

(training, knowledge, co-worker support and future prospects). According to Cohen (1988), r =

.50 1.0 is considered a large strength in relationship, there are some strong positive

correlational relationships between the four domains as seen in Table 4- 4. A strong positive

correlation between the knowledge domain and training domain (r = .824) exists, as well as a

strong positive correlation between the training domain and future prospects domain (r = .668),

and between the future prospect domain and knowledge domain (r = .590). A weaker

relationship was found between the co-worker support domain and the training domain (r = .449)

and co-worker support and future prospects domain (r = .440).

The OSI included five questions for each of the four domains. Questions associated with

the "training" domain included questions 7, 11, 15, 19, and 22. Questions to determine perceived

level of knowledge included 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24. Perceived level of co-worker support was

ascertained through questions 9, 13, 17, 21 and 25, and questions related to future prospects

included 10, 14, 18, 23, and 26. The descriptive statistics (mean, median, mode and SD) for each









of the four domains as well as the total score for the organizational socialization index are

reported in Table 4-5.On a Likert-type scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree), the

mean score for participant's perception of adequate training wasM= 3.5 (SD= .81), or between

neither agree nor disagree and agree. Participant's perception of knowledge within the

organization was similar with M= 3.6 (SD=.65). Perceived level of co-worker support obtained

a mean score of M= 4.3, or agree (SD= .57); while perception of future prospects within the

organization had a mean score ofM= 3.7 (SD= .75), or slightly over neither agree nor disagree.

The mean score for the total perception of organizational socialization was M= 3.8 (SD= .58),

participants slightly agreed that they had been socialized/oriented well.

Scores were skewed somewhat negatively, or clustering toward the high end of the

spectrum as can be seen in Figure 4-1 (mean training score), Figure 4-2 (mean knowledge

score), Figure 4-3 (mean co-worker support), Figure 4- 4 (mean future prospects). In addition,

mean total organizational socialization score for all participants and is also skewed negatively as

seen in Figure 4-5. Table 4-6 displays the total organizational score (out of 100 possible points;

5 points possible for each question). The mean total score for organizational socialization was

M= 75.8 (SD 11.5) or about average.

Objective 3: Examine perceived level of job satisfaction of new extension hires using

aJIG.

A total of twenty questions are included in the aJIG, which was used to examine job

satisfaction in new extension agents. There are four main areas used to measure job satisfaction

on the aJIG. Those four areas include, (1) work on present job, (2) present pay, (3) opportunities

for promotion, and (4) supervision. Scores were calculated using No = 1, Yes = 2 and Not Sure

(or "?") = 1.5. Reverse coding was used on questions 30, 31, 34, 36, 39, 41, and 45. A total of









forty (40) points could be obtained from the all questions combined. Minimum points obtained

were 24.50 while the maximum reported score was 40.0. The mean score forjob satisfaction was

34.6 out of a possible 40 points with a standard deviation of 3.43 (Table 4-7).

With response to individual questions concerning aspects of job satisfaction, questions are

summarized from the aJIG in Table 4-8. The answers in this category ranked the highest in any

of the four categories as far as job satisfaction. As can be seen by this table, 83.4% of

participants indicate that their jobs were satisfying; 86% indicated that their jobs gave them a

sense of accomplishment, and 91.3% felt that their jobs were challenging.

The next highest ranking aspect of job satisfaction included questions related to

supervision. In answering questions related to their immediate supervisors, 80.1% of participants

indicated that their supervisor praised good work, 80.1% of participants felt that their immediate

supervisor was tactful, and 78.0% indicated their they considered their supervisor "good." Only

12.9% of participants indicated that their supervisor was "annoying".

The lowest category of scores that dealt with job satisfaction was in the areas of present

pay and opportunities for promotion. Roughly 54.4% did not feel that their income was adequate

for normal expenses, 43.2% indicated that they did not feel they were paid at a fair rate, and

61.8% of the participants indicated that they were not well paid This issue was also expressed in

written comments and are summarized in detail at the end of this chapter. Only 53.1% of

participants felt that they had good opportunity for promotion, 45.6% of respondents felt that

promotion was based on ability and only 51.9% of participants felt they had a good chance for

promotion.









Objective 4: Compare the perceived level of organizational socialization with job

satisfaction to determine if level of socialization impacts job satisfaction and if organizational

socialization and job satisfaction are correlated.

The correlation between job satisfaction and the combined score for organizational

socialization can be viewed in Table 4-9. In this analysis, r = .674, which indicates a strong

positive correlation between how participants felt they were socialized compared to their total

job satisfaction score. The more participants felt they were socialized, the higher their job

satisfaction.

Though not a research objective, it was decided to calculate a Pearson's Correlation to

determine if the number of months on the job might have an impact on job satisfaction. It was

determined that the longer participants are on the job, the lower their job satisfaction (r = -.165).

Also, the longer they were on the job, the less likely they were to feel that their training was as

adequate (r = -.031) and the less likely they were to feel as positive about their future prospects

(r = -.166) (Table 4- 10). Though granted, some of these can be considered small relationships

(r = .10 to r = .29) according to Cohen (1988).

Objective 5: Compare job satisfaction with type of organizational socialization taking

place; (1) formal mentor, (2) informal, self selected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program

(within three months after hire), (4) formal orientation program after three months of hire, (5),

web-based modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with CED/immediate supervisor

and (7) discussing job expectations and duties with co-workers; to examine if there are

differences in methods and job satisfaction.

The first analysis conducted was a one-way ANOVA that combined all seven levels of the

variable (methods of organizational socialization) to determine if the total number of methods









impacted job satisfaction. According to Garson (2007), if the computed F score is greater than 1,

then there is more variance between groups than within groups and it can be inferred that the

independent variable (methods of socialization) does impact the dependant variable (job

satisfaction). In this case, the total number of methods employed impacted job satisfaction

slightly, [F (1, 234) = 1.74,p=.113] (Table 4-11).

As the ANOVA analyzing all seven levels of the variable showed no difference with

methods and job satisfaction, it was decided to examine and explore the impact of job

satisfaction with each different organizational socialization method employed by the different

states within the southern region using each method as a separate variable. As there was a

correlation between months employed with extension and job satisfaction, one way between-

group analysis of variance were conducted that controlled for months of extension. The each

different methods of socialization explored included:

* Having a formal mentor assigned.
* New agents selecting their own mentor.
* Immediate new agent orientation- three months of less on the job.
* New agent orientation after three months on the.
* Using web modules for socialization.
* County Extension Directors discussing expectations of the job with new agent.
* Co-workers discussing expectations of the job with new agents.


The number of new agents that participated in the various new agent orientation and

training methods is detailed in Table 4-12. A total of 77.6% of new agents indicated that they did

review job expectations and duties with their county extension director or immediate supervisor,

75.6% indicated that they discussed job duties and responsibilities with co-workers, 62.2% were

assigned a formal mentor and 42.3% had self selected a mentor. As far as a formal new agent

orientation program, 60.2% indicated that they had participated in an immediate orientation









program (within three months of employment), while 46.9% had participated in an orientation

program after three months of hire.

In analyzing the data, the ANOVA (Table 4-14,) comparing job satisfaction and new

agents self selecting mentors was shown to be significant [F (1, 239) = 4.554, p=.034], as well as

in participating in new agent orientation immediate after they were hired [F (1, 239) = 6.394, p =

.012] (Table 4-15). A high level of significance was found with County Extension Directors

meeting with new agents and discussing job expectations and duties [F (1, 239) = 10.240,

p = .002] (Table 4-18). Co-workers assisting new agents with roles and responsibilities and

impact onjob satisfaction was marginally significant [F (1, 239) = 2.030, p = .165] in

determining job satisfaction (Table 4-19). Other aspects of socialization were not deemed

significant included assigning a formal mentor [F (1, 239) = .535, p = .465] (Table 4-13),

holding new agent orientation after being employed for 3 months or more on the job [F (1, 239)

= 1.276, p = .281] (Table 4-16) and the inclusion of web modules as a socialization/training

method [F (1, 239) = .515,p = .474] (Table 4-17). As the F score was significant in several of

these socialization/orientation methods, it can be concluded that the independent variable

(methods of socializing/orienting new agents) does have an effect onjob satisfaction.

Objective 6: An ANOVA was conducted to determine if the number of methods of

organizational socialization that agents participated in impacted their job satisfaction. The total

group was divided into 3 groups for analysis. Agents were grouped according to how many

organizational methods they selected. A histogram was used to determine a logical break in

groups. Group one (1) were those new agents that participated in one (1) to three (3) methods of

organizational socialization (N= 70), group two (2) indicated that they participated in four (4)

methods (N= 66), and group three (3) participated in five to seven methods of organizational









socialization (N=105). It was found that the number of methods that agents participated in did

impact job satisfaction [F (238) = 3.52, p = .031] (Table 4 20).

In addition to the two surveys that were incorporated into this research instrument, an

open-ended question was asked; "If you have any additional comments concerning your

experiences with your orientation for your current position, please add those here. I welcome any

comments you may have." A total of eighty-four (84) comments were received from participants.

Those comments were divided into four major theme categories that reflected different aspects of

the survey (in regards to comments from participants, no states or programmatic areas are

mentioned to assist with confidentiality of participants).

The first category of comments is related to orientation and training, both positive and

"other" comments.

Training: Comments

* Excellent formal and informal training.

* Does an excellent job of training new employees. The training have been extremely
useful in the completion of my job

* The training is excellent. Would like to see more visits to other counties to see how they
function and see their structure. Take a deeper look at different ways to manage the coming
flow of activity.

* I taught in the public schools and the training/orientation in extension is much, much
better. We have been provided with the tools for success, it is up to us to decide which
tools to use.

* The statewide training have been good but my county and local training has been horrible.

* I worked as a program assistant before accepting the job as an agent. Even though I had a
good understanding of the job, I was still required to do the new agent orientation. I think
that this was a very good idea. I learned a lot of additional information from this
orientation.

* This training has been effective and has allowed me to network with more field faculty and
campus faculty (from 4-H as well as other arms of extension) than a traditional
organization's orientation would permit.









* There is almost too much job training but yet certain areas for brand new to extension
personnel are definitely missed. It's much better to have too much training than no
training.

* Orientation in extension is to a great extent a function of individual maturity, experience
and work ethic. Faculty members are expected to be somewhat self-sufficient and self
motivated.

* I do not think that my level of satisfaction with extension reflects the quality of the
orientation process. I love my job!

* Area specific orientation after the initial orientation would be beneficial because of the
varied experience levels of the new agents.

* Although there is an abundance of training available to me, I still feel like I'm missing
some important key elements when it comes to being the best 4-H agent I could possibly
be.

* I have attended multiple orientations, which have been very informative: however, not one
of them taught me how to use the information. I was not well oriented on what to do with
the information I had been given.

* I appreciated the three new agent training that were required after the initial new agent
training.

* Orientation has helped us feel part of a larger statewide group and this camaraderie has
been helpful.

Training: Other Comments

* The orientation process is ok but not great. I feel that spending time with mentors is much
more helpful than some of the training that we had as new agents.

* Instead of the normal orientation process at --, I would have preferred to spend three days
every other month "shadowing" my mentor. It would have been much more beneficial to
me in my position".

* Orientation was too general. I would have been more helpful if more technical information
relating specifically to my general area was covered.

* Orientation was almost at the end of my first year and was very redundant I have figured
out the organization, benefits, relationships, professional goals, etc but was still required to
attend.

* Although the ongoing training is thorough, it becomes repetitive and uninteresting. I think
that it would be beneficial to have a training a few months into the job where new
employees could request the training that they receive.









* Our university provides overall orientation, but does not provide job training. As soon as
you sign your papers, you are on your own to figure it out!

* Orientation was too comprehensive, too soon after hiring and too diverse.

* I have received no one-on-one training that they said I would receive.

* I would rather have more actual examples instead of pure text.

* I wish the training program was more comprehensive in nature.

* There are many opportunities for training. However, with a rare exception, most of the
trainers don't teach well. The training sessions are boring.

* I would encourage more in depth training for new agents/employees. It becomes
discouraging and frustrating for new employees to not know their responsibilities and what
to expect as a new employee. Any information would be helpful.

* Although my orientations were interesting they failed to provide truly useful information
to develop local programs.

* Training was extremely overwhelming in which a great deal of information was
overloaded on new agents.

* With respect to new agents coming into extension work for the first time, there is not
enough of a training period before you are actually on the job. It is very frustrating as well
as overwhelming.


The second major category of comments is related to salary and pay. As seen in the data

reported above, 54.4% of participants did not feel that their income was adequate for normal

expenses and 61.8% of the participants did not feel they were well paid. These comments reflect

those statistics.

Salary and pay: Comments

* The main problem with me foreseeing myself in this position long term is the low level of
compensation. Without knowing that a pay increase ($10,000) will occur within the next 5
years, there will be no way that I will or can remain in this position.

* I was told that I was "over paid" and that I did not need to expect any extra compensation
upon completion of my masters.









* The pay might be okay if we weren't traveling all the time or required to work weekends
and night with no comp time.

* I feel that I am paid fairly for the work that I do but not for the hours that I put in at the
office.

* I feel that this position is underpaid and pay should be adjusted to location.

* Another issue is the pay and Compp" time. I would not have a problem with that salary I
receive if I did not have to work nights and weekends. I would be more inclined to accept
my pay if I were given proper Compp" time.

* To explain the answers to my pay questions, while I feel I am adequately paid for the job, I
do feel when compared to other youth programs such as agriculture education, I am
underpaid in the job field.

* Why is it necessary to write a thesis to get a pay raise?

Co-workers (and mentors) and co-worker support was the third major category identified

by participants.

Co-worker and Mentor Support: Comments

* I feel the staff is wonderful, including the secretaries. All questions are answered promptly
and efficiently and lord knows I have many questions and I am never ignored.

* In the past, extension had mentors that new agents could shadow in their work. I think
extension needs to reinstate this type of orientation, as it would give new employees a
better understanding of the day-to-day job responsibilities.

* I was fortunate to have a mentor who worked well with me, quickly identified my
strengths and offered meaningful unsolicited advice.

* As a new agent, many agents in other program areas have been wonderful in their advice
and assistance in the orientation process.

* Experienced agents in our area did group mentoring sessions with new agents covering
their areas of strength. It has all been very helpful and supportive.

* Great county staff and other county agents play a large role in training more so than the
orientation sessions.

Co-worker and Mentor Support: Other Comments









* The older agents in my own program area do not take an active interest in my inquiries but
seemed overworked or burned out. Consequently, I do not have much communication with
the other agents in my program area that are not new agents or not young agents.

* A split appointment agent needs split responsibility mentors.

* Mentor selection was not in my area of expertise so was not able to help much.

Finally, one of the most significant contributors to job satisfaction of new extension agents

is the County Extension Director/ Immediate supervisor. Comments included by participants are

reflected in this category.

County Extension Directors/ Immediate supervisor: Comments

* I am definitely pleased with the position and the support that I get at the county level.

* My immediate supervisor has been very understanding of the stress on new agents and
increase responsibilities as time goes on so that you are not so quickly overwhelmed in the
beginning.

* My county director gives great advice and is very knowledgeable.

County Extension Directors/ Immediate supervisor: Other Comments

* Initial interactions with my supervisor may have left a negative impression and steered my
career with extension.

* I don't feel my boss is much of a leader and I wish they had given me more guidance.

* I feel that the problem with the county director position is that their position is not
monitored well.

* My county extension director is incompetent.

* I have had a terrible supervisor. He was very hard to work for and made life and work hard
on me and everyone in the office.

* A big reason for my current frustration is due to the lack of help or guidance from our
county extension director. They have not in almost nine months sat down with me and tell
me any type of expectations, goals or objectives for my position. I have asked multiple
times and in various ways.









SUMMARY

There were five objectives identified in this research study. The first objective identified

demographic data of new extension professionals. Roughly one third of new extension

professionals (32.4%) had been employed in their current position for 16 to 18 months. In

addition, as far as programmatic area, 32.8% were 4-H agents, 22.8% identified themselves as

agriculture agents, and 19% considered themselves Family and Consumer Science agents.

Ninety percent (90%) of new extension agents had not held another job in extension prior to

securing their current position. In comparison, the largest total group of agents employed in the

southern region was agriculture agents (28.4%), Family and Consumer Science agents (27.6%),

and 4-H agents (25.7%).

The second objective sought to examine organizational socialization scores using the OSI

and four organizational socialization domains identified by Taormina. There was a large positive

strength in the relationship between training and knowledge, as well as a strong positive

correlation between training and future prospects.

Objective three was designed to determine the level of job satisfaction of new extension

agents using the aJIG. Approximately 86% of participants reported being satisfied with their jobs

however, one measure of job satisfaction relating to salary and pay was perceived as low with

approximately 62% of participants feeling that they were underpaid. Comments of new

professionals related to pay were also noted.

Objective four compared the level of organizational socialization with job satisfaction.

There was a strong correlation between job satisfaction and organizational socialization. In

addition, it was also determined that the number of months of the job negatively affected job

satisfaction.









Finally, the last objective was developed to measure job satisfaction with the methods of

organizational socialization used within the extension organizations. It was found that working

with the county extension director to establish job expectations and duties was the most

significant in determining job satisfaction of new extension professionals. It was also found that

the number of organizational socialization methods agents participated in impacted job

satisfaction.

A number of excellent comments were also generated from this study and were coded

into major domains. Those domains included comments on training, salary and pay, co-workers

and mentors, and county extension directors. A more thorough discussion of findings will be

discussed in Chapter 5.



































20D0 f00

Figure 4-1. Mean Training Score

Note: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 4 = agree,
5 = strongly agree.































10-





200 250 300 350 IlO 50a 5S00


Figure 4-2. Mean Scores for Knowledge Domain.

Note: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 4 = agree,
5 = strongly agree.





























20 -




ID


Sid. Deu.- D.5
S I IY-2 I

ISO 2JD 2.a0 3.0D 3.5D tM +.SD SC


Figure 4-3. Mean Score for Co-Worker Support


Note: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 4 = agree,
5 = strongly agree.






























II



Figure 4- 4 Mean Scores for Future Prospect Domain

Note: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 4 = agree, 5
strongly agree.

























I0



ID



15 -



6-

0.-n.- D-57667
D I 2*1

2DD 3.r HID 5s0


Figure 4-5 Mean Score for Total Organizational Socialization Index


Note: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 4 = agree,

5 = strongly agree.











Table 4-1. Months on the Job of Extension Professionals

Months on the Job:
6-8 months
9-12 months
13-15 months
16-18 months
Total







Table 4-2. Programmatic Areas of New Extension Professionals


4-H Youth Development
Agriculture
Family & Consumer Sciences
Horticulture
Other, please specify
Natural Resources
Total


%
16.2
31.5
19.9
32.4
100.0


79
55
45
26
23
13
241


32.8
22.8
18.7
10.8
9.5
5.4
100.0


Table 4-3. Comparison of New Agents and All Agents
New % All %
Agents Agents
,f f


Agriculture
Family & Consumer Science
4-H Youth
Horticulture
Other
Natural Resources


22.8
18.7
32.8
10.8
9.5
5.4


1033
1001
930
264
263
138


28.4
27.6
25.7
7.3
7.2
3.8









Table 4-4. Correlation Between the Four Organizational Socialization Domains
Training Score Knowledge Score Coworker Support Score Future Prospects


Training Score
Knowledge Score
Coworker Support Score
Future Prospects Score
N= 241


.824


.449
.420


Score
.668
.590
.440


Table 4-5 Domain/ Combined Organizational Socialization Score
Training Score Knowledge Score


Mean
Median
8 Mode
Std. Deviation


3.53
3.60
4.00
.81


Coworker Support Score


3.65
3.80
4.00
.65


4.27
4.40
5.00
.57


Future Prospects
Score
3.70
3.80
3.80
.75


Org. Soc. Index
Ave.
3.79
3.85
3.95
.58









Table 4-6. OSI Total Score


N 241
Mean 75.84
Median 77.00
Mode 79.00
Std. Deviation 11.53






Table 4-7. aJIG Total Score
N 241
Mean 34.57
Median 35.00
Mode 35.00
Std. Deviation 3.43









Table 4 -8. aJIG Scores
Questions:


Work on Present Job:
With respect to your current work, do you
feel your job is satisfying?
Does your job give you a sense of
accomplishment?
Do you feel your present work is
challenging?
Do you feel your present work is dull?
Do you feel your present job is
uninteresting?
Present Pay:
With respect to your current pay, do you feel
your income is adequate for normal
expenses?
Do you feel your current pay is fair?
Do you feel your current pay is insecure (not
reliable)?
Do you feel you are well paid?
Do you feel you are underpaid?
Opportunitiesfor Promotion:
With respect to opportunity for promotion in
your current job, do you feel you have good
opportunity for promotion?
Do you feel that there is promotion based on
ability?
Do you feel you are in a dead-end job?
Do you feel you have a good chance for
promotion?
Do you feel that your organization has an
unfair promotion policy?
Supervision:
With respect to your current immediate
supervisor, does s/he praise good work?
Is your immediate supervisor tactful?
Is your immediate supervisor up to date?
Is your immediate supervisor annoying?
Would you consider your immediate
supervisor good?


"Yes"
f


% "No"
f


201 83.4

208 86.3

220 91.3


% "?"
f


12 5.0 28 11.1

9 3.7 24 10.0


15 6.2

229 95.0
228 94.6


6 2.5


79 32.8 131 54.4 31 12.9


99 41.1 104 43.2 38
43 17.8 174 72.2 24

49 20.3 149 61.8 43
133 55.2 77 32.0 31


128 53.1


110 45.6

24 10.
125 51.9


58 24.1


15.8
10.0

17.8
12.9


55 22.8


74 30.7 57 23.7


188 78.0 29
56 23.2 60


12.0
24.9


30 12.4 142 58.9 69 28.6


193 80.1


80.1
75.9
12.9
78.0


37 15.4


34
33
202
27


11 4.6


14.1
13.7
83.8
11.2


5.8
10.4
3.3
10.8









Table 4-9. Job Satisfaction and Organizational Socialization
Job Sat. Total


Job Sat.Total
Org.Soc.Index Total


Org. Soc. Index Total


674


N= 241


Table 4-10.



Months In
Extension
N= 241


Relationship Between Job Satisfaction and Months in Extension
Job Sat. Training Knowledge Coworker Future
Total Score Score Support Prospects
Score Score
-.165 -.031 .014 -.043 -.166


Org. Soc.
Index Total

-.072


Table 4-11. Comparison of Levels of Organizational Socialization and Job Satisfaction


Between Groups
Within Groups
Total


SS
120.89
2709.90
2830.80


df
6
234
240


MS
20.15
11.58


F
1.74











Table 4-12. Methods of Organizational Socialization Checked


Method Selected:


Yes


Formal mentor (assigned).
Informal mentor (self selected).
Attended new agent orientation immediately after being
hired (within 3 months).
Attended new agent orientation 3 months or more after
being hired.
Used orientation and training web modules.
County Extension Director reviewed job expectations and
duties.
Worked with co-workers to discuss job duties and
responsibilities.


% No
n
62.2 91
42.3 139
60.2 96

46.9 128


112 46.5
187 77.6


75.5


59 24.5


Table 4-13. Job Satisfaction and Assigned Formal Mentor
SS df MS F p

Between Groups 6.32 1 6.32 .54 .46
Within Groups 2824.48 239 11.89
Total 2830.80 240


Table 4-14. Job Satisfaction and Self Selection of Mentor
SS df MS


Between Groups
Within Groups
Total


52.93
2777.86
2830.80


1
239
240


52.93
11.62


4.55


Table 4-15. Job Satisfaction and Immediate New Agent Orientation
SS df MS


Between Groups
Within Groups
Total


73.76
2757.04
2830.80


1
239
240


73.76
11.53


6.39


37.8
57.7
39.8

53.1

53.5
22.4









Table 4-16 Job Satisfaction of New Agents and Orientation
SS df MS

Between Groups 14.96 1 14.97
Within Groups 2815.83 239 11.78
Total 2830.80 240


Table 4-17. Job Satisfaction and Use of Web Modules
SS df MS


Between
Groups
Within Groups
Total


6.08


2824.71 239
2830.80 240


Table 4-18. County Extension Directors and Effect on Job Satisfaction
SS df MS


Between
Groups
Within Groups
Total


116.31


2714.49 239
2830.80 240


Table 4-19: Job Satisfaction and Co-workers Discussion of Job Expectations and Duties
SS df MS F p

Between 23.94 1 23.94 2.04 .15
Groups
Within Groups 2806.85 239 11.74
Total 2830.80 240


Table 4-20. Job Satisfaction and Methods of Organizational Socialization

SS df MS F Sig.


Between
Groups
Within Groups
Total


81.31


2749.48 238
2830.80 240


40.65
11.55


3.52


Note: 3 groups on 7 items checked. Group 1=checked 1-3 items (N=70),
Group 2 = checked 4 items (N=66),
Group 3 = checked 5-7 items (N=105


1.27


6.08

11.82


116.31

11.35


10.24









CHAPTER 5
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

This chapter presents conclusions for each of the six study objectives. This study was

used to investigate organizational socialization and job satisfaction in new extension agents

within the southern region by use of an Internet survey. One of the most important aspects of the

study was to determine which organizational socialization method traditionally employed by the

extension service might be most significant with respect to job satisfaction in these new

professionals. Data analysis and results were presented in Chapter 4. This chapter presents key

findings of the study, implications, limitations, recommendations, conclusions and directions for

future research.

Population

The population for this study consisted of 321 new extension agents with six months to

eighteen (18) months of on the job experience that were identified by their respective state's

professional development specialists in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana,

Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Seventy-five (75) percent or 241 new extension agents out of 321 potential participants

completed and submitted the Internet survey.

Objective of the Study

The overarching goal of this study was to identify the perceived level of organizational

socialization and job satisfaction of new extension employees within the southern region and to

identify possible methods of organizational socialization that may impact job satisfaction. The

researcher developed the following objectives to accomplish the identified goal.









Objective 1: Gather demographic data on new extension agents in each state including:

months on the job, programmatic area, and other professional positions held prior to gaining

employment with the extension service.

Objective 2: Examine perceived level of organizational socialization of new extension

hires using OSI.

Objective 3: Examine the perceived level of job satisfaction of new extension hires using

Abridged Job in General Measurement (aJIG) instrument.

Objective 4: Compare the perceived level of organizational socialization with job

satisfaction to examine if perceived level of organizational socialization impacts job satisfaction,

and examine the possible relationship of organizational socialization and job satisfaction.

Objective 5: Compare job satisfaction with type of organizational socialization taking

place; (1) formal mentor, (2) informal, self selected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program

(within three months after hire), (4) formal orientation program after three months of hire, (5),

web-based modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with CED/immediate supervisor

and (7) discussing job expectations and duties with co-workers; to examine if there are

differences in methods and job satisfaction.

Objective 6: Compare the number of organizational socialization methods participated in

by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction.

Data Collection

R.J. Taormina's (1991) Organizational Socialization Index (OSI) and the Abridged Job

Descriptive Index (aJDI), developed by P.C. Smith, Kendall & Hulin in 1969, were used to

measure perceived level of organizational socialization and perceived level of job satisfaction in

new extension professionals. Both of these instruments were combined into one Internet survey

using Zoomerang, an on-line survey development and management system. Participants were









invited to participate via email and reminders were sent to non-respondents, as suggested by

Dillman (2000).

The OSI consisted of a twenty-question instrument, which was broken down into five

questions on each of the four components of organizational socialization: knowledge, training,

co-worker support and future prospects. Responses for the OSI were in the form of a 5-point

Likert type scale with 1= strongly agree and 5= strongly disagree. Items were re-coded;

1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree, when data was inputted into SPSS version 12. The

aJDI was also a twenty-question instrument that asked questions relating to (1) work on present

job, (2) present pay, (3) opportunities for promotion and (4) supervision. Responses to the aJIG

were scored "Yes" = 2, "No" = 1 and "Not Sure" = 1.5.

In addition, participants were asked to identify their major programmatic area and, indicate

how long they had been on their current job (six months eight months, nine months twelve

months, thirteen months fifteen months, and sixteen months eighteen months). Participants

were asked about their state affiliation, previous employment with the cooperative extension

service, and asked to select which orientation programs and activities they had participated in

during employment in their current position. The Zoomerang survey was utilized and designed to

make sure there would be no missing data; no non-responses were allowed. Participants had to

answer each question to move on to the next question. Finally, an open-ended question was

asked at the end that concerned experiences with orientation in current employ.

Data Analysis

The data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS),

version 12 and was down loaded directly from the Zoomerang web site into an Excel spread

sheet. The Excel data was then re-coded into SPSS version 12 for analysis.









Summary of Findings

The findings of this study point to several theoretical and practical implications. Overall,

the findings suggest that the longer new agents are employed within extension, the less satisfied

they are with their jobs. Most new agents also perceived their organizational socialization/

orientation to be adequate. Methods of organizational socialization that impact job satisfaction

include self-selection of mentors by new agents, immediate new agent orientation (three months

or less on the job) and the CED/immediate supervisor discussing job duties and expectations.

Six research objectives were developed for this study. The results of the analysis of data

for each of the five objectives are presented in the following discussion.

Objective 1: Demographic data on new extension agents was explored with the number of

agents with 16 to 18 months on the job accounting for roughly one-third of new professionals

being hired within the southern region. The other large group consisted of extension agents with

9 12 months of experience. Roughly one third of new agents considered themselves within the

4-H programmatic area and one fifth were considered agriculture agents, one fifth listed

themselves as family and consumer science agents. Almost 90% of new agents had not been

previously employed with extension. In comparison, the largest number of total agents employed

within the southern region were agriculture agents (almost 29%), family and consumer science

agents (28%) and then 4-H agents, making up approximately 26% of the total.

Objective 2: This objective was used to determine the perceived level of organizational

socialization of new hires using the OSI. A Pearson Correlation matrix was used to explore the

strength of the relationship between the four different domains of organizational socialization:

knowledge, training, co-worker support and future prospects. There was a strong positive

correlation between knowledge and training. This is hardly surprising as training increases

knowledge of the organization including, but not limited to, understanding organizational









terminology, politics, structure and job expectations and duties. There was also a strong positive

correlation between the domains of training and future prospects. Again, training facilitates

knowledge and understanding of how the promotional process works within that organization.

When reviewing mean scores for participant's perception of training, on a Likert type scale

of 1= strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree, participants somewhat agreed that they had

received adequate training (M= 3.53, SD = .80). They also felt as if they had an adequate

understanding of the organization (M= 3.65, SD = .64). It was also felt by participants that they

were well supported by co-workers (M= 4.27, SD = .57). The domain of co-worker support

contained the highest score of all four domains. As extension professionals are highly

encouraged to work in teams and groups in a variety of settings and programmatic areas, it is

encouraging to discover that co-worker support ranks very highly for new extension agents. The

overall mean score for organizational socialization was M= 3.79, SD = .57. Out of a possible

score of 100 points for organizational socialization, (on a five point Likert-type scale), the mean

total was 75.83 with a SD of 11.53.

Objective 3: Using the aJIG, the perceived level of job satisfaction was calculated. Out of

a total of 40 points available (2 points possible for each answer); the total mean scored wasM

34.57 with a SD = 3.43. Separating the scores into their respective categories; answers relating to

work on your present job indicated approximately 83% of new professionals were satisfied with

their jobs in general, 86% percent felt that their current job gave them a sense of

accomplishment, and 90% of participants felt that their work was challenging. It was also

concluded by 95% of participants that the position was not "dull", and 94.6% felt that their jobs

were interesting.









An aspect of job satisfaction that was ranked the lowest related to present pay. Only 32.8%

of participants felt that their income was adequate for normal expenses, 41% felt their current

pay was fair, and 20.3% indicated that they felt "well paid." Several comments were received

that dealt with the negative aspects of pay and salary which included comments about long

hours, continuous weekend duty and lack of compensatory time that influenced the perceived

level of pay.

Perceptions on opportunities for promotion were varied as a little over half of the

participants (53%) felt that they had good opportunities for promotion, and 45% felt that

promotion was based on ability. However, 78% of participants did not feel that they were in a

dead-end job. When comparing this answer with the OSI for the questions related to "future

prospects," answers were somewhat similar with over half the participants (60%) agreeing or

strongly agreeing that there were opportunities for advancement within the organization, and

forty three percent (43%) of participants could readily anticipate prospects for promotion. These

scores are possibly attributed to the fact that it typically takes a long amount of time to achieve

promotion and permanent status. Some states (Florida as an example) require agents to typically

wait six years before they are eligible for promotion. Regardless of these perceptions, answers on

the OSI that dealt with future prospects concluded that 78% agreed or strongly agreed that they

expected the organization to continue to employ them for many more years.

Objective 4: Comparing the perceived level of organizational socialization with job

satisfaction to determine if the level of socialization had an impact of job satisfaction was the

next objective addressed in this study. A Pearson correlation matrix determined that there was a

strong positive correlation between how participants felt they had been socialized with respect to

their job satisfaction; the more that the participants felt that they had been socialized, the higher









their job satisfaction score. It was also discovered that the longer participants were on the job, the

lower their job satisfaction, and the less likely participants were to feel that they had received

adequate training.

Objective 5: The impact of socialization/orientation methods were examined and one-way

analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted using all seven levels of the variable (methods) to

determine if organizational socialization had an impact on job satisfaction. It was noted that a

using all seven methods had a slight impact. It was then decided to do separate ANOVA's on

each different method of organizational socialization, treating each method as a separate

variable, controlling for months in extension, to determine if there were differences in the way

that new agents are socialized/orientated compared to perceived level of job satisfaction.

Notably, the methods that impacted job satisfaction were agents selecting their own mentors,

agents receiving new agent orientation and training within three months of hire, and county

extension directors discussing job expectations and duties with new agents. Less significant

were the use of web modules, assigning a formal mentor to a new extension agent, and

orientation and training after 3 months of hire.

Objective 6: Comparing the number of organizational socialization methods participated

in by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction was undertaken using an ANOVA to

determine if the number of socialization/orientation methods agents participated in impact job

satisfaction. Agents were grouped according to how many organizational socialization methods

they selected in question 6. A histogram was used to determine a logical break in groups. Group

one (1) were those new agents that participated in one (1) to three (3) methods of organizational

socialization (N = 70), group two (2) indicated that they participated in four (4) methods (N=

66), and group three (3) participated in five to seven methods of organizational socialization









(N=105). It was found that the number of methods that agents participated in did impact job

satisfaction.

Realistically, very few of these methods are done as a single unit. Most states use a variety

of means to socialize/orient new agents, however; using methods that significantly impact job

satisfaction could have an impact on retention rate of new extension professionals.

Limitations

This study was designed to be exploratory and was unique to the population under study.

Nevertheless, there is a great deal that can be learned and applied to future research.

One of the major strengths of this study was the use of a census population; all new agents

in the southern region (with the exception of Arkansas) were contacted concerning this study. A

75% return rate was achieved and was considered satisfactory for this population. There was no

difference between early responders and non respondents. Five new extension agents were called

and each agent stated that summer was a particularly bad time to participate in a survey; however

their answers were similar in nature to early responders. An additional strength of the study was

the instruments used. Both instruments had been independently tested for validity and reliability

by a number of different researchers. In addition, the survey was easily accessible on the web,

and was short (46 questions to check and one comment question).

A weakness of this study was the time of year conducted. Summer is a particularly poor

time to undertake a survey of extension agents. 4-H agents have summer programs, agriculture

and natural resource agents are out in the field and taking numerous calls concerning crops,

vegetables, etc. Eleven (11) agents emailed researcher to ask if they could please fill out the

survey in the fall when things were "less busy."









Conclusions and Implications

Based on the research findings, the conclusions and implications for this study are as

follows:

Objective 1: Gather demographic data on new extension agents in each state including:

major program area, months on the job, current state of employment, and other professional

extension positions held prior to gaining employment with their current extension service.

According to data, the majority of new agents hired are in the 4-H programmatic area

(33%) however 4-H agents account 25.7% of the total agents employed within the southern

region, agriculture agents account for 22.8% of number of new agents hired and 28.4% of total

number employed, and Family and Consumer Science agents account for 18.7% of new agents

and 27.6% of total number of agents. More 4-H agents were considered new than any other

group and compared to the total percentage of agents, there is a disparity. On the other side of

this issue of disparity, almost 19% of new agents were in the Family and Consumer Science

programmatic area, while the total number of FCS agents made up almost 28%.

A recommendation to address this issue calls for research in job satisfaction in

programmatic areas. If this is a trend, it needs to be examined more closely to determine why

there is a disparity in the number of new 4-H agents and FCS agents compared to the number of

total 4-H and FCS agents. Working towards identifying satisfaction levels of the different

program areas, and which organizational socialization methods made the large impact per

programmatic group might yield some additional discoveries on agents making the decision to

leave or stay within the organization.

Objective 2: Examine the perceived level of organizational socialization of new extension

hires using the Organizational Socialization Index (OSI).









There is a strong positive correlation between knowledge and training. The more training a

new agent receives, the higher the knowledge perception. This is consistent with the literature on

new employees and training.

With respect to future prospects, or how new agents perceived their future within the

organization including the promotional process, only 52% of new agents felt that they had a good

chance for promotion, however 78% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that the

organization would employ them for many more years to come. A recommendation to address

this issue would be to provide opportunities for growth and development by allowing agents to

hold district and state-level leadership positions, serving on committees, and even serving as

mentors to new professionals. Using the career stage model, the extension organization can

reward new hires as they progress through different stages. In other words, a system that can

address the five to seven years it takes to obtain a promotion in an extension position in a more

proactive manner. One comment received by a new agent addressed this issue, "The main

problem with me foreseeing myself in this position long term is the low level of compensation.

Without knowing that a pay increase ($10,000) will occur within the next 5 years, there will be

no way that I will or can remain in this position."

Objective 3: Examine the perceived level of job satisfaction of new extension hires using

Abridged Job in General Measurement (aJIG) instrument.

For the most part, new agents were satisfied with their jobs, felt their jobs to be

challenging and rewarding and gave them a sense of accomplishment. However, satisfaction with

pay and salary was low with approximately 62% of agents reporting that they felt they were not

well paid, and 55% felt they were underpaid. Many of the comments by new agents addressed

the disparity between pay and the number of hours required to work. "The pay might be okay if









we weren't traveling all the time or required to work weekends and night with no comp time,"

and "I feel that I am paid fairly for the work that I do but not for the hours that I put in at the

office" were consistent themes within the comments section related to present pay. Extension

agents have traditionally been required to work nights and weekends as well as the traditional

40-hour a week. "Another issue is the pay and Compp time'. I would not have a problem with that

salary I receive if I did not have to work nights and weekends. I would be more inclined to

accept my pay if I were given proper Compp' time."

The first recommendation that addresses the issue of pay, salary and lack of Compp time"

would be to make sure prior to hiring new agents, that time commitment issues are understood.

An informal survey undertaken by Place and Higgins (2005) concluded that new agents did not

understand the time commitments of the job and the nights and weekends associated with an

extension position. Hiring the right person for the right job is key and allowing a potential hire to

examine aspects of the position prior to interviewing, can assist with pre-conceived notions of

the job itself.

The second recommendation that addresses this issue is to undertake a process that allows

those hired into extension positions to have opportunities that they seek in order to stay in a

position. As the literature indicates, "generation X'ers" look for opportunities to learn knowledge

and skills that will assist them in further employment. Employers need to offer opportunity for

growth and learning to attract those types of employees. Opengart (2000) concluded in the study

on "free agents that, "continuous learning in the workplace as a key component to achieving their

goal of retaining employment for the duration of their careers" is vital in being able attract top

candidates. In addition, the free agent values freedom and so allowing for a more flexible

schedule may be in order, as long as the mission of extension is kept as the focus.









The career stage model of Dalton, Thompson and Price (1977) can be used as a guide to

assist with providing some of the information in what new, middle and late career agents desire

to continue to be employed within the organization. Administrators can utilize this model to

assist with increasing job satisfaction of agents in all stages or their career, in addition to new

professionals.

Objective 4: Compare the perceived level of organizational socialization with job

satisfaction to examine if perceived level of organizational socialization impacts job satisfaction

and if organizational socialization and job satisfaction are correlated.

Research findings indicate that the perceived level of organizational socialization for new

extension agents does have a positive relationship to job satisfaction, as the literature also

indicates. In this analysis, r = .674, which indicates a strong positive correlation between how

participants felt they were socialized compared to their total job satisfaction score

Objective 5: Compare job satisfaction with method of organizational socialization taking

place within the organization. Those methods include: assigning a formal mentor, self selection

of a mentor, immediate new agent orientation- 3 months or less on the job, new agent orientation

after 3 months on the job, the use of web modules, orientation by county extension directors, and

co-workers discussing expectations of the job; to determine if there were any differences and

determine which methods) if any, made the most difference.

Immediate orientation of new employees (less than three months on the job) was found to

be significant with respect to job satisfaction. Working toward a method to socialize/orient and

train new employees immediately has the potential to increase job satisfaction and, as the

literature indicates, increase job tenure. The impact of longevity on the job also increases

customer satisfaction, internal moral within the office and within the organization, and decreases









money lost to the organization. As Chandler (2004) states, it is estimated that an agent whose

salary is $30,000 could cost the organization between $7,200 to $30,000 in turnover costs per

employee. Kutilek (2000) also concluded that Ohio extension lost approximately $80,000 each

year due to agent turnover and prolonged vacancies. These are significant costs to the

organization and orienting and training new hires immediately, could have the potential to lower

those costs when combined with other methods of organizational socialization that research

indicates also increase job satisfaction.

Of the several organizational socialization methods employed with extension in the

southern region, the impact of the C.E.D/ immediate supervisor was most significant with respect

to job satisfaction for new extension professionals. C.E.D/immediate supervisors are often not

hired because of their management and leadership abilities, or are hired with little or previous

administrative and/or human resource management experience (Lyles & Warmbrod, 1997). They

are hired because they excelled in a particular programmatic area. CED/ immediate supervisors,

and those wishing to become CED/immediate supervisors, need to be trained in effective human

resource management and leadership, with special focus on socializing and orienting new

employees. CED/immediate supervisors are often not "credited" time to socialize new agents

though the time that directors spend in this endeavor can greatly influence how long a new agent

may be retained. Ensuring that CED/immediate supervisors understand that the time they spend

socializing those new hires has an impact on the longevity of new extension professionals and

allowing CED/immediate supervisors time to do this is highly recommended.

Continue to find creative ways to socialize new extension agents. Though web modules

and the used of formal mentors did not significantly impact job satisfaction, continuing to use a

variety of methods to socialize new employees, concentrating on those that made the most









impact, can help with retaining new employees. Providing these resources to those with over 18

months of employment may reduce agent turnover. This study demonstrates that the longer new

agents are on the job, the less satisfied they are with the job. By providing additional support to

new agents with over 18 months of experience; retaining mentoring programs, continuing to

have meaningful discussions with CED/immediate supervisor on job expectations and duties, and

creating additional opportunities to work with colleagues; tenure may be increased.

One of the methods of organizational socialization particular interest is that of mentors.

Self-selected mentors made more of an impact than formal assigned mentors with respect to job

satisfaction. One of the recommendations to address this issue would be to look at Social

Learning Theory (Bandura, 1977). The social learning (or social cognitive) theory of Dr.

Bandura emphasizes the importance of observing behaviors, attitudes and emotions of others and

modeling those behaviors, attitudes and emotions. Bandura's basic premise is that we learn by

observing what others are doing and is a general theory of human behavior.

There are three basic principles of this theory The first principle is attention to the modeled

event and being able to rehearse the modeled event over and over, which aids in the retention of

that behavior, attitude or emotion. The second principle is that individuals are more likely to

adopt the behavior observed if they value the outcome. The third principle indicates that the

model needs to be similar to the observer and is admired by the observer, or the model is

someone the observer they can identify with. It is important that there is a degree of emotional

attachment that is felt toward the individual model (Brown, 1999). This last principle was

acknowledged by Bandura in "Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change"

(Bandura, 1977). This component of self-efficacy assists with the increased adoption rate of the

observer. According to Bandura, it is this sense of perceived self-efficacy that helps to explain









the differences in behavior between people even when they have observed the same behaviors,

attitudes and emotions.

The selection of mentors, if following Bandura, would involve a mentor that was seen as

similar to the new agent. That could be age, gender, programmatic area, etc. If the mentors that

are selected are not perceived to be similar to the new agent, and they are not able to identify

with the new agent, this may lead to mentors not having an impact in new agent job satisfaction.

Self selection of mentors ranked as having a higher impact on job satisfaction than an assigned

mentor. Careful selection of mentors could assist with increasing job satisfaction, using

Bandura's Social Learning Theory as a guide.

Objective 6: Compare the number of organizational socialization methods participated in

by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction. It was determined that the number of

methods used with socializing new agents did increase job satisfaction. Using those methods that

were determined to increase job satisfaction (CED/immediate supervisor discussions, immediate

orientation, and self selection of mentors) as primary methods of organizational socialization is a

recommendation. However, making sure that those methods are used effectively, by studying the

research and literature, is highly suggested. The extension service is a research based

organization and it is important that we use the research internally to find those best practices of

organizational socialization make the most impact to new faculty and develop programs that are

based on that research.

Recommendations for Future Research

This study was descriptive in design and was a primary step in examining organizational

socialization and job satisfaction. The results of this study provide a platform for future research

related to this study. This study can serve as a foundation for additional research in the areas of









organizational socialization and job satisfaction. For this reason, the following recommendations

for future research based on the findings and conclusions of this study are as follows:

1. It is recommended that additional research be conducted on job satisfaction with the

different programmatic areas as explained above. Are agents involved with a particular

programmatic area more satisfied with their jobs than in other programmatic areas?

2. Another area of research along those lines of the above recommendation is to examine

possible differences in organizational socialization and job satisfaction scores between the

different programmatic areas. There has been research conducted on why agents leave

(Kutilek, 2000), however, not with respect to organizational socialization and job

satisfaction by programmatic area. Providing this type of research information can assist

state program leaders with identifying issues pertinent to that particular programmatic area

and plan for addition in service workshops, if needed.

3. A study to explore job satisfaction with agents that have been employed longer than 18

months would also be of benefit to the organization. This study should be longitudinal in

nature and follow agents as they progress in their jobs. This study could assist with

determining possible reasons why agents stay and/or leave their present employment and

examine the period where that determination may be made.

4. Qualitative studies using agent exit interviews should be undertaken to identify possible

themes in agents self-terminating their employment with extension.

5. As CED/immediate supervisors have been shown to impact job satisfaction in new agents,

studies should be conducted that include the perception of county extension directors and

competencies in orienting and training new agents. CED/immediate supervisor's

socialization/orientation of new extension professionals significantly impacts job









satisfaction, what are those knowledge and skills with respect to socializing that

CED/immediate supervisors possess or do not possess? Significance can have both

negative and positive impacts on job satisfaction. Providing needed information and skills

to those CED/immediate supervisors that do not feel comfortable socializing new

employees could be of great benefit to the organization. CED/immediate supervisor

perceptions of socializing new extension faculty are key. Those aspects can include

perceived strengths and weaknesses of CED/immediate supervisor with respect to

socializing new agents, possible barriers to socialization, competencies needed to

successfully socialize new agents, leadership and management strengths and weaknesses.

6. Another recommendation for research is to identify characteristics of effective mentors.

This would assist with being able to identify potential new agent mentors using criteria

identified by new agents on effective mentors and mentoring.

7. Exploring the number of methods of organizational socialization methods used would also

be of interest. There was a difference between those agents participating in one to three

methods, those participating in four methods and those participating in five to seven

methods, but there are more conclusions that can be gathered about this. Which of those

methods (what combination) may make the most impact in job satisfaction?

Recommendations

In addition to future research that should be conducted, based upon the findings of this

study and the conclusions drawn, the following recommendations are offered:

* Study results should be made available to professional development specialists in each
state in the southern region for review in the form of executive summaries.

* Salary and pay have been continuous issues within extension. As the number of new
extension agents are satisfied with their current position, and often salary dollars are not
available to increase pay or offer dollar incentives, the extension organization should
explore other alternatives to assist with the perception of long hours and low pay. Options









could include information to extension agents on balancing work and family, time
management training and adjusting expectations of the job to address perceived pay
disparity issues.

* Sharing research results with County Extension Directors to increase awareness of their
importance in the job satisfaction of new professionals.

* Implementing new agent orientation as soon after hire as possible to increase perception of
organizational socialization and job satisfaction.

* Disseminate extension employment information to prospective new agents prior to
interviewing. Information should include work hours, a summary of what extension agents
may do within their jobs, professional development opportunities, etc.

* Work on identifying effective mentors for new agents and allow those new agents ample
time to work in teams and groups within the county, district, region and state.

* Assist new faculty with developing a professional development plan that addresses their
personal professional development needs.

Summary

In this chapter the population, objectives, data collection, data analysis, summary of

findings, limitations, conclusions and recommendations were discussed in detail. Six objectives

were identified for this study which included examining perceived level or organizational

socialization and job satisfaction among new agents with six months to 18 months of job

experience in the southern region.

It was discovered that the perceived level of organizational socialization does impact job

satisfaction. It was also found that that several methods of organizational socialization highly

impacted job satisfaction. Those methods were the CED/immediate supervisor discussing job

expectations and duties, immediate orientation of new agents and self-selection of mentors.

In addition it was also determined that the number of organizational socialization methods

used impacted job satisfaction. There was a difference in those participating in one to three

methods, four methods, and five to seven methods.









In this chapter there were many implications and recommendations. Some of those include

examining disparity issues among new agents hired and total agents employed, increasing

opportunities for new agents to judge future prospects and provide for future growth using the

career stage model, work on the perceived disparity with pay hours worked. It is recommended

that prior to interview prospective employees understand the number of hours that extension

agents typically work. In addition it is recommended to use the career stage ladder as a

foundation for professional development.

This chapter also discussed recommendations for future research projects as well as

recommendations concerning this research in general.










APPENDIX A: IRB PROTOCOL


Iitle ot Protocol: A comparison or urganlzational socialization ana JoD satistaction
And New Extension Agents within the Southern Region.

Principal Investigator: Cynthia Higgins UFID #:
Mailing Address: 164 SW Mary Ethel Lane, Lake
Degree / Title: PhD. Candidate City, Forda. 32025
City, Florida. 32025

Department: Agriculture Education and Email Address & Telephone Number:
Communications Email: cmahl@ufl.edu

Phone: 386-758-1168
Co-Investigator(s): UFID#:


Supervisor: Dr. Nick Place, UFID#:


Degree / Title: PhD./ Mailing Address: PO Box 110540, Gainesville,
Florida, 32611-0540

Department: Agriculture Education and Email Address & Telephone Number:
Communications Email:
Phone: 352-392-0502

Date of Proposed Research: May 25, 2007

Source of Funding (A copy of the grant proposal must be submitted with this protocol if funding is involved):

Self funded

Scientific Purpose of the Study:
To determine the job satisfaction rate with the method of socialization new extension agents receive.


Describe the Research Methodology in Non-Technical Language: (Explain what will be done with or to the
research participant.)
See attached methodology section, which includes the two surveys that will be utilized, if approved.


Describe Potential Benefits and Anticipated Risks: (If risk of physical, psychological or economic harm may
be involved, describe the steps taken to protect participant)










Professional development specialists from southern region states will be able to utilize information to

best plan training and orientation for new extension agents assisting new extension agents in preparing

for their new careers and maximizing training dollars.




Describe How Participant(s) Will Be Recruited, the Number and AGE of the Participants, and Proposed
Compensation:
Participants are new extension agents within the 13 states of the southern region with at least 6 months

of job experience and no more than 18 months of job experience (with the extension service). New

agents will be identified by professional development specialists in each state and email addresses will

be forwarded to researcher. There are approximately 300 new extension agents falling into the above

criteria within the southern region. New extension professionals range in age from 22 to 65.

There will be no compensation for participation in this study.


Describe the Informed Consent Process. Include a Copy of the Informed Consent Document:
Participants will be asked to participate in this internet survey and will receive a copy of the informed consent
document that they will be asked to review before participating in the on line survey.


Principal Investigator(s) Signature: Supervisor Signature:










APPENDIX B: INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB) APPROVAL


Institutional Rev ie, Board
IiNIERSITY of FLORIDA


PO Box 112250
i. .. II.- F1. 32611-225
32-392-0433 (rPhone)
352-392-931 (Fua)
irb2k'- fl.'du


May 23, 2007


Cynthia Higgins
164 5'u. Mary 'rroL Lane
Lake City, FL 32025 r,/
Ira S. Fischler, PhD, har.,'
IJni.er'it / of Florida
Institutional Review Board


.,LtBIEIT: Approval of Protocol #2007-U 0487


A Comparison of Crgaii:ti:ional SociaLization
Extension Agents within the Southern F.?ion


and Job Satisfaction and New


SPONSOR: None

I am pleased to advise you that the University of Florida iAr.iutircdal Review Board has
recommended approval of this protocol. .ased on its review, the UFIRB determined that this
research presents no more than minimal risk to Eartici:,rn'_- and based on 45 CFR 46.117(c),
authorizes you to administer the informed consent process as 'pec;ied in the protocol.

If you wish to make any changes to this protocoL, rndluirjg the need to increase the number
of participants authorized, you must disclose your plans before you implement them so that
the Board can assess their impact on your protocol In addiT.in. you must report to the Board
any unexpected c'nplicirl.:nc that affect your parriija.itr


If you have not completed this protocol by May 17. 2008, please teteph.:.re our office (392-
:-4331 and we will discuss the renewal process with you. It is important that you keep your
Depairrrent Chair informed about the status of this research protocol.


ISF:dl


UF


DATE:

TO:


FROM:


TITLE:










APPENDIX C: AJIG PERMISSION


Dear Cynthia,

Attached please find the aJDI. We understand your concerns about confidentiality, so leaving the
person's zip code out is fine with us. We do ask that you include the company's zip code. As per the
agreement, you have 350 uses of the measure. If you should need more uses at a later date please let
me know.

I have also attached another document that shows which items are to be reverse scored. For reverse
scored items, Yes = 0, No = 3, and ? = 1. For items that are not reverse scored, Yes = 3, No = 0, and ?
= 1. Next, add up the item scores for each facet on the measure. You should not have one overall score
(i.e. you should not add up all of the facet scores). To get an overall idea of job satisfaction you should
look at the sub-score for the Job in General scale. For each facet, the highest score that can be obtained
is a 15. For the JIG, the highest score is a 40.

If you have missing values for some items code those as "O". If you have more than 1 missing value per
facet, you cannot create a facet score.

Maya





Maya Yankelevich

JDI Research Assistant

Department of Psychology

Bowling Green State University

Voice: 419.372.8247

Fax: 419.372.6013


****************************************









APPENDIX D: R.J. TAORMINA PERMISSION (OSI)


Dear Cindy,

Many thanks for your interest in my conception of organizational socialization, and for letting
me know about it! If you are planning to gather data on the socialization of employees, you
might be interested in the updated measure of socialization, namely, the one I published in 2004.
I am attaching this paper to facilitate your research (the new OSI measure is included in that
publication).

I am not familiar with the recruitment, training, work, etc., of extension agents, so I am not sure
what else I can help you with at this time. But since you have read my theory paper (the 1997
model), you should have a rather complete idea of how socialization is seen from the employee's
perspective.... I think the success of my model has been due to the fact that I examine
socialization, and measure it, from the employee's point of view, rather than from the manager's
perspective. If you look at the early work by John van Maanen & Edgar Schein, you will see that
they look at socialization almost exclusively from the manager's point of view, which is to
"shape" or "mold" workers into what they want them to be, and their theory and research focused
only on methods to achieve that.

The employee, on the other hand, is not an automaton, evaluates the areas in which socialization
is taking place, and determines for himself or herself how successful the organization has been in
those areas. Forgive me for "preaching" on this topic (regarding the point of view), but I have
done a considerable amount of empirical research on this topic using the OSI, and it invariably is
strongly related to a variety of positive outcomes, such as organizational commitment and job
satisfaction (as shown in the 2004 paper), and the OSI can be very revealing as a "diagnostic"
instrument to determine the strong and weak areas of an organization's socialization endeavors.
As an example, you might want to look at my paper (with Carrie Law) on socialization and nurse
burnout. This paper is often cited in medical journals... and it shows how important Training
(one of the four OS domains)
is to preventing nurse burnout. I am attaching that paper as well (in case you cannot find it).

I wish you great success with your dissertation and with using my theoretical model (and
measure).
I also look forward to hearing how successful you were with them.
Best regards,

Robert Taormina
University of Macau









APPENDIX E: PRELIMINARY LETTER (EMAIL)
Dear


My name is Cindy Higgins. I am the 4-H agent in Columbia County, Florida and also finishing
up my PhD in Extension Leadership at the University of Florida. For my research project, I am
conducting a study dealing with how new agents are socialized/oriented into their jobs in
extension and comparing the method of orientation to the level of job satisfaction. Your email
was provided to me by your state professional development specialist and has been approved by
the Dean of Extension at your University. As a 4-H agent for 22 years, I find this topic very
interesting and very important. I am hoping that this study will allow professional development
specialists in each of the 13 states to plan and carry out those socialization/ orientation programs
that have the most impact for new agents. This is where you come in. I need your input to
complete this study. Your perceptions are vital and your participation has far reaching impacts.
This survey will take only about 15 minutes of your time. I have included the informed consent
form for your review, as required by the University of Florida, as well as the link to the survey
itself. The results of this survey will only be reported as a southern region study and no
individual state data will be available. As with any survey, your participation is completely
voluntary but I hope that you will be able to assist me, as well as those new agents now entering
the field of extension. I have included the informed consent required by the University, and at the
end of that, the web site to take the survey. Please insert this number ( ) into question #1. It
will help me to send out reminder emails as the survey progresses.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this study. Please feel free to contact me at this
email address, and/or Dr. Nick Place, my committee chair (nplace@ufl.edu) if you have any
questions or concerns. I look forward to your participation.

Cindy

Informed Consent:

Protocol Title: A Comparison of Organizational Socialization and Job Satisfaction with New
Extension Agents within the Southern Region. Protocol # 2007-U-0487.

Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study.

Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to compare job satisfaction of new
agents with methods) in which they were socialized or oriented into the Cooperative Extension
Service. This study is designed to assist professional development specialists determine the most
effective methods of socializing and orienting new agents to extension. This is a southern region
study and there are 13 states and approximately 300 new extension agents that will be involved.
This information will be used as a total southern region study; there will be no individual state
data. Time Required: It is anticipated that it will take no more than 20 minutes to fill out the
survey. Risks and Benefits: All data will be kept strictly confidential, and reported only as a
total southern region report, there are no risks associated with this study. Benefits include being a
part of a study that will help focus training dollars on the methods of socialization and









orientation found most effective in this study. Compensation: There is no compensation
associated with this study. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent
provided by law. All data will be coded together using "zoomerang" (a data management and
survey system) using SPSS. A southern region report will be generated. No individual state's
data will be reported. Voluntary Participation: Your participation in this study is completely
voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating.
Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from this study at anytime
without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about this study: Cynthia
Higgins, Graduate Student and Columbia County 4-H Coordinator, 164 SW Mary Ethel Lane,
Lake City, Florida. 32025. (386) 758-1168. Dr. Nick Place, Graduate Chair, University of
Florida, P.O. Box 110540, Gainesville, FL. 32611-0540. (352) 392-0502.

Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in this study:
UFIRB Office. Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250. (352) 392-0433.

Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. By logging on and participating in this
Internet survey, I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of
this description.

Please click on this web site, which will take you directly to the survey. Thank you so much.











APPENDIX F: FIRST REMINDER LETTER (EMAIL)
Dear,

Just a reminder, would you please take the time to fill out the survey below if you haven't done
so already. It will take only about 10 minutes of your time. If you are unable to participate
because you haven't been employed at least 6 months and no more than 18 months, please let me
know so that I can cross that number off my list. I have included the original letter; consent form
and Internet site of the survey for your convenience.
Thanks so much for your help with this.
Cindy


My name is Cindy Higgins. I am the 4-H agent in Columbia County, Florida and also finishing
up my PhD in Extension Leadership at the University of Florida. For my research project, I am
conducting a study dealing with how new agents are socialized/oriented into their jobs in
extension and comparing the method of orientation to the level of job satisfaction. Your email
was provided to me by your state professional development specialist and has been approved by
the Dean of Extension at your University. As a 4-H agent for 22 years, I find this topic very
interesting and very important. I am hoping that this study will allow professional development
specialists in each of the 13 states to plan and carry out those socialization/ orientation programs
that have the most impact for new agents. This is where you come in. I need your input to
complete this study. Your perceptions are vital and your participation has far reaching impacts.
This survey will take only about 15 minutes of your time. I have included the informed consent
form for your review, as required by the University of Florida, as well as the link to the survey
itself. The results of this survey will only be reported as a southern region study and no
individual state data will be available. As with any survey, your participation is completely
voluntary but I hope that you will be able to assist me, as well as those new agents now entering
the field of extension. I have included the informed consent required by the University, and at the
end of that, the web site to take the survey. Please insert this number ( ) into question #1. It
will help me to send out reminder emails as the survey progresses.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this study. Please feel free to contact me at this
email address, and/or Dr. Nick Place, my committee chair (nplace@ufl.edu) if you have any
questions or concerns. I look forward to your participation.

Cindy

Informed Consent:

Protocol Title: A Comparison of Organizational Socialization and Job Satisfaction with New
Extension Agents within the Southern Region. Protocol # 2007-U-0487.

Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study.

Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to compare job satisfaction of new
agents with methods) in which they were socialized or oriented into the Cooperative Extension









Service. This study is designed to assist professional development specialists determine the most
effective methods of socializing and orienting new agents to extension. This is a southern region
study and there are 13 states and approximately 300 new extension agents that will be involved.
This information will be used as a total southern region study; there will be no individual state
data. Time Required: It is anticipated that it will take no more than 20 minutes to fill out the
survey. Risks and Benefits: All data will be kept strictly confidential, and reported only as a
total southern region report, there are no risks associated with this study. Benefits include being a
part of a study that will help focus training dollars on the methods of socialization and
orientation found most effective in this study. Compensation: There is no compensation
associated with this study. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent
provided by law. All data will be coded together using "zoomerang" (a data management and
survey system) using SPSS. A southern region report will be generated. No individual state's
data will be reported. Voluntary Participation: Your participation in this study is completely
voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating.
Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from this study at anytime
without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about this study: Cynthia
Higgins, Graduate Student and Columbia County 4-H Coordinator, 164 SW Mary Ethel Lane,
Lake City, Florida. 32025. (386) 758-1168. Dr. Nick Place, Graduate Chair, University of
Florida, P.O. Box 110540, Gainesville, FL. 32611-0540. (352) 392-0502.

Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in this study:
UFIRB Office. Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250. (352) 392-0433.

Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. By logging on and participating in this
Internet survey, I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of
this description.

Please click on this web site, which will take you directly to the survey. Thank you so much.

http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB226FQMK9JBW










APPENDIX G: FINAL REMINDER LETTER (EMAIL)
Dear,

This is the last chance to participate in this very important survey. Would you please take the
time to fill out the survey below if you haven't done so already? It will take only about 10
minutes of your time. If you are unable to participate because you haven't been employed at least
6 months and no more than 18 months, please let me know so that I can cross that number off my
list. I have included the original letter; consent form and Internet site of the survey for your
convenience.
Thanks so much for your help with this.
Cindy


My name is Cindy Higgins. I am the 4-H agent in Columbia County, Florida and also finishing
up my PhD in Extension Leadership at the University of Florida. For my research project, I am
conducting a study dealing with how new agents are socialized/oriented into their jobs in
extension and comparing the method of orientation to the level of job satisfaction. Your email
was provided to me by your state professional development specialist and has been approved by
the Dean of Extension at your University. As a 4-H agent for 22 years, I find this topic very
interesting and very important. I am hoping that this study will allow professional development
specialists in each of the 13 states to plan and carry out those socialization/ orientation programs
that have the most impact for new agents. This is where you come in. I need your input to
complete this study. Your perceptions are vital and your participation has far reaching impacts.
This survey will take only about 15 minutes of your time. I have included the informed consent
form for your review, as required by the University of Florida, as well as the link to the survey
itself. The results of this survey will only be reported as a southern region study and no
individual state data will be available. As with any survey, your participation is completely
voluntary but I hope that you will be able to assist me, as well as those new agents now entering
the field of extension. I have included the informed consent required by the University, and at the
end of that, the web site to take the survey. Please insert this number ( ) into question #1. It
will help me to send out reminder emails as the survey progresses.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this study. Please feel free to contact me at this
email address, and/or Dr. Nick Place, my committee chair (nplace@ufl.edu) if you have any
questions or concerns. I look forward to your participation.

Cindy

Informed Consent:

Protocol Title: A Comparison of Organizational Socialization and Job Satisfaction with New
Extension Agents within the Southern Region. Protocol # 2007-U-0487.

Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study.









Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to compare job satisfaction of new
agents with methods) in which they were socialized or oriented into the Cooperative Extension
Service. This study is designed to assist professional development specialists determine the most
effective methods of socializing and orienting new agents to extension. This is a southern region
study and there are 13 states and approximately 300 new extension agents that will be involved.
This information will be used as a total southern region study; there will be no individual state
data. Time Required: It is anticipated that it will take no more than 20 minutes to fill out the
survey. Risks and Benefits: All data will be kept strictly confidential, and reported only as a
total southern region report, there are no risks associated with this study. Benefits include being a
part of a study that will help focus training dollars on the methods of socialization and
orientation found most effective in this study. Compensation: There is no compensation
associated with this study. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent
provided by law. All data will be coded together using "zoomerang" (a data management and
survey system) using SPSS. A southern region report will be generated. No individual state's
data will be reported. Voluntary Participation: Your participation in this study is completely
voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating.
Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from this study at anytime
without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about this study: Cynthia
Higgins, Graduate Student and Columbia County 4-H Coordinator, 164 SW Mary Ethel Lane,
Lake City, Florida. 32025. (386) 758-1168. Dr. Nick Place, Graduate Chair, University of
Florida, P.O. Box 110540, Gainesville, FL. 32611-0540. (352) 392-0502.

Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in this study:
UFIRB Office. Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250. (352) 392-0433.

Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. By logging on and participating in this
Internet survey, I voluntarily agree to participate in the procedure and I have received a copy of
this description.

Please click on this web site, which will take you directly to the survey. Thank you so much.












APPENDIX H: AJIG INDEX (ABRIDGED JOB IN GENERAL INDEX)
C Bowling Green State University, 1975, 1985, 1997


Scoring Key aJDI & aJIG:

WORK ON PRESENT JOB


Satisfying .......................................
Gives sense of accomplishment ..........
Challenging ......... ..............
Dull ................................
Uninteresting..................................


PRESENT PAY


Income adequate for normal expenses....
F a ir ................ .....................................
Insecure ...................... .......... ...........
W ell paid ..... ...... ............ .. ...........
Underpaid ................ .... ..............


Yes No ?
3 0 1
3 0 1
0 3 1
3 0 1
0 3 1


Good opportunities for promotion ..........
Promotion on ability ..........................
Dead-end job..................... ...........
Good chance for promotion .................
Unfair promotion policy ....................


Yes No ?
3 0 1
3 0 1
0 3 1
3 0 1
0 3 1


Praises good work........................
T actful ...... ........ .............. ..............
Up-to-date ........................ ............
Annoying .......................................
B ad ..................... ......... ... ....... .......


Yes No ?
3 0 1
3 0 1
3 0 1
0 3 1
0 3 1


* This measurement instrument must be purchased from JDI Associates. Access to the actual
instrument is limited but the scoring key was available to assist with dissertation proposal.


OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROMOTION


SUPERVISION










APPENDIX I: ORGANIZATIONAL SOCIALIZATION INDEX (OSI)


Please answer the following: 5 4 3 2 1
This organization has provided excellent job
training for me.
I know very well how to get things done in this
organization.
Other workers have helped me on the job in various
ways.
There are many chances for a good career with this
organization.
The training in this organization has enabled me to
do my job very well.
I have a full understanding of my duties in this
organization.
My co-workers are usually willing to offer their
assistance or advice.
I am happy with the rewards offered by this
organization.
This organization offers thorough training to
improve employee job skills.
The goals of this organization have been made very
explicit.
Most of my co-workers have accepted me as a
member of this organization.
Opportunities for advancement in this organization
are available to almost everyone.
Instructions given by my supervisor have been
valuable in helping me do better work.
I have a good knowledge of the way this
organization operates.
My co-workers have done a great deal to help me
adjust to this organization.
I can readily anticipate my prospects for promotion
in this organization.
The type of job training given by this organization
is highly effective.
This organization's objectives are understood by
almost everyone who works here.
My relationship with other workers in this
organization is good.
I expect that this organization will continue to
employ me for many more years.



Note: Organizational Socialization Inventory: 5 = strongly agree 4 = agree, 3 = neither agree nor
Disagree, 2 = disagree, 1 = strongly disagree.








APPENDIX J: ZOOMERANG SURVEY
Organizational Socialization and Job Satisfaction for New Extension
Professionals

1. Please type in the code that you were given in your email asking you to participate in this
survey.



2. Please indicate your major program area. Please select the best one that reflects your job
description.

D Agriculture

Natural Resources

SHorticulture

Family and Consumer Sciences

4-H Youth Development

Other, please specify

3. Please indicate the number of months you have been employed in your current position.

6 months 8 months

9 months 12 months

13 months 15 months

S 16 months 18 months

4. Please indicate which state you are currently employed with. (Remember, this
information will be held in strict confidence).


D Alabama

D Arkansas

Georgia

Florida








Kentucky

Louisiana

SMississippi

North Carolina

Oklahoma

South Carolina

Tennessee

Texas

Virginia

Prefer not to answer

5. Have you ever been employed in extension in another state?

D Yes

No

If yes, please indicate total number of months or years employed in extension in another
state.



6. In your present extension position, what orientation programs and activities have you
participated in? Please check all that apply.

SI have or have had a formal mentor (one that was assigned to me).

D I have or have had an informal mentor (one I selected myself).

D I attended new agent orientation immediately after being hired (within 3 months).

D I attended new agent orientation 3 months or more after being hired.

I used orientation and training web modules.

O I have met with my county extension director to review job expectations and
duties.









F I have worked with my co-workers to discuss my job duties and expectations.

S I have not participated in any of the above.

Other, please specify.




7. This organization has provided excellent job training for me.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree

1 -1 I 4-1 Fq


8. I know very well how to get things done in this organization.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree





9. Other workers have helped me on the job in various ways.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree





10. There are many chances for a good career with this organization.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree




11. The training in this organization has enabled me to do my job very well.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree

S1H H H









12. I have a full understanding of my duties in this organization.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree

11 F 1-1 R ^


13. My co-workers are usually willing to offer their assistance or advice.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree





14. I am happy with the rewards offered by this organization.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree

1 % 1F 11 F4


15. This organization offers thorough training to improve employee job skills.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree

11 F 1-1 R ^


16. The goals of this organization have been made very explicit.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree

1 1F] 4 R


17. Most of my co-workers have accepted me as a member of this organization.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree

%1 F 11 R D









18. Opportunities for advancement in this organization are available to almost everyone.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree

11 F 1-1 R ^


19. Instructions given by my supervisor have been valuable in helping me to do better work.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree





20. I have good knowledge of the way this organization operates.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree

1 % 1F 11 F4


21. My co-workers have done a great deal to help me adjust to this organization.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree

11 F 1-1 R ^


22. The type of job training given to me by this organization is highly effective.


Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree




23. I can readily anticipate my prospects for promotion in this organization.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree

%1 F 11 R D








24. This organizations objectives are understood by almost everyone who works here.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree

11 F 1-1 R ^

25. My relationship with other workers in this organization are good.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree




26. I expect that this organization will continue to employ me for many more years.

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree




27. With respect to your current work, do you feel your job is satisfying?

D Yes

D No

S Not sure

28. Does your current job give you a sense of accomplishment?

D Yes

D No

Not sure

29. Do you feel your present work is challenging?

D Yes

D No

Not sure








30. Do you feel your present work is dull?

D Yes

No

Not sure

31. Do you feel your present job is uninteresting?

D Yes

No

Not sure

32. With respect to your current pay, do you feel your income is adequate for normal
expenses?


D Yes

No

S Not sure

33. Do you feel your current pay is fair?

D Yes

No

Not sure

34. Do you feel your current pay is insecure (not reliable)?

D Yes

No

Not sure








35. Do you feel you are well paid?

D Yes

No

Not sure

36. Do you feel you are underpaid?

D Yes

No

Not sure


37. With respect to opportunities for promotion in your current job, do you feel that you
have ood opportunities for promotion?
S Yes

No

Not sure

38. Do you feel that there is promotion based on ability?

D Yes

No

Not sure

39. Do you feel that you are in a dead-end job?

D Yes

No

Not sure








40. Do you feel you have a good chance for promotion in your current job?

D Yes

D No

Not sure

41. Do you feel that your organization has an unfair promotion policy?

D Yes

D No

Not sure

42. With respect to your current immediate supervisor, doe she/he praise good work?

D Yes

D No

Not sure

43. Is your immediate supervisor tactful?

D Yes

D No

Not sure

44. As far as management and supervision, is your supervisor up to date?

D Yes

D No

Not sure








45. Is your immediate supervisor annoying?


H

H

H


Yes

No

Not sure


46. Would you consider your immediate supervisor good?


H

H

H


Yes

No

Not sure


47. If you have any addition comments concerning your experiences with your orientation
for your current position, please add those here. I welcome any comments you may
have.









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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Cynthia Higgins was born in Barranquilla, Columbia, South America in 1959. The oldest

of two children, she traveled the world as a child, lived in four different countries and six

different states before attending West Virginia University in 1978. She graduated with a

Bachelor of Science Degree in animal sciences from WVU in 1981, and a Master's of Science

Degree in agriculture education in 1984, also from West Virginia University.

Upon graduating from college, Cynthia taught high school agriculture from 1984 -1986 at

Morgantown High School in Morgantown, West Virginia. She was one of only four female

agriculture instructors in the state. During that time, she met Danny Bell at the wedding of her

friend, and soon after the two decided to get married.

Prior to the wedding, Cynthia applied for and acquired a position as the Columbia County

4-H Coordinator in 1986 where she remains today. She and Danny were married a month after

starting the job in Buffalo, New York, then home of her parents, on August 2, 1986.

Cynthia began working part time on her PhD in Extension Leadership in 2003, while still

working full time as the 4-H Coordinator. A six month sabbatical was granted in 2005 that

allowed Cynthia to finish the majority of her course work. Cynthia plans to graduate in

December 2007. Upon completion of her PhD. Program, Cynthia plans on continuing work in

the extension field in some capacity.

Cynthia and Danny have two sons: David, age 16 (a high school junior) and John, age 11

(a middle school student). Both boys are avid soccer players, Danny serves as both school and

recreational soccer coach, and Cynthia serves as "official soccer mom".





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1 A COMPARISON OF ORGANIZATIONAL SOCI ALIZATION AND JOB SATISFACTION IN NEW EXTENSION AGENTS WITHIN THE SOUTHERN REGION CYNTHIA M. HIGGINS A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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2 2007 Cynthia M. Higgins

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3 To my husband, Danny; my sons David and John, and my parents John and Jacqueline. Thanks so much.

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS There are so many people that have helped me achieve this monumental goal. I am so grateful to so many for their assistance, suppor t and dedication through th is very long process. This list is dedicated to those people. First, to my family, with incredible grat itude I thank my husba nd and best friend, Danny. Without his encouragement, undying love and tr uly believing that I could accomplish this, I never would have had the time or energy to comple te this degree. Everything was always taken care of during weekends typing papers and late ni ghts in class. Often sc hool got in the way of family life, but you saw it to the end. Furthermor e, I would like to acknowledge my sons, David and John, who have been my inspiration, and my pa rents John and Jacqueline, for their help and assistance, and mostly, their kitchen table where I typed ma ny papers while the boys were playing with their grandparents at the beach or pool. Thank you al so to my brother Michael, and his family for their support. Second, I am so grateful to Dr. Howard Ladewig for helping me to begin this journey, and Dr. Nick Place, committee chair, for helping me to finish. Without the wise council of either of these men, I would not have finished this degree. I am especially grateful for the hours that Dr. Place spent with me to work out the details, again and again, of this research project. I consider him not only a trusted advisor, but also a friend. In addition to these men, I am also thankful for the help and support of my current committee me mbers; Dr. Marilyn Norm an, Dr. Jim Dyer and Dr. Al Wysocki, as well as those that have moved to other positions; Dr. Rick Rudd and Dr. Mark Kistler. I have learned so much from each of these people and I have grown tremendously by their involvement in my life as well involvement in the courses that they taught. I would also like to thank Dr. Kate Fogerty, who helped me to understand and utilize SPSS.

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5 Thank all of the friends that I made in th e Department of Agriculture Education and Communications as well as the wonderful faculty. I am so proud to be able to have so many colleagues around the country to correspond with. Th anks specially to Dr. Kim Bellah for all her wonderful jokes, hysterical emails and words of wisdom. You have no idea how much I needed those. Special thanks to the state 4-H professional development specialists who were wonderful returning my emails and providing me with the information that was needed to complete this study. Those specialists included: R. Dollman, Univer sity of Alabama, N. Place, University of Florida; M. Blackburn, University of Georgia; J. Mowbray, Univer sity of Kentucky; D. Davis, Louisiana State University; R. White, Mississippi State University; M. Owens, North Carolina State University; J. Martin, Oklahoma State Un iversity; D. Baker, Clemson University; R. Waters, University of Tennessee; R. Luckey, Texa s A & M, and L. Delp, Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University. And finally, I would like to th ank my co-workers and colleag ues from around the state. I have been so lucky to have such a terrifi c support network. Yes, now I am done. To Amy Duncan, Nancy Moores and Bill Heltemes, my camping buddies; thank you for your contributions, advice and warm fuzzies. And we certainly cannot forget the tiara, wand, and boa! What a team!

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........8 LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................................9 DEFINITIONS...............................................................................................................................10 ABSTRACT...................................................................................................................................11 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE OF THE STUDY......................................................... 13 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........13 History of the Cooperative Extension Service........................................................................ 13 Historical perspective on Or ganizational Socialization .......................................................... 22 Organizational Socialization and Cooperative Extension: Significance of the Problem .......25 Purpose of the Study........................................................................................................... ....28 Importance of this study:...................................................................................................... ..29 Limitations of the Study....................................................................................................... ..30 Summary.................................................................................................................................30 2 CONCEPTUAL AND THEORE CTICAL FRAMEWORK ..................................................33 Research on Competencies..................................................................................................... 34 Research in Mentoring.......................................................................................................... ..36 Research in Customer Satisfaction......................................................................................... 37 Research on Organizational Socialization and E mployee Turnover...................................... 37 Research in Orientation and Socialization.............................................................................. 38 Theoretical Framework.......................................................................................................... .40 Socialization Models..............................................................................................................41 Conceptual Model............................................................................................................... ....43 Summary.................................................................................................................................46 3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY.................................................................. 49 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........49 Research Design.....................................................................................................................50 Instrumentation................................................................................................................ .......50 Reliability and Validity of the Instrum ents............................................................................ 55 Population..................................................................................................................... ..........55 Independent Variable(s)..........................................................................................................56 Data Collection.......................................................................................................................57

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7 Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................59 Controlling for Missing Data........................................................................................... 59 Data Analysis by Objective.............................................................................................59 Non-response Error.........................................................................................................62 Summary.................................................................................................................................63 4 PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA.................................................................. 68 Summary of the Study Design................................................................................................ 68 Statistical Analysis of Research Objectives ...........................................................................69 SUMMARY............................................................................................................................82 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .......................................... 96 Population..................................................................................................................... ..........96 Objective of the Study......................................................................................................... ...96 Data Collection.......................................................................................................................97 Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................98 Summary of Findings............................................................................................................ .99 Limitations.................................................................................................................... ........103 Conclusions and Implications...............................................................................................104 Recommendations for Future Research................................................................................110 Recommendations................................................................................................................ .112 Summary...............................................................................................................................113 REFERENCES............................................................................................................................138 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................147

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1-1 Summary of Socialization/Orie ntation Program /Activity by State................................... 32 3-1 Number of New Agents With 6 to 18 Months of Extension E xperience........................... 65 3-2 Total Number of Agents By Programmatic Area.............................................................. 66 4-1 Months on the Job of Extension Professionals..................................................................89 4-2 Programmatic Areas of Ne w Extension Professionals ...................................................... 89 4-3 Comparison of New Ag ents and All Agents...................................................................... 89 4-4 Correlation Between the Four Orga nizational Socialization Dom ains.............................. 90 4-5 Domain/ Combined Organiza tional Socialization Score ................................................... 90 4-6 OSI Total Score.......................................................................................................... .....91 4-7 aJIG Total Score.............................................................................................................91 4 -8 aJIG Scores............................................................................................................... .........92 4-9 Job Satisfaction and Orga nizational Socialization ............................................................. 93 4-10 Relationship Between Job Satisfaction and Months in Extension.....................................93 4-11 Comparison of Levels of Organizatio nal Socialization a nd Job Satisfaction .................... 93 4-12 Methods of Organizatio nal Socialization Checked............................................................ 94 4-13 Job Satisfaction and Assigned Formal Mentor.................................................................. 94 4-14 Job Satisfaction and Se lf Selection of Mentor ................................................................... 94 4-15 Job Satisfaction and Immediate New Agent Orientation ...................................................94 4-16 Job Satisfaction of New Agents and Orientation ............................................................... 95 4-17 Job Satisfaction and Use of Web Modules........................................................................ 95 4-18 County Extension Directors a nd Effect on Job Satisfaction ..............................................95 4-19 Job Satisfaction and Co-workers Disc ussion of Job Expectations and Duties ..................95 4-20 Job Satisfaction and Methods of Organizational Socialization .........................................95

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Taorminas Organizational Socialization Model............................................................... 48 31 Number of Organizational Soci alization Methods Participated In ....................................67 4 Mean Training Score..........................................................................................................84 4-2 Mean Scores for Knowledge Domain................................................................................ 85 4-3 Mean Score for Co-Worker Support.................................................................................. 86 44 Mean Scores for Future Prospect Domain......................................................................... 87 4-5 Mean Score for Total Organi zational Socialization Index ................................................ 88

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10 DEFINITIONS Career Stag e Model Model developed by Rennekamp and Noll for extension that includes four stages of career growth. Cooperative Extension Service (CES) A research based organization tasked with bringing research knowledge to the ge neral population to increase knowledge and skills in a variety of programmatic areas. Competencies Acquisition of knowledge, tech nical skills, and personal characteristics that have been identified, through research, that lead to outstanding performance. Extension professional Extension agent or extension educator hired by a land grant university to bring research ba sed programs to counties and communities. Some extension professionals may also be hired only by counties to carry out the mission of extension. Mentors Co-worker assigned to work with a new agent. Can be formal, with specific tasks assigned; or informal, with no set agenda. Also can be a trusted peer who serves as an advisor. Mentors are nonevaluative. Organizational Socializa tion The process where employees learn about and adapt to their new jobs, new roles, and learn and unde rstand the culture and history of the organization. There are a vari ety of ways that land grant universities socialize their new extension agents; specifically orientation programs, formal a nd informal mentoring, and web modules. Orientation A formalized program desi gned to acquaint new extension professionals with their various job duties and performances needed for success. It is s a part of the socializ ation process.

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11 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy A COMPARISON OF ORGANIZATIONAL SO CIALIZATION AND JOB SATISFACTION IN NEW EXTENSION AGENTS WITHIN THE SOUTHERN REGION By Cynthia M. Higgins December, 2007 Chair: Nick Place Major: Agricultural Educ ation and Communication People are one of companys greatest resour ces. How and when organizations socialize and train those people has a definite impact in job satisfaction and ulti mately, job retention. Within the Cooperative Extension Service orient ation and socialization programs vary as does the time frame in which new employees are formally and informally socialized into their new work environments. This comparative study was undertaken to ex amine how new extension professionals in eleven states in the southern region, with be tween six months to 18 months of on the job experience, perceived their or ganizational socialization expe riences. In addition this study examined perceived level of job satisfacti on, and identified met hods of organizational socialization perceived impor tant by participants. Each states professional development specia list was contacted a nd asked to supply an email list of all new extension agents (six to eighteen months on the job). New extension professionals were contacted via email and asked to participate in an online survey. The survey was developed using two previously tested inst ruments, the Organizational Socialization Index and the Abridged Job in General instrument. A to tal of 321 participants were identified and a return rate of 75% (241 respondents) was achieved.

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12 Results of the study indicate that there is a strong positive relationship between knowledge of the participants and the training they received, as well as training and their perception of future prospects. Approximately 86% of participants indicated that they were satisfied with their jobs; however, most participants felt that they were underpaid. The number of months on the job negatively affected job satisfac tion; the more months employed, the less satisfied participants were. With respect to methods of organizational soci alization currently employed in the southern region, the interaction with county extension di rectors/ immediate supe rvisor was a significant indicator of job satisfaction as was immediate orientation (less than 3 months on the job) and self selection of mentors. Marginally significant were participants discussing job expectations and duties with co-workers, while the assignment of mentors, new agent or ientation and training taking place after three months of hire and web modules as a form of socializing were not significant indicators of job satisfaction.

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13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE OF THE STUDY Introduction As Mary Kay Ash, CEO of Mary Kay Cos m etics states; People are definitely a companys greatest asset. It doesn't make any difference wh ether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps. How an organization socializes and orients new hires has direct influence over their job satisfacti on and thus, job retention rate. The Cooperative Extension organiza tion spends vital dollars on soci alizing and orienting its new hires, but are those resources bei ng used to the best advantage possi ble? Is there a more effective way to socialize and orient new hires as to ma ximize their job satisfac tion rate and hopefully, retain those employees for years to come? History of the Cooperative Extension Service According to Rogers (2003), The agriculture extension service is repor ted to be one of the worlds m ost successful change agencies (p. 391). The formation of the land grant system began when Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862 out of concern for the common man. Kelsey and Hearne (1949) repor ted, Extension grew out of a s ituationa period of pioneering and change in agriculture and homemaking ( p. 3). The Morrill Act created the basis for establishing the land grant college system, which combined agriculture with education. When such a large portion of America s population, nearly three-quarte rs in the 1800s, were deriving their livelihood from the land, it was thought that by bringing curre nt information to the people that research and information would benefit society as a whole. By the 1850s agriculture methods were changing, America was becoming more mechanized with horse drawn reapers, mowers and harvesters. Progressing through the 1800s to 1850 Americas farm population began to dwindle about 2 percent per decade (Rogers, 2003).

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14 In 1914, Congress passed the Smith Lever Act. The act was the foundation for the modern day Cooperative Extension Service (CES). Because the country saw the benefits of the farmers institutes and activities of the state agricultural colleges there became a demand for public funds for extension work. In the final form the Smith-L ever Act stated that cooperative agriculture extension work consist of the e ducation, instruction, and the use of and practical demonstration in agriculture and home economics. By 1920, Americas farm population was down to about twenty-five pe rcent of the total United States population. According to Kelsey an d Herne (1949), this did not mean that the population of farmers was decreasing, only that Americas population was growing and a large number of people were flocking to the cities. The progress of American agriculture had the benefit of being able to releas e workers on the farm to become workers of other products and goods allowing America to grow and become mo re industrialized. Kelsey and Herne further state, And so from the days of our forefath ers, who began as pioneers and woodsmen, there developed a country which was pr imarily agricultural but which has since gradually become a great industrial nation whose capacit y for agricultural production has kept pace with our needs (p. 4). A large portion of the success of the American farmer and American society in general, can be attributed to the CES. During the early days, there were many agricultu re societies formed to help farmers learn about current trends in agriculture. Farmers in stitutes were established and specialists from agriculture colleges would present educationa l programming dealing wi th issues affecting farmers in that area. In 1899, there were farmers institutes in 47 states with an attendance of approximately 500,000 farmers. These farmers institu tes were usually either connected directly to the USDA or under agriculture colleges and e xperiment stations. Along with the farmers

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15 institutes, agriculture colleges began doing fieldwork, demonstra tions, and lectures and, in essence, bringing additional research base d information directly to the farmer. In 1905, A.B. Graham, known to some as the father of 4-H, began working with boys and girls to establish 4-H clubs in Ohio, according to the National 4-H Headquarters (2007). It was thought that by teaching boys the newest methods of growing crops, they would adopt these practices earlier than their father s and thus insures overall higher adoption rates by farmers. This too was the thought using girls clubs and homemak ing skills. This method of teaching youth the newest methods in agriculture production and ho memaking was an innovative approach used to assist with helping the adults in the home become early adopt ers of the newest methods and innovations. This practice proved to be very effective and is still one of the models used today with youth development and the earlier adoption of the most current research based information. Since those early days, the CES has served clientele in every state and almost every county. According to Aurelia Scott (2001), the CES mandate was (and still is) to aid in diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects relating to agriculture and home economics. Extension Agents were hired by the land grant un iversity to bring curr ent researched-based information to the common man, to become part of the community, find key leaders and opinion leaders in the community, and work with those leaders to establish c ounty-based programming that would directly impact the farmer and hom emaker. Programs carried out by the CES are still community-based, allowing information to be disseminated directly to the people, the information that they feel is directly beneficial to their lives and live lihood. Scott (2001) also goes on to say that the Extension service has changed over the past 80 years to include now urban audiences but they remain true to thei r mission, which is the practical education of

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16 Americans. One of the great strengths of the CES is their obsession with meeting the needs of the local community (p. 30). The CES has always been instrumental in shaping communities. As Bowling and Brahm (2002) state, educational programs delivered to clientele all over the United States, play a significant role in the knowle dge-creation process and has be en instrumental in shaping neighborhoods and communities. This statement has been found true at the formation of the CES and now in the present. Extensions goal is to provide citizens with e ducational programs to enrich lives, whether rural or urban. The organization has expande d to include all aspects of American life including business management, l eadership, and building communities, as well as those traditional aspects of home and family life. The CES has been a success for a variety of reasons. First, ex tension professionals (agents) are expected to be part of the community. Agents live a nd work in the county they are hired in. When CES was beginning, extension professionals worked with rural Americans on rural family issues dealing with agricultu re, home making and youth. That total family approach has not changed but has expanded to incl ude urban and city issues as well. Agriculture, This approach to the family as a unit has been of great benefit to the US. Not only families have benefited from programs provided by the CES, also the community at large has been able to broaden its scope of citizenshi p and leadership abilities. Secondly, the CES is a cooperative organi zation between the USDA, state land grant universities, and local go verning boards. As the funding is co ntributed by all th ree bodies, there is a great deal of flexibility in programming. Though flexible in natu re, each funding partner identifies major program emphasis. The USDA CSREES (Cooperative State Research, Extension and Education Service) identifies nationa l priorities and plays a key role in the land-

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17 grant mission by distributing annual appropriated funding to supplement state and county program funds. CSREES uses national program leadership to assist with identifying national program initiatives. Six national program areas have been identified which include 4-H youth development, agriculture, leadersh ip development, natural resources, family and consumer science, and community and economic devel opment (CSREES, http://www.csrees.usda.gov/). In addition to the federal partners, state land grant universities are able to determine where their state programming focus should be using CSR EES national program initiatives as a guide. In addition extension professionals use county and state advisory committees, who assist with determining county and community educational foci. The cooperative portion of the CES has always been a benefit to the orga nization and the people it serves. The third reason for the success of the CES is the scope of research carried out by state land grant universities. Programs of the CES are locally driven and research undertaken by land grant universities is primarily in direct respons e to problems and issues of local people. One of the real underlying principles of the CES is that that research is driven by local needs and then disseminated to the people, via ex tension professionals, to solve pr oblems at the local level. Not only is research driven by local n eeds, but research is also driven by national research initiatives, which are often in direct response to needs of the community. A very key point here is that research is carried out not only at the land grant un iversity, but most states also have experiment and/or research stations where research can be determined and undertaken in the different regions of the state. With some states being very diverse in respect to agriculture produced within that state, this is a distinct advantage for local clientele as rese arch and solutions then become more localized.

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18 Fourth, another major success of the CES is unbiased research. Because land grant universities, funded by the public, carry out the research, it is viewed as being unbiased. As government bodies are not able to support one pa rticular company or a particular way of thinking, research supported by land grant universities holds the di stinction of being non-biased. Fifth, extension professionals use a wide vari ety of teaching methods and techniques to disseminate information. As Rogers (2003) state d, information will be adopted more rapidly if people are able to see its advantage, make sure it is compatible with their current system, test the complexity of the innovation, are able to expe riment with the innovati on and can observe the results of the innovation first hand. With the variety of teaching methods, both formal and nonformal, clientele are able to s ee, hear, feel and experience the new information and are able to determine if this knowledge fits their personal needs. The ability to provide non-formal education to the citizens of the community is a distinct advantage of the CES. Citizens have more opportunities than ever before for educational experiences in their daily lives. Non-formal e ducation is about acknowledging the importance of education, learning and training which takes place outside recognized educational institutions (Fordham, 1993). An additional definition of non-fo rmal education is that it is not compulsory, does not lead to a formal certification, and may or may not be state supported (Lingualinks, 1999). Non-formal education usually takes place outside of the formally organized school and often refers to adult literacy and continuing educ ation for adults. Non-formal education can also be defined as any organized educational activ ity outside the establis hed formal system whether operating separately or as an important feature of some broader activity that is intended to serve some identifiable learning clie nteles and learning objec tives (Coombs, 1973)

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19 Non-formal education offers hands-on experien ces that are relevant to the needs of the people in a community. Since non-formal educati on is learner centered, it is important for the instructor to focus on the learning rather than the teaching. The learner is a participant in determining the educational objec tives and focus of the learning. Fordham (1993) discussed this as an enduring theme with respect to non-formal education. That theme is that education should be in the interest of the learne r and the learners themselves s hould choose the curriculum that is utilized. Learners are key to taking action to solve their own community concerns, issues and problems. Non-formal education is often less cos tly than formal education which aids in the flexibility of programs that can be offered. The role of non-formal education in society is great, first as a way of assisting clientele with solving local problems and dealing with lo cal issues. One of the great benefits of nonformal education is that it is learner centered an d can assist the learner with finding solutions to immediate problems that address local needs. Second, non-formal education assists with lifelong learning. Life-long learning is f undamental for self-enrichment (Wolfe, 2000). Non-formal education is especially effective with older clientele and those who have left formal education for a variety of reasons. When formal education fails, non-formal education can fill the gap left if lifelong learning is still a need or desire. The CES is very responsive to immediate n eeds of clientele and the flexibility of nonformal education allows extens ion educators to alter planned programs to respond to immediate needs. The extension service has the great abil ity to develop programs that promote community development, youth development, health educa tion, adult education and non-formal leadership development all within a given community. One of the great strengths of the extension service is that it is locally driven.

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20 Because extension agents are able and encouraged to teach non-formally, agents are able to teach in groups, do field demonstrations and trials, and work one-on-one with clientele to assist with adoption of innovations. CES professionals (extension agents) often provide programs for individual groups (dairy farmers, beef farmers, vegetable or fruit growers, homemakers and/or youth), and information is specifi c for that group of people. Exte nsion agents also work with volunteers to help channel information to other individuals and groups. The CES also works with farm organizations; cooperatives and commodity groups that engage in agriculture, as well as schools, church groups and civic groups of a ll types, to increase adoption rates of new innovations. Collaborative efforts working with large groups have added to the knowledge base of clientele. Finally, vast numbers of resources are used to train field agents or extension professionals. Many years ago, agents were jack of all trades. Now, with the world changing and population growing, extension pr ofessionals are expected to specialize. Agents are also trained in current information by state specialis ts and have all of the Land Grant University resources (teaching and resear ch) available when needed. Each state hires extension professionals to provide information and programming to clientele in each of the approximately 3000 counties in the country. Some states have, as of late, begun to form county clusters where each cluste r (or a certain number of counties) has agents in each programmatic area housed in a central office, and program and teach in a number of different counties. Georgia and Kansas are two of these states. In general, this provides smaller counties with a shared agent in a programmatic ar ea that a county may not necessarily be able to support, either financially or popul ation wise, and allows for a better distribution of educational support for clientele.

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21 Each state has different requirements for hiring extension professionals but all states require at least a Bachelors Degree, while most re quire a Masters degree (or to hold a Masters within five years of hire). Ex tension professionals are usually hi red with technical subject matter knowledge, though they often lack skills in areas that are needed to be effective extension professionals (Campbell, Grieshop, Sokolow & Wright, 2004). Degree programs provide excellent subject matter training, but often lack opport unities for students to obtain skills or strengths in such necessary subjects as gr oup facilitation, needs assessment, planning and organizing educational programs, evaluation, vol unteer management, local government relations, educational technology, communications and many ot her related subjects (Mississippi State University Extension Service, 2007, p. 2). Each states land grant college provides orientation and training to their new hires in order to increase knowledge and skills in their programmatic area as well as programming knowledge and skills. When that orientation is provided and what informati on is included differs from state to state. Professional development specialists in e ach of the thirteen stat es within the southern region have generously shared in formation on their states new ag ent socialization/ orientation and training program. Each stat e orientation/training program is very different. The NEAT program (New Extension Agent Training) in Virgin ia begins socialization/ orientation on the first day of hire (Gibson & Brown, 2002), as does Mississi ppi. Other states, such as Florida, have set dates for orientation and training. Agents may be on the job two weeks or up to eleven months before receiving a structured orientation and trai ning program (Place, 2004). Most of the states in the southern region (Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia,) include web-based training m odules, though an informal survey taken by Place and Higgins (2004) concluded that new extension professionals in Florida do not have the time

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22 to begin to learn their jobs and complete web modules in a timely manner. This unstructured survey was undertaken as part of a goal focus team survey to determine if new agents were aware of the web training modules and, if they we re, had they been able to utilize those models to increase their knowledge and skills with resp ect to the extension service in Florida. Professional development specialists in th e southern region shared socialization/ orientation and training information with the rese archer. This information concluded that several states in the southern region that have a formal mentoring system in place (Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) using trained mentors to assist with role adjustment as well as co-worker support. Virginia uses training agents to assist with social ization and orientation of new extension agents (NEAT Program). A training agent is a trained, extension agent with several (four to five) years of experien ce on the job that is responsible for socializing and orienting new agents to their current role. The difference be tween a training agent a nd mentor is that the training agent is given an evaluatory role; in other words, they may recommend keeping or terminating a new agent af ter a three-month period (Lambur, 2005). A summary of socialization/orientation for each state in the southern re gion can be found in Table 1 Historical perspective on Organizational Socialization Growing disillu sionment among new members of an organization have been linked to inadequacies in approaches used by organizatio ns to socialize their new hires (Louis, 1980, p. 226). Organizational entry has been studied from tw o distinct perspectives The first is employee turnover and the second focuses on organizational socialization. According to Louis (1980), turnover research is numerous. Turnover re search can also be divided into voluntary and invol untary turnover. Voluntary tur nover suggests that new hires expectations of the job are cri tical to their success and to their tenure within the organization (Ross & Zander, 1957; Katzell, 1968; Wanous, 1977). Many times new hires have unrealistic

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23 views or expectations of the job. In the early seve nties the Realistic Job Preview (RJP) was developed to determine expectations of new hire s and assist with orientation information for those new recruits (Louis, 1980). From the organizational socialization perspec tive, models became available that involved the total institution in the fifties. Goffman ( 1961) characterized an in stitution as a place of residence and work where a large number of lik e-situated individuals, cut off from the wider society for an appreciable period of time, together lead an enclosed, formally administered round of life (pg. 13). Studies of how the military, correctional instituti ons, etc. socialized their new hires were among the descriptions of how individuals were made to conform to the norms of those institutions. Socialization stage models became important in the early seventies. These different models were developed to determine what occurred dur ing the socialization process. The premise of stage models involved developing an understandi ng of how new employees move from one stage to the next in the socialization process. There are four generally agreed upon stages, according to Ashforth, Sluss & Harrison (2007). Those stages include anticipation, enc ounter, adjustment and stabilization. Porter, Lawler & Hackman (1975) we re one of the original authors of the stage models, determining their model from past re search on organizational socialization. Feldman (1976) and Schein (1978) also developed very similar stage models to describe how organizations socialized new hires. The second type of stage models can be de fined as integrative models. These models blended initial models but these models serve as more of a conceptual framework (Ashforth, et al., 2007). These models also took into account the importance of job anticipation and job expectation.

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24 The final set of models identify mentors as be ing an important part of the socialization process as well as the relationship with how orga nizations socialize and the stress level of new hires. These models are also more fluid th an earlier stage models, where the stages may overlap and specific events may or may not occur at a specific time. Landmark work in the area of organizational socialization came about by Van Maanen & Schein (1979). This is one of the most often ci ted models of organizational socialization (Lueke & Svyantek, 2000).Van Maanen and Schein determin ed that there were six tactics that were employed by organizations to socialize or in tegrate their new employees. The six tactics identified include: collective versus individual so cialization, formal versus informal socialization, sequential versus random socialization, fixed versus variable socialization, serial versus disjunctive, and finally investiture versus divestiture. It was hypothesized that organizations using these six tact ics would increase job satisfacti on as well as decrease turnover rate of new employees. These six tactics are discussed in greater detail in Chapter 2. Research on newcomer learning, or how newcom ers learn their roles and responsibilities, as well as learn about the orga nization, began in the early nine ties with research undertaken by Chao, OLeary-Kelly, Wolf, Klein & Garner (1994), Saks & As hforth (1997) and Taormina (1994). This research was focused more on the employee and less on the employer. Research in this area has determined that learning is not a stage process and can span the life of the job, as well as interpersonal and group dynamics. Using the employee as the focus for organizational socialization, there are now four agreed upon dom ains of organizational socialization. Those domains include: task and job proficiency, ro le clarity, co-worker or group support, and understanding the organization itself (history, lan guage, politics, goals and values). An additional domain, identified by Taormina (1997) is future prospects.

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25 Organizational socialization is a rich and varied field wher e many research challenges lay ahead. As Ashforth, et al., ( 2007) state, Perhaps the biggest research challenge in the years ahead will be understanding how organizations mi ght socialize for instab ility as well as for stability. As the conditions confronting organi zations and individuals careers become increasingly turbulent, particular research attention will need to be paid to task/project and group specific, socialization, to newcomer pr oactively, and to role innovation (pg. 54). Organizational Socialization and Cooperative Extension: Significan ce of the Problem Organizations train, teach, induct and/ or socialize new employees much as a parent does a child. Orientation and training can be considered within the organizational socialization concept model, as these programs do familiarize new hires with specific information on their job duties and responsibilities, assist those new hires with u nderstanding the organizati on itself, assist with social interactions with colleagues, and help new hires understand some of the established ways of an organization. Training is simply one aspect of socialization and is related to job related skills and abilities. According to Taormina (1997), training is defined as the act, process or method by which one acquires any type of functional skill or ability that is required to perform a specific job (p. 31). According to Klein and Weaver (2000) Organ izational socialization is the process where employees learn about and adapt to new jobs, roles and the culture of the work place. Van Maanen and Schein (1979) also define organizational socializati on as the fashion in which an individual is taught and learns what behaviors and perspectiv es are customary and desirable within the work setting as well as what ones are not. In addition, Ashford and Black (1996) define socialization as the pr ocess that newcomers engage in to learn about their work environments. Furthermore, Jahi and Newcomb ( 1981) emphasize that orie ntation is designed to assist new agents with adjusting to the workpl ace and the living conditions within their new

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26 environment. Sanders and Kleiner (2002) also state that orienta tion programs are the single most prevalent training program that organizations participate. The objective of employee orient ation (Davis & Kleiner, 200 1) is to provide a smooth transition for the employee into the new work e nvironment in a way that maximizes motivation and allows the employee the oppor tunity to become productive as soon as possible, which is similar in definition to organiza tional socialization. Saks (1996) further ex plains that training programs within organizations are often the main way that employees learn socialization skills specific to that organization. Zimmer and Smith (1992) also agree with to this. Extensions effectiveness as an organization depends on well-t rained extension professi onals to carry out the mission of the Cooperative Extension Service and professional deve lopment helps with achieving excellence within the organization (Stone & Coppernol, 2004). Why does socialization matter? Successful completion of a formal socialization program and/or set of socializ ation experiences increase employee productivity, increases self-assurance on the job, increases job satisfac tion, motivation and commitment to the organization (Baker & Jennings, 2000). Other studies show that the initial peri od of employment within an organization is important in shaping subsequent attitudes a nd behaviors of that new hire (Buchanan, 1974; Hall, 1976; Wanous, 1980). The socialization pro cess within an organization has a major influence on the performance of the new hi res and can have a major influence on the performance of the organization (Louis, Posner & Powel, 1983). Early soci alization assists the new hire with long-term adjustment and can help with fostering lifelong learning and confidence as well as transform the newcomer into a cont ributing member of the organization, which also enriches the organization itself (Ashforth, Sluss & Harrison, 2007).

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27 Extension agent socialization is an important part of learning the roles and re sponsibilities of the job (Zimmer & Smith, 1992). It is important that new agents understand what is expected of them. Jahi and Newcomb (1981) state that the orientation pro cess also helps to acquaint new agents with their expected roles, provide knowle dge and skills necessary to become effective extension professionals, and assi sts new employees with understanding performance standards, all of which are necessary for building a commitment to the organization. There is a growing concern among those in the field of business, that there are inadequacies in the socialization/orientation of new hires (Louis, 1980). Not only that, currently organizational socialization is newly being defined as a contin uous process and not something that has a definite beginning and end (Taormin a, 1997). As personnel move from one position to another, the socialization process continues. Ev en if not new to the organization, a new position within the organization will st ill have a period of socialization that will take place. Entering into a new job as varied and divers e as extension can be confusing. Where do I begin, and what is my role, are words that are frequently heard within the Cooperative Extension Service with respect to new extension agents (Ritchie, 1996). The role of the extension agent is ever changing and very diverse (Cooper & Graham, 2001) as is the role of extension as an organization (Jahi & Newcomb, 1981). Stone and Coppernoll (2004) stressed that in order to achieve the mission of CES, agents must mainta in professional competencies and technical expertise. But how do we do this? How effective is the CES in socializing and orientating new employees to the organization? According to Ja hi and Newcomb (1981), Orientation training is an early part of employee development, and should be designed to provide a transitional period for newly hired agents. Only two states reported to orient an d socialize their new extension

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28 employees immediately upon hire (Kentucky a nd Virginia); most however, do conduct new agent orientation at some point afte r being hired (Gibson & Brown, 2002). Purpose of the Study This study was designed to determine the perception of new exte nsion professionals level of organizational socialization with resp ect to (1) job skills and duties, (2) co-worker support, (3) knowledge of the organization, and (4) future job prospects, using Taorminas Organizational Socializati on Index (OSI). In addition to the ne w hires perception of their level of organizational socialization, this study was designed to examine the level of job satisfaction using JDI Research Groups Abridged Job in Ge neral Scale (aJIG). In addition, the perceived level of organizational socialization and level of job satisfaction will be co mpared in states with mentoring programs, states with immediate and not immediate orientation programs, and states that also utilize web modules as a socialization method. The specific objectives of this study were to: Gather demographic data on new extension agents in each state including: months on the job, programmatic area, and other professional positions held prior to gaining employment with the extension service. Examine perceived level of organizational soci alization of new extension hires using OSI. Examine perceived level of job satisfacti on of new extension hires using aJIG. Compare the perceived level of organizationa l socialization with job satisfaction to examine if perceived level of organizationa l socialization impacts job satisfaction, and examine the possible relationship of organi zational socialization and job satisfaction. Compare job satisfaction with type of organi zational socialization ta king place; (1) formal mentor, (2) informal, self selected mentor, (3 ) immediate orientation program (within three months after hire), (4) formal orientation program after thre e months of hire, (5), webbased modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with CED/immediate supervisor and (7) discussing job expecta tions and duties with co-workers; to examine if there are differences in methods and job satisfaction. Compare the number of organizational socializat ion methods participated in by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction.

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29 The subjects for this study were new extens ion professionals (those with six months to eighteen months of extension experience) within tw elve of the thirteen st ates in the southern region. Those states include Alab ama, Florida, Georgia, Kentuc ky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Arkansas opted not to participate. State program devel opment specialists at the start of the study identified the new agents with the correct number of months and supplied researcher with emails of all qualified participants. Importance of this study: This study holds importance for several reasons First, it is important to determine new agents perception of how well the organization socialized new hires to their new jobs and organizations. As the employee is the focus of socialization, this study evaluates the areas in which the socialization is taking place for th at new hire and examines the success of the organization socialization traditionally used with new agents. The higher degree of perceived organizational socialization, the higher the job satisfaction. Second, in comparing how new agents were socialized, state specialists can de termine if the socialization/orientation programs and activities are doing their j obs and can evaluate the eff ectiveness of socialization/ orientation programs. This allows the professional development spec ialists to modify, if needed, what they are currently doing in each state. It also allows for prioriti zing socialization methods that have the most impact. This will assist with maximizing professional development dollars and increasing agents ability to perform effectively and efficiently at a fa ster rate, as well as assist in the retention rate of new agents. In addition, how and when new hires are socialized impacts job satisfaction and has th e potential to increase new hire tenure. If agent tenure can be increased, state land grant universities stand to save a substantial amount of money reducing agent turnover (Chandler, 2004; K udilek, 2000; Abbasi & Hollman, 2000).

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30 Limitations of the Study This study is limited to new extension faculty within twelve states in the southern region with six to eighteen months of continuous exte nsion service; therefore generalization will be limited to new agents within the southern region. An additional limitation is possible researcher bias. This researcher has been employed with the CES for 21 years and may have precon ceived notions on organi zational socialization within the CES. Therefore and as more formally discussed in Chapter 3, the researcher used a data base management system, Zoomerang, and had no access to original data prior to importing into the statistical program. The da ta was protected by a login and password on the Zoomerang site and was downloaded onto a disc in its entirety following the close of the survey. In addition the researcher had assistance from a professor at the University of Florida to assist with checking data and assistan ce with statistical analysis. Summary Extension has a rich history providing rese arch-based knowledge and information to the citizens of this country and exte nsion professionals are hired to disseminate this information to clientele using a variety of teaching methods. Research shows that early organizational socialization/orientation of new hires increases role clarity, job motivation, job satisfaction and tenure. With the diverse role that extension ag ents play within a community and state, it is important to understand how new agents feel they are socialized, when they undergo this formal process within the first year of hire, and which socialization methods may have the most impact on their perceived level of job satisfaction. Chapter 1 presented an overv iew of the history of extension, understanding w hy socialization is important for new hires, and discussed four aspects of socialization.

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31 Chapter 2 will present information deali ng with the literature associated with organizational socialization as well as the concep tual and theoretical framework associated with this study.

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32 Table 1-1 Summary of Socialization/ Orientation Program/Activity by State. State Immediate Orientation Web Based Modules Formal Mentoring Program Formal Orientation Program Alabama X X Florida X X Georgia X X X Kentucky 2 6 weeks after hire X X Louisiana X Mississippi X North Carolina X X Oklahoma X South Carolina X X Tennessee X X Texas In planning X X X Virginia X X X X Data was obtained from professional development specialists in each state prior to the start of this research project. Those specialists include: R. Dollman, University of Alabama N. Place, University of Florida M. Blackburn, University of Georgia J. Mowbray, University of Kentucky D. Davis, Louisiana State University R. White, Mississippi State University M. Owens, North Carolina State University J. Martin, Oklahoma State University D. Baker, Clemson University R. Waters, University of Tennessee R. Luckey, Texas A & M L. Delp, Virginia Polytechnical Institute and State University

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33 CHAPTER 2 CONCEPTUAL AND THEORECTICAL FRAMEWORK According to Stephen Brown (1999), new e mploy ees are incompetent, not necessarily with respect to content knowledge but with respect to the organization. This chapter will present literature findings that focus on the concepts and theories of socialization and orientation both in extension and in the business community. This chapter will also present information on the importance of early socialization as well as the diffe rent types of research that can be associated with socialization. New employees want to feel that they play an important part in an organization and therefore, employers must make sure that proper employee socialization/orientation is undertaken (Mahaffee, 1999). Socialization is vi tal in getting new employees quickly on board and to feel like they are an integral part of an organization. While it can be assumed that the extension organization as a whol e understands that new agent so cialization/orientation and is vital, there is little research th at deals with new agent socializa tion and/orientation, especially research that is current. Extension work, and following the expressed mission of extension, relies heavily upon the extension agent, as with a ny job or employee. The effectiveness of the extension professional determines the succe ss or failure of an extension program. Successful completion of the formal organizatio nal socialization/orient ation experience has a number of favorable outcomes for both the employee and the organization. Organizations are able to add new, productive employees that accept the companys beliefs, values and attitudes, while the new employee is able to contribute to the organizations goals and objectives (Feldman, 1981).

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34 Research on Competencies W ithin the CES, there is little informati on published with respect to organizational socialization. However there is research that a ddresses competencies needed for new hires. What consists of a competency defined by Stone (1997) is the application of knowledge, technical skills, and personal characteristics that le ad to outstanding performance (p. 1) Stone and Bieber (1997) suggest that competen cies need to be used as a foundation for improved performance of CES personnel. Competen cy models are then used to identify those core skills and characteristics that are essent ial in extension work. Core competencies for extension professionals can in clude: understanding the vision, mission and goals of extension, understanding partnerships, program planning and evaluation, ethical behavior, networking, oral communication, in addition to knowledge and skills in programmatic areas (Owen, 2004). Traditionally, organizations rely on academic ac hievement to hire potential employees, while McClelland (1973) concluded that job selection and performan ce should be based on desired, observable behaviors, or competencies, instead of grades and/or academic achievements (Ayers & Stone, 1999). Many of those competencies are addressed within the organizational socialization concept (role clarity, co-worker support, politics, organizational goals and values). According to Gammon, Mohamed and Trede (1992) one of the most important issues within the cooperative extension serv ice with developing orientation and training is determining the needs of professionals in the field. It is agreed that Extension professionals have a very di verse position (Co oper & Graham, 2001) and that the number of competencies ex tension agents should possess have increased (Beeman, Cheek & McGhee, 1979). The Texas Ex tension Competency Model identifies organizational effectiveness as one of the six categories of competencies that agents need to possess (Stone, 1997; Stone & Coppernoll, 2004). This competency category includes

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35 understanding the mission and scope of the Cooperative Extension Service. Additionally, studies were conducted by Keita, and Luft in 1987, wh ich also listed extension philosophy and knowledge of the organization as an important competency needed by new extension professionals. Both of these aspects relate to ro le clarity or performance proficiency within the organizational socialization concept. Gibson and Hillison, (1994) conducted research on the training needs of existing ex tension faculty and identifie d necessary competencies. Dalton, Thompson and Price (1977) developed a career stage model for professional growth that was adapted by Rennekamp a nd Nall (1994) for the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. This model uses competenci es in defining areas of professional growth. According to Rennekamp and Nall, each stage in this four-stage model, includes a distinct set of motivators that can drive profe ssional development at that po int. Professional development specialists are able to use this model to assist with planning and implementing professional development programs and opportunities for extension professionals. In the career stage model, the entry stage is indeed classified, in part, by psychological dependency of the new employee on the employer, to make sure that those critical foundational skills or opportunities to gain professional competencies (under standing structure, function and culture of the organization) are made available to that new employee. Additional competencies that should be attained at the entry stage include attaining base-level sk ills (which corresponds to the domain of role clarity and performance profic iency in the socializatio n models), and building relationships with prof essional peers (the domai n of co-worker support). These are essential components of the socialization process for new employees and according to career stage model; it is difficult to move out of stage 1 (entry stage) until employees understand those key components that are sequential in nature.

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36 Kutilek, Gunderson and Conklin (2002) adapted and revised the career stage model into a systems approach using competencies defined in the model. Where a competency (or motivator) is listed, there is an organizat ional strategy developed to assist with gaining that identified competency. This is a multi-layered approach that adds structure to the career stage model and assists agents with addressing their professiona l development needs at any given stage, but especially those in the entry stage. Research in Mentoring In addition to com petency studies, there ar e studies that have been undertaken that specifically deal with mentoring of new extens ion agents (Kutilek & Earnest, 2001; Zimmer & Smith, 1992; Smith & Beckley, 1985). Kutilek et al. (2002) define a mentor as a trusted advisor, friend and teacher, and should be a peer who is a non-evaluator. Findings conclude that mentoring of new agents is indeed beneficial to the induction and soci alization of those new agents. According to Kutilek and Earnest ( 2001) mentoring and coach ing contribute to job satisfaction, increased productivity and employee tenure. This research concluded that mentoring increased new agents skills in program planning as well as understanding the political structure of extension. Mincemoyer and Thomson (1998) also completed a study on effective mentoring within the CES. Their definition of mentoring includes a senior member of the organization with advanced experience and knowledge who is comm itted to providing support to a new hire. For this study, mentors were not formally trained but did provide essential foundational skills, as well as co-worker support, another aspect of the organizational soci alization model. In a review of state 4-H mentoring programs around the nation, Safrit (2006) concluded that most states have a mentoring system in place for extension 4-H ag ents, either formal or informal, but it was reported that those existing mentorin g programs needed some changes.

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37 Research in Customer Satisfaction There are also studies th at link customer satisfaction with the satisfaction level of employees (Hallowell, Schlesinger & Zornitsky, 1996; Goldstein, 2003), especially in high contact service industries. Extension is one of those high service industri es where agents come into contact with clientele on a daily basi s (Chase, 1981). Organizations find that when employees are satisfied, customers are also more sa tisfied with the relationship that they have with that particular business or organization (Goldstein, 2003). Te rry and Israel (2004) point out, experience of employees and the level of staffing is key to the success of most organizations, and this concept is certainly true in extension. Dissati sfied employees make dispirited employees who dont perform optimally for the organization and who suffer personally through high levels of stress and frustration (Manton & van Es. 1985. pg. 1). Research on Organizational Soci aliz ation and Employee Turnover Organizational Socializa tion has also been broached from a number of other perspectives, one of those being research related to turnover of new employees (Louis, 1980). There are several studies that discuss the hi gh cost of turnover and the cost s associated with hiring a new employee. In the Texas Cooperative Extension Servic e, it is estimated that an agent whose salary is $30,000 could cost the organization between $7,200 to $30,000 in turnover costs per employee (Chandler, 2004). Kutilek (2000), in a study conduc ted at Ohio State Extension, concluded that Ohio extension lost approximately $80,000 each y ear due to agent turnover and prolonged vacancies. In addition, Pinkovitz, Moskal and Gr een (2001) estimate that the cost for hiring extension professionals is approximately $2,300, how ever those figures were used in 2001 and would be somewhat higher now. Just the cost of hi ring alone, not specific to extension, has been documented by Abassi and Hollman (2000) at approximately $4,000 per professional.

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38 There are also costs associated with vacancies, which can be tangible or intangible costs. The intangible costs include decreases in empl oyee satisfaction for those remaining, disruption of customer relations un til the job is filled, the costs from the disruption of workflow, and the erosion of morale (Abbasi, & Hollman, 2000). One estimate reveals that the cost of voluntary and involuntary employee turnover to American industry the find them lose them, replace them syndrome is about $11 billion a year (A bbasi & Hollman, p. 334). Ramlall (2004) also suggested that the average company loses $1 milli on with every ten professional employees that leave the company. Those figures were reported fr om a 1997 study and are ce rtainly significantly higher almost ten years later. One of the most si gnificant losses for organi zations is the loss of knowledge that comes with employee turnover. This is the knowledge that is used to meet the needs of clientele that is so vital to the mission of coopera tive extension (Ramlall, 2004). Research in Orientation and Socialization Even though there is lim ited research with respect to extension on orientation and socialization, there is much research dealing with new empl oyee orientation, induction, and socialization in the private sector ( Kainen, Begley, & Maggard, 1983; Ashforth, Sakes & Lee, 1998; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979). King and Sethi, (1998) suggest that socialization assists with role adjustment, or how well new professi onals cope with their newfound careers. Also, research has demonstrated that employees have a higher job satisfaction when their orientation is completed as early as possible (Bailey, 1993). Organizational socialization has been proven to increase organizational commitment and involvement in the job (Klein & Weaver, 2000) The induction/socialization period helps in shaping the new employee and helps employees to understand the mission of the organization, the rules and regulations, and acceptable cultural practices of that organization. King and Sethi (1998) show that socialization does affect professional role adjustment in information systems

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39 professions through their research study. Saks (1996) conducted research on training and socialization and worker outcomes finding that th e amount of training new professionals receives positively impacts job performance and co mmitment to the organization. Research available on the pro cess of organizational socializ ation is numerous. This type of research is concerned with understanding the different stages that a new employee passes through as s/he becomes a part of the orga nization (Chao, 1988; Feldman, 1976; Wanous, 1980). There are several stage models available fr om which to operate (Buchanan, 1974; Fisher, 1986; Wanous, 1992). These models incorporate four stages, which include: anticipation (pre entry), encounter (basic traini ng), adjustment (becoming integr ated) and stabilization (mutual acceptance of the organization). Although Ashforth, Sluss and Harrison (2007) stat e that these types of research have not attracted as much attention as of late due to the fa ct that there is little attention to how the change occurs and more associated with the sequence of the socialization. As Taormina also discusses (1997), stage models have been useful but do not take into account the socialization process, which is continuous and ongoing. Additionally, research on the content of socialization is al so available. This type of research deals primarily with what is actually learned by the newcomer during the socialization process (Fisher, 1986; Feldman, 1986). This concept is the basis for most organizational socialization models (Chao, OLeary-Kelly, Wo lf, Klein & Gardner, 1994; Saks & Ashforth, 1997). According to Ashforth (2007), socializati on content has been characterized in three related ways: (1) acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities; (2) as general adjustment (including role clarity); and (3) as effective support from various sources during the socialization process (e.g. Organization, gr oup, supervisor) (p. 17).

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40 Theoretical Framework There are several theories identified with or ganizational socializati on. Graens (1976) role m aking theory discusses that defining employee roles helps ensure that acceptable patterns of social behavior become establis hed, and assists employees with unde rstanding the culture of that organization. Becoming socialized to a new posi tion, especially in extension, where tenure and promotion are often tied to working with ot her professionals is es pecially important. An additional and important theory (cited in mo st socialization articles and research) that can be tied to new agent orient ation/ induction and socializati on is Van Maanen and Scheins, typology of socialization tactics (1979). Van Maanen and Schein proposed that organizations use at least six tactics to structure the socialization of new hires. T hose six tactics included collective versus individual (which involves common group experiences fo r new employees); collective versus individual (which i nvolves grouping new employees t ogether for common learning experiences and programs); formal versus in formal (which involves separating the new employees from those within the organization for orientation program s); sequential versus random (involving new employees in a series of soci alization experiences); fixed versus variable (following a set time table when moving newcomers from one experience to another); serial versus disjunctive (learning the job roles and responsibilities from a mentor, supervisor or coworker), and investiture versus divestiture (affirming the new employees role within the organization). Van Maanen and Schein also stated that those socialization tactics could be used within any organization where there are individual careers (Ashforth, Saks, & Lee, 1998). Institutionalized socialization en courages tactics that include co llective learning that is formal, sequential, fixed, serial, versus individual socialization where the new employee is left to fend for himself (Ashforth, Sluss & Harrison, 2007) As reported by Saks and Ashforth (1997),

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41 institutional socialization is associated with higher job satisfaction, organizational commitment, higher performance proficiency a nd higher retention rate than individual socialization. Socialization Models Socialization m odels are vari ed but most have similar or common basic components or domains associated with them (Taormina, 1997; Chao et al., 1994). The first component or domain of organizational socialization can be termed role clarity. Role clarity, or performance proficiency, is defined as the development of job-related skills and abilities (Taormina, 1997). Feldman (1981) stated, No matte r how motivated the employee, without enough job skills there is little chance of success (p. 313). However, as Gonzalez (1982) stated, mastery of the knowledge alone does not insure that the individual can successfully apply what he has learned (p. 40). It is very important that individuals develop the proper ab ilities, as well as the attitudes and behaviors necessary to carry out their professional roles. The second component/domain of organizatio nal socialization is co-worker support. Establishing successful relationship with co-workers and other organizational members plays a pivotal role in the socialization process. Furthermore, Fisher (1986) suggested that finding the right person from whom to learn about the organi zation is also important in the socialization process of the new hire. Co-wor ker support is essentia l within extension, where promotion and permanent status can be directly tied to team work and ability to work productively with coworkers. A third component/ domain of organizational socialization is unde rstanding the politics, language, and history of the or ganization. Learning and understanding the formal and informal work relationships and power structures within the organization increases the success of the individual (Louis, 1980). Learning the correct organizational jargon as sists with the basic

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42 organizational-specific language in order to comprehend information and communication from others. A fourth component of socialization at the organizational leve l is learning and understanding organizational goals and values. Thes e goals and values incl ude the understanding of the rules and principals, the unwritten and informal goals and values held dear by the organization and those in powerful and contro lling positions. Understanding goals and values also link the individual to the larger organization, beyond their immediate job and work environment (Chao, Oleary-Kelly, Klein & Gardner, 1994). A fifth component/domain of organizational socialization newly defined by Taormina (1997) is future prospects. Fu ture prospects relates to how a new employee perceives their future within the organization, which includes perception about raises, promotions and job security. The addition of this relatively new domain can be substantiated using current research conducted by Taormina (1997) as well as research which identifies free agents and generation Xers as looking for jobs that offer them the opportunity for the growth they need to maintain their employability (Opengart, 2002). The term f ree agent applies to this new type of employee, or further classified by using the term generation Xers though not all free agents may be generation Xers. Opengart (2002) defines the term free agent as either high potential employees, high tech employees and younger employ ees. Generation Xers fall in to the category of younger employee. According to Knott (1999) generation Xer s are defined as those born between 1961 and 1981, though those born at the bottom end of that spectrum may not necessarily consider themselves to be gener ation Xers. Typically the free agent looks for opportunities to learn knowledge and skills that will assist them in further employment. Opengart

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43 suggests that employers offer opportunity for gr owth and learning to a ttract those types of employees. The findings of the study conducted on the free agents suggests that continuous learning in the workplace as a key component to achieving their goal of retaining employment for the duration of their careers is vital in being able to attract top candidates. Typically, the free agent values freedom and lifelong learning and opportunities to apply that lifelong learning (Opengart, 2002). Taking into account the current re search on this type of employee, this model best fits this study. Conceptual Model The m odel that fits best into this research study is the m odel designed by Taormina (1997), which encompasses four domains of organizatio nal socialization. Those four domains include: (1) training, (2) understanding, (3) coworker support, and (4) future prospects (Figure 21). As Taormina (1997) discusses, these four domains encompass both content and process, are continuous, and are different for each employee at each different level. The first domain is labeled training which includes learning job related skills and ab ilities. Training is defined as the act, process or method by which one acquires any type of functional skill or ability that is required to perform a specific job. (Taormina, p. 31). There is both formal and informal training involved with this domain. Formal training would be those trainings orga nized and carried out by the organization (workshops, in-ser vice trainings, formal orientation programs, etc) to enhance job skills, while informal traini ng can be classified as any unstructured way a newcomer learns job skills. These skills can be learned in a va riety of ways including observation or trial and error. As training is considered a dom ain of organizational socialization, Taormina discusses that this training should be provided by the organization and should be a process that is experienced by the employees. Training is important and, as stated by Gonzalez (198 2), mastery of the

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44 knowledge alone does not insure that the individual can successfully apply what he has learned (p. 40). It is also important to remember that training is a continuous process and may have a beginning, for a new hire, but does not have an e nd. Life-long learning has been proven to be a high motivator in the retention of employees. Fourman and Jones (1977), describe Herzbergs theory of vertical job enrichment which helps to support positive attitudes towards work. They contend that one of the key i ssues in human resource manageme nt, and professional development specialists, is motivating the workforce. Vertical job enrichment adds more authority, accountability, degree of difficulty and specializ ation to an individuals work. By doing so, motivational factors such as responsibility, ach ievement, growth and learning, advancement and recognition are further developed (Fourman & Jones, 1977, p. 1). The second domain included in this organizational socialization model is understanding. Understanding is the power or ability to apply concepts based on having a clear idea of the nature, significance or explanat ion of something. (Taormina, p. 34). In other words, understanding consists of the extent of which an employee can apply knowledge of the job, the organization, the histor y, culture and values or th e organization. Understanding especially the history, culture and values of an organization assist s the newcomer with understanding what behavior is appropriate a nd inappropriate in specific circumstances according to the culture of the organization. Fi sher (1986) emphasizes that understanding the organizational history is also a means of l earning key organizational principles. Chao et al. (1994) discovered that understanding the history of the organization was positively correlated with job tenure and orga nizational commitment. Understanding can also be a dir ect reflection of information s eeking. Past studies show that information seeking, engaging in proactive be haviors to learn about role clarity, and

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45 organizational principles, are pos itively related to attitudes, performance and organizational adjustment (Holder, 1996; Ostroff & Kozlowski, 1993). Social information seeking was found related to overall social in tegration into the organizati on (Morrison, 1993) as well as understanding appropriate and inappropria te social behavior (Chatman, 1991). The third domain in this m odel is co-worker support. Co-w orker support is defined as the emotional, moral or instrumental sustenan ce which is provided without financial obligation by other employees in the organization in whic h one works with the objective of alleviating anxiety, fear or doubt (Taormina, p. 37). Crit ical aspects of co-worker support include emotional and moral support. Co-workers can in clude peers, mentors, and other employees within the organization (supervis ors). Successful socialization i nvolves learning how to establish positive relationships with co-workers. Finding th e right person to assist the new employee to learn about the organization, politic s, and job roles and responsibili ties is also key to successful socialization (Fisher, 1986). Ment ors are often used within orga nizations to assist newcomers with job adjustment through advice, additional training, and assisti ng with the establishment of a social support network (Kram, 1988). Mentors, as the research suggests, assist new employees with the adjustment into the new work e nvironment within their organization (Lankau &Scandura, 2002; Wanberg, 2003). In extension, where promotion and tenure (or permanent status) is often dependant on coworkers and peer groups, it is important that thos e new hires establish positive social networks and relationships among their peer groups and coll eagues. Working in teams and groups is an organizational value of Cooperative Extension. Po sitive relationships wi th co-workers also reduce the amount of stress on the job and assist with having more positive feelings about coworkers and the job itself (Taormina, 1997). Ka ufmann and Beehr (1986) c oncluded that social

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46 support is a moderator of a high stress job. In other words, stressful job situ ations have less of an impact on an employee if there is a positive social network within that organization. The fourth domain of organization socializ ation is future prospects. Taormina (1997) defines future prospects as t he extent to which an employ ee anticipates having a rewarding career within his or he r employing organization (p.40). Basica lly, this domain relates to new employees perception of future promotions, future salary potential, awards and recognition, and their overall perception a bout their tenure within the organi zation. This domain can also be associated with the commitment of an individu al to stay within an organization. Buchanan (1974) described three components of commitment, which include: 1) the individuals ability to adopt the goals and values of the organization, 2) the psychological involvement of an individual to his or her work role and 3) the feeling of loyalty, or attachment to the organization. Buchanan studied commitment in managers and discove red that job achieveme nt and hierarchical advancement were significant aspects of orga nizational commitment. Perception of future prospects includes job achievement and advancem ent potential within an organization. An underlying assumption here is that employees may choose to leave an organization that they perceive is not providing a re warding environment which suppor ts their careers (Taormina, 1997) Summary In summary, there is much literature avai lable that supports orga nizational socialization from a number of different aspects. Extensi on work, and following the expressed mission of extension, relies heavily upon the extension agen t and the effectiveness of the extension professional determines the success or failure of an extension program therefore completion of the formal socialization experience has a numbe r of favorable outcomes for both the employee and the organization.

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47 Literature is also available that supports the need to retain extension agents as well as the dollar value when those employees leave the organi zation. In addition, there is research available that identifies competencies needed for extension agents in order for those agents to be able to positively impact the clientele that they serve. The organizational socialization model that wi ll be used for this study was developed by Taormina (1997) and includes four domains; training, understanding, co-worker support and future prospects. This model best fits the ex tension organization as explained in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 will present the research design and methodology proposed for this study as well as identifies participants, and discusses da ta collection and data analysis by objectives.

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48 Figure 2-1 Taorminas Organiza tional Socialization Model. Source Taormina (1997)

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49 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY Introduction This chapter describes the population, design, instrumentation, data collection procedures and statistical data analysis of this research study. This study was conducted to compare how new extension agents in the southern region perc eive their degree of orga nizational socialization and job satisfaction. In addition, seven (7) fo rmal methods of socializing/orienting new employees at the organizational level have b een identified (formal and informal mentors, immediate orientation, non immediate orient ation, web based module orientation, County Extension Director orientati on, and discussion with co-worke rs) and a comparison of those programs with level of job satis faction was studied to examine if any of the organizational socialization methods employed by states made a difference in job satisfaction of those new employees. The research objectives of th is study are as follows: Objective 1 : Gather demographic data on new exte nsion agents in each state including: months on the job, programmatic area, and other professional positions held prior to gaining employment with the extension service. Objective 2: Determine perceived level of organiza tional socialization of new extension hires using OSI. Objective 3: Determine perceived level of job satis faction of new extension hires using aJIG. Objective 4: Compare the perceived level of or ganizational social ization with job satisfaction to examine if perceived level of or ganizational socialization impacts job satisfaction, and examine the possible relationship of orga nizational socializati on and job satisfaction.

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50 Objective 5: Compare job satisfaction with type of organizational socialization taking place; (1) formal mentor, (2) informal, self sel ected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program (within three months after hire), (4) formal orientation program af ter three months of hire, (5) web-based modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with CED/immediate supervisor and (7) discussing job expectati ons and duties with co-workers; to examine if any method employed by states made an impact in job satisfaction of those new agents. In addition, compare the number of organizational socialization methods participated in by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction. Research Design The primary design of this study was descrip tive in nature and is considered a singlemethod survey research design as defined by Ary, Jacobs and Razavieh (2002). The study sought to examine the perceived level of organizati onal socialization and pe rceived level of job satisfaction of new extension agents in the southern region. In addition, this study design employed correlation research methods to explore any possible relationship in methods of socializing of new extension faculty and job satisfaction. The researcher used a web-based, questionnaire instrument to collect data from identified population. Instrumentation The data in this study was collected in the form of responses to questions using an internet survey. The researched developed a questionnaire instrum ent consisting of four components; (1) questions related to demographics of particip ants, (2) one question to identify the primary methods that were used to socialize new agents within their organizations. One check all that apply question was used to identify those met hods of organizational so cialization identified by states professional development sp ecialists, (3) the OSI, used to measure perceived level of organizational socialization and (3) the aJIG which measures job satisfaction. The researcher

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51 submitted the survey instrument to the University of Floridas Institutional Review Board (Appendix A) and was a pproved (Appendix B). The study included two instruments that have b een previously used as study instruments; the first measured organizational socialization, and the second, job satisfaction. For this study, there were two measures of organi zational socialization available that were similar in nature, The Organizational Socializa tion Inventory (OSI), developed by R. J. Taormina, and Content Area of Socialization (CAS) developed by Chao et al. (1994). Both research in struments have practical applications for the human resource manage r, both can assess how well organizational socialization programs are working within an organization, and both assess not only newcomers but also assess the socializa tion of organizational members at any time during employment. According to Taormina (2004), both measures are comparable, however the CAS is a more specific measure and the OSI a more general me asure of organizationa l socialization. This implies that the OSI can be used for more gene ral purposes in a wide va riety of organizational settings (p. 91). In addition, the CAS contains six domains (which correspond to three of four of the OSI domains), but does not co ntain the fourth domain describe d in the model being used for this study, future prospects. Future prospects assess the employees long -term view with the organization, such as his or her anticipation of continued employment in and the rewards offered by the organization (Taormina, 2004, p. 78). It is felt from the review of literature that the fourth domain, future prospects, is important fo r this study and therefore, the OSI was used in place of the CAS. R.J. Taormina provided permission for the OSI to be used in this study (Appendix D). The OSI is a twenty-item scale instrument w ith four subscales or domains (Appendix I). The four subscales (domains) are: 1. training, 2. understand ing, 3. co-worker support and, 4.

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52 future prospects. A 5-point Likert scale was us ed with the OSI, ranging from 1 (strongly agree) to 5 (strongly disagree). There were five questions dealing with training, five questions that dealt with understanding, five that rela ted to co-worker support and five that related to the future prospects domain. This instrument has been tested for reliability and validity in a wide variety of organizations and with a diverse group of employees. The second instrument that was used was the Abridged Job Descriptive Index (aJDI), developed by P.C. Smith, Kendall & Hulin in 196 9 and revised several times during the years, most recently in 1997. The aJDI was designed to measure the construct of job satisfaction, how the employee feels about their job (Kinicki, Sc hriesheim, McKee-Ryan & Carson, 2002) and is reported to be used more frequently than a ny other job satisfactory measure (Rain, Lane & Steiner, 1991). The aJDI is also considered one of the most reliable and valid measurements of job satisfaction (Roznowski, 1989; Kinicki et al. 2002). The aJDI includes items that pertain to satisfaction with co-workers, pa y, promotions, supervision and wo rk. The aJDI uses a 3-point response scale of either No, Yes, or ? fo r not sure (Appendix H). Permission to use the JDI was obtained from JDI Research Group; Bow ling Green State Univer sity (Appendix C). In addition to the two surveys described above, participants were also asked to indicate their major programmatic area, th e number of months that they have been employed in their current job, their state associa tion, previous extension employment, and orientation programs participated in. Objective 1. Gather demographic data on new exte nsion agents in each state including: months on the job, programmatic area, and other professional positions held prior to gaining employment with the extension service.

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53 The researcher used four demographic questi ons to be answered by participants. Those questions included, (1) major pr ogrammatic area, (2) number of months employed in current position, (3) state employed, and (4) previous extension employment. The purpose of these questions was to gain insight into participants and use demographic data to examine if months of extension had an impact on any of th e other components of the survey. Objective 2. Examine the perceived level of organi zational socializati on of new extension hires using the Organizational Socialization Index (OSI). The OSI consists of twenty quest ions and includes questions re lated to the four domains of organizational socialization, five questions for each domain. Th e question type was a 5-point Likert scale, one (1) indicated strongly agree, three (3) indicated neithe r agree nor disagree, and five (5) indicated strongly disagr ee. The Likert scale was re-coded at the end of the analysis (1= strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). Descriptive statistics were used to determine sub-score for each of the four domains of organizational socialization, as identified by Taorminas model of organizational socialization (training, understanding, co-worker support, and future prospects). In addition, a total organizational so cialization score was ca lculated and reported. This total score was also used to achieve Objective 4. Objective 3. Examine the perceived level of job sa tisfaction of new extension hires using Abridged Job in General Measurement (aJIG) instrument. The aJIG was utilized to determine perceived level of job satisfacti on of participants. The aJIG contains a series of 20 questions in the following categories: work on present job, present pay, opportunities for promotion, an d supervision. The questions are measured, yes, no and not sure, and were ordered exactly as the original survey. Each of these questions was

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54 analyzed separately, and then a combined job sa tisfaction score was calculated to determine a total score which was used for analysis in Objective 4. Objective 4. Compare the perceived level of or ganizational socialization with job satisfaction to examine if perceived level of or ganizational socialization impacts job satisfaction, and examine the possible relationship of organi zational socialization and job satisfaction. Comparisons were made between the total scor es of the OSI and aJIG by use of a Pearson correlation coefficient and correlations were vi ewed collectively in a correlation matrix to determine if organizational socializati on and job satisfaction are correlated. Objective 5. Compare job satisfaction with type of organizational socialization taking place; (1) formal mentor, (2) informal, self sel ected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program (within three months after hire), (4) formal orientation program after three months of hire, (5) web-based modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with CED/immediate supervisor and (7) discussing job expecta tions and duties with co-workers; to examine if there are differences in methods and job satisfaction. In addition, compare the number of organizational socialization methods participated in by new ag ents with respect to their job satisfaction To examine the impact of socialization/orie ntation methods employed by the organizations to participants perceived level of job satisfaction, a one-way analysis of variance was conducted to on all seven (7) levels of the variable to determine what proportion of the variance in job satisfaction was associated with each different method of organizational socialization and which method may prove to impact job satisfaction. One question was used to determine which methods were used with particip ants and participants were asked to check all that apply for this question.

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55 Objective 6: Compare the number of organizational so cialization methods participated in by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction. A way one ANOVA was conducted to determ ine if the number of organizational socialization methods new agents participated in had any im pact on job satisfaction. Three groups were identified by use of the histogram displayed in Chapter 3 and three (3) levels, or groups, were identified (Figure 3 1). Reliability and Validity of the Instruments The OSI contains twenty questions, with each identified domain having five questions associated. The OSI has been tested for reliabil ity and validity and as Taormina (1997) reported, the OSI was designed for use in most types of organizations, and the original Chronbach alpha reliabilities had values of .76 or higher for each of the five domains and a .90 for the overall scale. The aJDI and aJIG has also been test ed for reliability (Roznowski, 1989; Ironson, Brannick, Smith, Gibson and Pa ul, 1989; Kinicki et al, 2002) and JDI associates are continuously updating their data and measurement instrument to be ab le to be used within a wide variety of organizations. Population The population studied consisted of all new ex tension agents with si x (6) months to 18 months of time on the job in twelve states in th e southern region. The parameter of six months to eighteen months was selected as it was surmised that agents with less than six months of experience may not have had enoug h experience in answering these questions, and agents with more than eighteen months of experience are no l onger considered new. States with mentoring programs (Texas, Mississippi, etc.) discontinue the formal mentoring program after agents reach twelve months of employment.

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56 In order to gather a sampling frame, each st ates professional development specialist was contacted via email to determine approximate nu mbers of new agents fitting into the above category for this study. The breakdown, by state, of the number of new agents that fit w ithin that category is shown in Table 3-1. There were a to tal of three hundred and forty nine (349) new extension agents that were identi fied and invited to participate. Twenty eight of those that were identified by state professional development speciali sts were deleted from th e list due to the fact that those agents didnt fit into the prescribed category of months on the jo b (15 participants), or had already left the job (13 participants), for a total of three hundred and twenty one (321) potential participants. All fifteen agents that did not fit into the proper nu mber of months emailed the researcher and their names were removed from the survey group list. It was decided to use the entire population of new agents (census study ) so that participants involved in this study would remain anonymous and an appropriate re sponse rate (over 60%) would be obtained. Independent Variable(s) In this study, the independent variable m easured was the methods employed by the organization to socialize new em ployees. Those methods include: 1. Having an assigned formal mentor. 2. Self selecting an informal mentor. 3. Attending new agent orientation immediately after being hired (with in three months). 4. Attending new agent orientation three months or more after being hired. 5. Using orientation and training web modules. 6. Meeting with the County Extension Director to review job expectations and duties. 7. Working with co-workers to discuss job duties an d expectations. 8. Not participating in any of the above. The study looked for the relations hip between the dependant va riable, job satisfaction, and the participation in any or al l of the socialization methods employed by the organization. In addition, the decision was made, after analyzing all methods together, to then separate each

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57 method and examine those seven identified met hods as separate independent variables to determine if there was an impact on any of the different methods on job satisfaction. Data Collection The researcher used a web-based program, Zoomerang to disseminate the questionnaire to participants and f acilitate data collection. It was decided to use this method for several reasons; the low cost to develop and disseminate the survey, uncomplicat ed distribution, ease of return for participants, and ease of data retrie val. Dillman (2000) listed several limitations to using an internet survey ; respondents may not have a computer, in ternet access, or feel that they are confident enough to use an inte rnet based survey. However, th is researcher concluded that most extension agents have access to computers, the internet, and are comfortable using an internet survey format as most agents hold at least a Bachelors Degree and do extensive work using computers. The measurement instrument was developed using the two surveys discussed above, as well as the demographic question, a question on methods of organizational socialization participated in as well as a comments sect ion, and made available to participants on the Zoomerang web site. State program development specialists identified participants and an email list was submitted to the researcher from twel ve states in the southern region. Dillmans methodology (2000) was used as a guide in desi gning this study. As Dillman recommends, participants were sent an em ail announcing the study, providing de tails on nature of the study, the use of the data, instructions for completi ng the study instruments, IRB information, and an invitation to participate. The email also cont ained contact information of researcher and committee chair ,a brief personal introduction by researcher and the subject heading From a Colleague to help prevent pa rticipants from deleting this as junk mail. In addition, information on how to link to the questionnai re was provided. (Appendix E). The researcher

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58 personally self addressed each email to participan ts and provided a personal code they were asked to include on Question 1, so that they c ould be checked off a participant list. Each participant received the same introductory em ail with individual participant code. Researcher emailed a reminder to participan ts who did not respond after a 2-week period, again using the same method as above and Surve y Reminder in the subject line (Appendix F). An additional follow up was sent to non-responden ts four weeks after th e initial correspondence (Appendix G) with email the subject heading L ast Chance to Participate. The researcher addressed the third email in exactly the same way as the first and second emails, with the same information included. In addition, a random sample of five non part icipants were called a nd asked to take the survey by phone to determine if there was any difference between those that responded to the survey on line, and those that did not. Those pa rticipants were selected using a random number generator. With this process, an adequate response rate of 75.07% was attained (241 respondents out of 321 possible participants). Data was stored in the Zoomerang data management system, retrieved into an Excel spread sheet, and then converted to an SPSS file at the conclusion of the survey phase of this project. The time frame for the data collection was as follows: First email and invitation to participate May 29, 30, 31 2007 First reminder June 13, 14, 15 2007 Final Reminder June 27, 28, 29 2007 Phone calls to non respondents August 1, 2 2007 Emails were sent individually by the researcher and two to three days were allowed to send and resend survey information due to the la rge numbers of potential participants.

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59 Data Analysis To analyze the first objective, descrip tive statistics were used to summarize the demographic data (state, program area, and othe r professional extension job experiences) and consisted of means, rankings, frequencies and percentages. SPSS Version 12 was utilized for all calculations. In addition, descriptiv e statistics were used to determine scores for perceived level of organizational socialization, as well as job satisfaction. Also, analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare means and examine the i ndependent variable (training methods) on the dependant variable (job satisfaction) and, numbe r of organizational soci alization methods new agents participated in. Controlling for Missing Data Utilizing Zoomerang has a distinct advantage over tr aditional mail surveys as the researcher can control for missing data. The survey was developed so that each question had to be answered in order to proceed to the next question and to complete the survey. Each question did allow the participant to select a non threateni ng answer (examples: I prefer not to answer, not sure, etc.) as one of the choices to assist with completion of the survey and address any concerns participants had about answer ing the different questions. Data Analysis by Objective The objectives stated in Chapter 1 were measured using the fo llowing statistics: Objective 1. Gather demographic data on new extensi on agents in each state including: major program area, months on the job, current state of employment, and other professional extension positions held prior to gaining empl oyment with their current extension service. Procedure. Participants were asked for demogra phic information included on the survey. SPSS was utilized to describe means, frequencies, and percentages. In addition, a table showing the total number of agents in the southern region is included for comparison (Table 3-2). Those

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60 numbers were obtained by either professional development specialis ts or the states extension web site, noted on the table. Objective 2. Examine the perceived level of organi zational socializati on of new extension hires using the OSI. Procedure. Participants were asked a series of twenty questions using a five-point Likert type scale with 1 (strongly agre e) to 5 (strongly disagree). Ea ch question was analyzed using descriptive statistics; frequency and percent we re reported for each item. Items were re-coded after survey was completed (1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). According to Borg and Gall (1983), Likert type scales are the most commonly used scales for the measurement of attitudes and perceptions. This scale was also recommended by Taormina (1997). Each domain was analyzed and a domain score was obtained for each of the four organizational socialization domains. In addition, a combined organizational socialization sc ore was then determined from the responses to the instrument. That combin ed score is reported as mean, and standard deviation, and was used to comple te the analysis in Objective 4. A Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated and correlations were viewed collectively in a correlation matrix to determine if there wa s a relationship between an y of the four domains of organizational socialization (knowledge, training, co-worker s upport and future prospects) and a total score was calculated for organizational socialization. It was also decided to examine the months of extension employment and the OSI to determine if months of extension had any rela tionship to the four domains of organizational socialization. Objective 3. Examine the perceived level of job satis faction of new extension hires using aJIG instrument.

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61 Procedure. Scores were calculated using SPSS Versi on 12 to determine individual scores for each of the twenty questions relating to job satisfaction. Qu estions were ranked as Yes = 2, No = 1 and Not Sure = 1.5. Each question was anal yzed using descriptive statistics and reported as frequency and percent. In addition, a to tal job satisfaction score was determined for participants and reported again as mean and standa rd deviation. This total score was also used in the analysis of Objective 4. Objective 4. Compare the perceived level of orga nizational socialization with job satisfaction to examine if perceived level of or ganizational socialization impacts job satisfaction, and examine the possible relationship of orga nizational socializati on and job satisfaction. Procedure. A Pearson correlation coefficient was cal culated and correlations were viewed collectively in a correlation ma trix to examine a possible rela tionship between organizational socialization and job satisfaction using the total scores from the OSI and aJIG. Objective 5. Compare job satisfaction with type of organizational socialization taking place; (1) formal mentor, (2) informal, self sel ected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program (within three months after hire), (4) formal orientation program after three months of hire, (5) web-based modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with CED/immediate supervisor and (7) discussing job expecta tions and duties with co-workers; to examine if there are differences in methods and job satisfaction. Also, compare the number of organizational socialization methods new agents participated in to determine if the number of methods impact job satisfaction. Procedure. To examine if any method of socialization makes a difference in job satisfaction, all seven (7) levels of the variable (methods of orga nizational socialization), were combined and analyzed using one way ANOVA. In addition, each method was then treated as a

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62 separate variable and analyzed using a one way between-group analysis of variance that controlled for months of extension. This was undertaken to explore the imp act of job satisfaction and the different organizational socialization method employed by the states within the southern region to assist with determining if any of the di fferent individual methods made an impact in job satisfaction. Objective 6: Compare the number of organizational so cialization methods participated in by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction Procedure: Using an additional one way ANOVA to determine if the number of organizational socialization methods that individual new agents pa rticipated in made an impact on job satisfaction, agents were combined into three (3) groups, based on the findings of a histogram (Figure 3 -1 ). Group one (1) were those new agents that participated in one (1) to three (3) methods of organizational socialization, group two (2) indicated that they participated in four (4) methods, and group thre e (3) participated in five to seven methods of organizational socialization. Non-response Error According to Lindner, Murphy, and Briers (2 001), there are three m ethods for handling non response error. Those methods include: 1. Comparison of early to late responders. 2. Using days to respond as a regression variable, and 3. Comparison of respondents to non respondents. Lindner, et al. (2001), suggest that with less than an 85% response rate, additional procedures need to be implemented for handling non response issues. For this study, method 1 was employed, comparison of early to late respondents. A random sample of five (5) nonrespondents were surveyed by telephone, and res ponses were added to the existing data bank contained on Z oomerang All Zoomerang data was listed in r esponse order, from early to late

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63 respondents, and the five telephone survey par ticipants were added to the bottom of the Zoomerang data list (late respondents). Lindne r and Wingenback (2002), suggest a minimum of 20 respondents to use when comparing early to la te respondents. It was decided to use twentyfive late respondents, those five agents called were combined with 20 of the last group of respondents and twenty five of th e earliest respondents were use d. Data was analyzed comparing late responders with early responde rs on variables of interest. T hose included total OSI score, total aJIG score and programmatic area. T-te sts indicated no significant differences between early and late respondents on the total OSI. Total OSI sc ore of early respondents ( M = 76.04, SD = 10.90), late respondents ( M = 75.76, SD = 10.94), t (48) = .091. Total aJIG scores of early respondents ( M = 34.08 SD = 4.16), later respondents ( M = 34.44, SD = 3.76), t (48) = -.32. It was, therefore, concluded th at results could be generali zed to the population and that nonresponse was not a threat to the validity of this study. Summary This chapter provided an overview on selection of participants, number of potential participants for the study, and number of total respondents. In strumentation and the reasoning behind the selection of the OSI over the CAS were al so discussed as well as the use of the aJIG to measure job satisfaction in new agents. In ad dition, this chapter disc usses how participants were selected, contacted and dist ribution of survey instrument. Zoomerang a web based survey program, was used to facilitate the dissemination of the survey instrument for this study. Zoomerang is an easy to use survey instrument design tool, which allowed data to be collect ed and placed in a data management system for easy retrieval into SPSS. This allowed the researcher to have data collected directly by computer and not by hand, minimizing possible research bias issues.

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64 Six objectives were measured using a variety of statistical methods. Those objectives were: (1) to gather demographic data on new extension employees, (2) examine perceived level of organizational socialization of new hires using OSI, (3) examine perceived level of job satisfaction of new hires using the aJIG; (4) Compare organizational socialization with job satisfaction to determine if th ere is a correlation; (5) Examin e the differences between each method of organizational socialization and expl ore the impact of job satisfaction with each different method used, and (6) Compare the num ber of organizational socialization methods participated in by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction.

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65 Table 3-1 Number of New Agents With 6 to 18 Months of Extension Experience. States Alabama 11 Florida 44 Georgia 37 Kentucky 40 Louisiana 13 Mississippi 11 North Carolina 50 Oklahoma 13 South Carolina 11 Tennessee 12 Texas 36 Virginia 43 Total for Southern Region 321

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66 Table 3-2 Total Number of Agents By Programmatic Area. From State Extension Web Site From Professional development specialist ** State Programmatic Area 4-H Ag.Natural Res. Hort.F.C.S. Other Alabama 37 2116627 18 Florida 81 682158101 11 Georgia 86 1055862 12 Kentucky 128 117225120 2 Louisiana 100 91162395 18 Mississippi 65 4221769 35 North Carolina** 91 116145599 85 Oklahoma 53 600670 18 South Carolina ** 40 32132414 13 Tennessee 80 1030392 21 Texas ** 79 2291220200 27 Virginia* 90 49371952 3 Total Number 930 10331382641001 263 Total Percent 25.7% 28.4 %3.8%7.3%27.6% 7.2%

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67 Figure 31. Number of Organizational Socialization Methods Participated In

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68 CHAPTER 4 PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF DATA This chapter presents a detailed analysis of data collected during this study. A summary of the study design is followed by discussion of th e research objectives identified in Chapter 3. Included in this chapter are extensive descriptive statistics of participants, including demographic data; scores for the four domains of organizational socialization, as well as total organizational socialization score; perceived le vel of job satisfaction of new ex tension agents, a comparison of organizational socialization and j ob satisfaction, and an examination of the different methods of organizational socialization/orie ntation and job satisfaction. In addition, a summary of answers from an open ended question on the survey is also included. Five research objectives have been identified and the results of those objects are presen ted in this chapter. Summary of the Study Design This study involved collecting data by use of Internet survey research methods to measure research objectives. Th e population consisted of thr ee hundred and twenty one (321) new extension agents in twelve (12) states within the southern region of the United States. Two hundred and forty-one (241) new agents responded to the survey with a response rate of 75.07%. New agents considered in the population had be tween six months and eighteen (18) months of current employment on the job. Two survey questi onnaires were used for this research study, the OSI and aJIG. Additional questions were also asked that pertained to participant demographics. One open-ended comment question was also incl uded in the survey instrument to gather qualitative data on participants and their experiences with the four domains of organizational socialization as well as gain insight on a dditional issues related to job satisfaction. Zoomerang an online survey development software system was utilized to develop and distribute the survey instrument to participants. All data was analyzed using the Statistical

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69 Package for Social Science Research, version 12 and was downloaded from the Zoomerang data base management system into an excel documen t and then, transferred to SPSS for analysis. Statistical Analysis of Research Objectiv es As discussed in Chapter 1, this study wa s designed to examine the perception of new extension professionals le vel of organizational soci alization with respect to job skills and duties (training domain), co-worker suppo rt, politics of the organization, the history and culture of the organization (organizational knowledge domain), and future job prospects using the OSI. In addition, this study was designed to examine per ceived level of job satisfaction using JDI Research Groups Abridged Job in General Scale (aJIG). The perceived level of organizational socialization and job satisfaction were co mpared, and finally, the seven methods of organizational socialization employed by the diffe rent states were examined using one-way ANOVA and linear regression. ANOVAs were used to determine if any of the methods employed impacted job satisfaction, and linear regression was employed to analyze any possible differences in the number of methods a new agent participated and their perceived level of job satisfaction. Specific objectives of this study were to: 1. Gather demographic data on new extension agents in each state including: months on the job, programmatic area, and other profe ssional positions held prior to gaining employment with the extension service. 2. Determine perceived level of organizational socialization of new extension hires using OSI. 3. Determine perceived level of job satisfac tion of new extension hires using aJIG. 4. Compare the perceived level of organizationa l socialization with job satisfaction to examine if perceived level of organizationa l socialization impact s job satisfaction, and examine the possible relationship of organi zational socialization and job satisfaction. 5. Compare job satisfaction with type of orga nizational socialization taking place; (1) formal mentor, (2) informal, self selected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program (within three months after hire ), (4) formal orientation pr ogram after three months of hire, (5) web-based modules, (6) Discu ssing job expectations and duties with

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70 CED/immediate supervisor and (7) discussi ng job expectations and duties with coworkers; to examine if any method employed by states made an impact in job satisfaction of those new agents. 6. Compare the number of organizational social ization methods participated in by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction. A detailed analysis and discussion of the relevant data follows: Objective 1: Gather demographic data on new extens ion agents in each state including: months on the job, programmatic area, and other professional extension positions held prior to gaining employment with the current employer. The largest categories of new professionals have been employed in their current positions between 16 18 months (32.4%), and between 9 to 12 months on the job (31.5%). 19.9% of participants had between 13 and 15 months on the job, while16.2% had 6 months to 8 months on the job (Table 4-1). With respect to programmatic area, as indi cated, 32.8% of new agents were in the 4-H youth development programmatic area, 22.8% of agen ts indicated that agri culture was the main programmatic area, 18.7% were family and cons umer science agents, 10.8% were horticulture agents and 5.4% indicated their main progr ammatic area was natura l resources. 9.5% of participants indicated other which include a split progr ammatic appointment, including those agents with a 50% 4-H and other (FCS, hor ticulture, and agriculture); EPNEP (Expanded Nutrition Education Program) and Sea Grant, an d those considered to be 100% CED/immediate supervisor (Table 4-2). In comparison to this, using the total number of agents employed within the southern region, 25.7% were considered 4-H, 28.4% were ag riculture agents, 3.8% we re listed as natural

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71 resource agents, 27.6% Family and Consumer Sc iences, and 7.2% were other (as defined above) and can be seen in Table 4-3. In addition, 89.2% of new professionals indicate d that they had not held another position within extension prior to obtaining their current extension position; this was their first professional extension position. Objective 2: Examine perceived level of organizational socialization of new extension hires using the OSI. Each of the twenty questions was analyzed se parately, and combined scores of each of the four domains were totaled to obtain a domain score. A Pearson Correlation was then conducted to explore the strength of the relationship between the four or ganizational socialization domains (training, knowledge, co-worker support and future prospects). According to Cohen (1988), r = .50 1.0 is considered a large strength in relationship, there are some strong positive correlational relationships between the four do mains as seen in Table 44. A strong positive correlation between the knowledge domain and training domain ( r = .824) exists, as well as a strong positive correlation be tween the training domain a nd future prospects domain (r = .668), and between the future prospect domain and knowledge domain ( r = .590). A weaker relationship was found between the co-worke r support domain and the training domain ( r = .449) and co-worker support and future prospects domain ( r = .440). The OSI included five questions for each of th e four domains. Questions associated with the training domain included questions 7, 11, 1 5, 19, and 22. Questions to determine perceived level of knowledge included 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24. Perceived level of co-worker support was ascertained through questions 9, 13, 17, 21 and 25, and questions related to future prospects included 10, 14, 18, 23, and 26. The descriptive statistics (mean, median, mode and SD) for each

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72 of the four domains as well as the total scor e for the organizational socialization index are reported in Table 4-5.On a Likert-type scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree), the mean score for participants per ception of adequate training was M = 3.5 ( SD= .81), or between neither agree nor disagree and agree. Participants perception of knowledge within the organization was similar with M = 3.6 (SD= .65). Perceived level of co -worker support obtained a mean score of M = 4.3, or agree (SD= .57); while perception of fu ture prospects within the organization had a mean score of M = 3.7 ( SD= .75), or slightly over neither agree nor disagree. The mean score for the total percepti on of organizational socialization was M = 3.8 ( SD= .58), participants slightly agreed that they had been socialized/oriented well. Scores were skewed somewhat negatively, or clustering toward the high end of the spectrum as can be seen in Figure 4-1 (mean training score), Figur e 4 (mean knowledge score), Figure 4 (mean co-worker support), Figure 44 (mean future prospects). In addition, mean total organizational socialization score for a ll participants and is also skewed negatively as seen in Figure 4. Table 4-6 disp lays the total organizational sc ore (out of 100 possible points; 5 points possible for each question). The mean to tal score for organizational socialization was M = 75.8 ( SD 11.5) or about average. Objective 3: Examine perceived level of job satis faction of new extension hires using aJIG. A total of twenty questions are included in the aJIG, which was used to examine job satisfaction in new extension agents. There are f our main areas used to measure job satisfaction on the aJIG. Those four areas include, (1) work on present job, (2) pres ent pay, (3) opportunities for promotion, and (4) supervision. Scores were calculated using No = 1, Yes = 2 and Not Sure (or ?) = 1.5. Reverse coding was used on questions 30, 31, 34, 36, 39, 41, and 45. A total of

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73 forty (40) points could be obtained from the all questions combined. Minimum points obtained were 24.50 while the maximum reported score wa s 40.0. The mean score for job satisfaction was 34.6 out of a possible 40 points with a st andard deviation of 3.43 (Table 4-7). With response to individual questions concerning aspects of job satisfaction, questions are summarized from the aJIG in Table 4-8. The answers in this category ranked the highest in any of the four categories as far as job satisfaction. As can be seen by this table, 83.4% of participants indicate that their jobs were satisfy ing; 86% indicated that their jobs gave them a sense of accomplishment, and 91.3% felt that their jobs were challenging. The next highest ranking aspect of job satisfaction included questions related to supervision. In answering questions related to their immediate supe rvisors, 80.1% of participants indicated that their supervisor praised good work, 80.1% of participants fe lt that their immediate supervisor was tactful, and 78.0% indicated their they considered their supervisor good. Only 12.9% of participants indicated th at their supervisor was annoying. The lowest category of scores that dealt with job satisfaction was in the areas of present pay and opportunities for promotion. Roughly 54.4% did not feel that their income was adequate for normal expenses, 43.2% indicated that they did not feel they were paid at a fair rate, and 61.8% of the participants indicated that they were not well paid This issue was also expressed in written comments and are summarized in detail at the end of this chapter. Only 53.1% of participants felt that they had good opportunity for promotion, 45.6% of respondents felt that promotion was based on ability and only 51.9% of participants felt th ey had a good chance for promotion.

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74 Objective 4: Compare the perceived level of organizational socialization with job satisfaction to determine if level of socializa tion impacts job satisfacti on and if organizational socialization and job satisfaction are correlated. The correlation between job satisfaction and the combined score for organizational socialization can be viewed in Table 4-9. In this analysis, r = .674, which indicates a strong positive correlation between how participants felt they were socialized compared to their total job satisfaction score. The more participants felt they were sociali zed, the higher their job satisfaction. Though not a research objective, it was deci ded to calculate a P earsons Correlation to determine if the number of months on the job mi ght have an impact on job satisfaction. It was determined that the longer pa rticipants are on th e job, the lower their job satisfaction ( r = -.165). Also, the longer they were on the job, the less likely they were to feel that their training was as adequate ( r = -.031) and the less likely they were to f eel as positive about their future prospects ( r = -.166) (Table 410). Though granted, some of these can be considered small relationships ( r = .10 to r = .29) according to Cohen (1988). Objective 5: Compare job satisfaction with type of organizational socialization taking place; (1) formal mentor, (2) informal, self sel ected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program (within three months after hire), (4) formal orientation program af ter three months of hire, (5) web-based modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with CED/immediate supervisor and (7) discussing job expecta tions and duties with co-workers; to examine if there are differences in methods and job satisfaction The first analysis conducted was a one-way ANO VA that combined all seven levels of the variable (methods of organizationa l socialization) to determine if the total number of methods

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75 impacted job satisfaction. According to Garson (2007), if the computed F score is greater than 1, then there is more variance between groups than within groups and it can be inferred that the independent variable (methods of socializatio n) does impact the dependant variable (job satisfaction). In this case, th e total number of methods empl oyed impacted job satisfaction slightly, [ F (1, 234) = 1.74, p=.113] (Table 4-11). As the ANOVA analyzing all seven levels of the variable showed no difference with methods and job satisfaction, it was decided to examine and explore the impact of job satisfaction with each different organizational socialization method employed by the different states within the southern region using each me thod as a separate variable. As there was a correlation between months employed with exte nsion and job satisfaction, one way betweengroup analysis of variance were conducted that controlled for months of extension. The each different methods of socia lization explored included: Having a formal mentor assigned. New agents selecting their own mentor. Immediate new agent orientationthree months of less on the job. New agent orientation after three months on the. Using web modules for socialization. County Extension Directors discussing expect ations of the job with new agent. Co-workers discussing expectations of the job with new agents. The number of new agents that participated in the various new agent orientation and training methods is detailed in Table 4-12. A total of 77.6% of new agents indicated that they did review job expectations and dutie s with their county extension director or immediate supervisor, 75.6% indicated that they discu ssed job duties and responsibilities with co-w orkers, 62.2% were assigned a formal mentor and 42.3% had self sele cted a mentor. As far as a formal new agent orientation program, 60.2% indicat ed that they had participated in an immediate orientation

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76 program (within three months of employment), while 46.9% had participated in an orientation program after three months of hire. In analyzing the data, the ANOVA (Table 4-14,) comparing job satisfaction and new agents self selecting mentors was shown to be significant [ F (1, 239) = 4.554, p=.034], as well as in participating in new agent orientat ion immediate after they were hired [ F (1, 239) = 6.394, p = .012] (Table 4-15). A high level of significance was found with County Extension Directors meeting with new agents and discussing job expectations and duties [ F (1, 239) = 10.240, p = .002] (Table 4-18). Co-worke rs assisting new agents with roles and responsibilities and impact on job satisfaction was marginally significant [ F (1, 239) = 2.030, p = .165] in determining job satisfaction (Table 4-19). Othe r aspects of socialization were not deemed significant included assigning a formal mentor [ F (1, 239) = .535, p = .465] (Table 4-13), holding new agent orientation after being em ployed for 3 months or more on the job [ F (1, 239) = 1.276, p = .281] (Table 4-16) and the inclusion of web modules as a socialization/training method [ F (1, 239) = .515, p = .474] (Table 4-17). As the F score was significa nt in several of these socialization/orientation methods, it can be concluded that the independent variable (methods of socializing/orien ting new agents) does have an effect on job satisfaction. Objective 6: A n ANOVA was conducted to determine if the number of methods of organizational socialization that agents participated in impacted their job satisfaction. The total group was divided into 3 groups for analysis. Agents were grouped according to how many organizational methods they selected. A histogram was used to determine a logical break in groups. Group one (1) were those new agents that pa rticipated in one (1) to three (3) methods of organizational socialization ( N = 70), group two (2) indicated that they participated in four (4) methods ( N= 66), and group three (3) participated in five to seven methods of organizational

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77 socialization ( N =105). It was found that the number of met hods that agents participated in did impact job satisfaction [ F (238) = 3.52, p = .031] (Table 4 20). In addition to the two surveys that were inco rporated into this re search instrument, an open-ended question was asked; If you have any additional comme nts concerning your experiences with your orientation for your curren t position, please add those here. I welcome any comments you may have. A total of eighty-four (84) comments were received from participants. Those comments were divided into four major them e categories that reflected different aspects of the survey (in regards to comments from par ticipants, no states or programmatic areas are mentioned to assist with confidentiality of participants). The first category of comments is related to orientation and training, both positive and other comments. Training: Comments Excellent formal and informal training. Does an excellent job of training new em ployees. The trainings have been extremely useful in the completion of my job The training is excellent. Would like to see mo re visits to other counties to see how they function and see their structure. Take a deeper look at different ways to manage the coming flow of activity. I taught in the public schools and the training /orientation in extension is much, much better. We have been provided with the tool s for success, it is up to us to decide which tools to use. The statewide trainings have been good but my county and local training has been horrible. I worked as a program assistant before accep ting the job as an agent. Even though I had a good understanding of the job, I wa s still required to do the ne w agent orientation. I think that this was a very good idea. I learned a lot of additional information from this orientation. This training has been effective and has allowe d me to network with more field faculty and campus faculty (from 4-H as well as other arms of extension) than a traditional organizations orientation would permit.

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78 There is almost too much job training but yet certain areas for brand new to extension personnel are definitely missed. Its much be tter to have too much training than no training. Orientation in extension is to a great extent a function of individual maturity, experience and work ethic. Faculty members are expected to be somewhat self-sufficient and self motivated. I do not think that my level of satisfaction with extensi on reflects the quality of the orientation process. I love my job! Area specific orientation after the initial orie ntation would be beneficial because of the varied experience levels of the new agents. Although there is an abundance of training available to me, I still feel like Im missing some important key elements when it comes to being the best 4-H agent I could possibly be. I have attended multiple orientations, which ha ve been very informative: however, not one of them taught me how to use the informati on. I was not well oriented on what to do with the information I had been given. I appreciated the three new agent trainings that were required after the initial new agent training. Orientation has helped us feel part of a la rger statewide group a nd this camaraderie has been helpful. Training: Other Comments The orientation process is ok but not great. I feel that spendi ng time with mentors is much more helpful than some of the trainings that we had as new agents. Instead of the normal orientati on process at --, I would have preferred to spend three days every other month shadowing my mentor. It would have been much more beneficial to me in my position. Orientation was too general. I would have been more helpful if more technical information relating specifically to my general area was covered. Orientation was almost at the end of my first year and was very redundant I have figured out the organization, benefits, relationships, prof essional goals, etc but was still required to attend. Although the ongoing training is thorough, it becomes repetitive and uninteresting. I think that it would be beneficial to have a training a few months into the job where new employees could request the training that they receive.

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79 Our university provides overall orientation, but does not prov ide job training. As soon as you sign your papers, you are on your own to figure it out! Orientation was too comprehensive, t oo soon after hiring and too diverse. I have received no one-on-one training that they said I would receive. I would rather have more actual examples instead of pure text. I wish the training program was mo re comprehensive in nature. There are many opportunities for training. Howeve r, with a rare exception, most of the trainers dont teach well. Th e training sessions are boring. I would encourage more in depth traini ng for new agents/employees. It becomes discouraging and frustrating for new employees to not know their responsibilities and what to expect as a new employee. Any information would be helpful. Although my orientations were interesting they failed to provide truly useful information to develop local programs. Training was extremely overwhelming in wh ich a great deal of information was overloaded on new agents. With respect to new agents coming into extension work for the first time, there is not enough of a training period before you are actually on the job. It is very frustrating as well as overwhelming. The second major category of comments is relate d to salary and pay. As seen in the data reported above, 54.4% of participants did not feel that their income was adequate for normal expenses and 61.8% of the particip ants did not feel they were we ll paid. These comments reflect those statistics. Salary and pay: Comments The main problem with me foreseeing myself in this position long term is the low level of compensation. Without knowing that a pay incr ease ($10,000) will occur within the next 5 years, there will be no way that I will or can remain in this position. I was told that I was over paid and that I did not need to expect any extra compensation upon completion of my masters.

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80 The pay might be okay if we werent traveling all the time or require d to work weekends and night with no comp time. I feel that I am paid fairly for the work that I do but not for the hours that I put in at the office. I feel that this position is underpaid and pay should be adjusted to location. Another issue is the pay and co mp time. I would not have a problem with that salary I receive if I did not have to work nights and weekends. I would be mo re inclined to accept my pay if I were given proper comp time. To explain the answers to my pay questions, while I feel I am adequate ly paid for the job, I do feel when compared to other youth progr ams such as agriculture education, I am underpaid in the job field. Why is it necessary to write a thesis to get a pay raise? Co-workers (and mentors) and co-worker suppo rt was the third major category identified by participants. Co-worker and Mentor Support: Comments I feel the staff is wonderful, including the secr etaries. All questions are answered promptly and efficiently and lord knows I have many questions and I am never ignored. In the past, extension had ment ors that new agents could shadow in their work. I think extension needs to reinstate this type of orientation, as it would give new employees a better understanding of the day-to -day job responsibilities. I was fortunate to have a mentor who worked well with me, quickly identified my strengths and offered meani ngful unsolicited advice. As a new agent, many agents in other program areas have been wonderful in their advice and assistance in the orientation process. Experienced agents in our area did group me ntoring sessions with new agents covering their areas of strength. It has all been very helpful and supportive. Great county staff and other coun ty agents play a large role in training more so than the orientation sessions. Co-worker and Mentor Support: Other Comments

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81 The older agents in my own program area do not take an active interest in my inquiries but seemed overworked or burned out. Consequent ly, I do not have much communication with the other agents in my program area that are not new agents or not young agents. A split appointment agent needs split responsibility mentors. Mentor selection was not in my area of e xpertise so was not able to help much. Finally, one of the most signifi cant contributors to job satisf action of new extension agents is the County Extension Director/ Immediate s upervisor. Comments included by participants are reflected in this category. County Extension Directors/ Immediate supervisor: Comments I am definitely pleased with the position and the support that I get at the county level. My immediate supervisor has been very understanding of the stress on new agents and increase responsibilities as time goes on so th at you are not so quickly overwhelmed in the beginning. My county director gives great advice and is very knowledgeable. County Extension Directors/ Immediate supervisor: Other Comments Initial interactions with my supervisor may ha ve left a negative impression and steered my career with extension. I dont feel my boss is much of a leader and I wish they had given me more guidance. I feel that the problem with the county dire ctor position is that their position is not monitored well. My county extension director is incompetent. I have had a terrible supervisor. He was very hard to work for and made life and work hard on me and everyone in the office. A big reason for my current frustration is due to the lack of help or guidance from our county extension director. They have not in al most nine months sat down with me and tell me any type of expectations, goals or objectives for my position. I have asked multiple times and in various ways.

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82 SUMMARY There were five objectives identified in this research study. The first objective identified demographic data of new extension profe ssionals. Roughly one third of new extension professionals (32.4%) had been employed in th eir current position for 16 to 18 months. In addition, as far as programmatic area, 32.8% were 4-H agents, 22.8% identified themselves as agriculture agents, and 19% considered themselves Family and Consumer Science agents. Ninety percent (90%) of new extension agents ha d not held another job in extension prior to securing their current position. In comparison, the larges t total group of agents employed in the southern region was agriculture agents (28.4%), Family and Cons umer Science agents (27.6%), and 4-H agents (25.7%). The second objective sought to examine organizational socialization scores using the OSI and four organizational socializ ation domains identified by Taormina. There was a large positive strength in the relationship between traini ng and knowledge, as well as a strong positive correlation between training and future prospects. Objective three was designed to determine th e level of job satisfact ion of new extension agents using the aJIG. Approximately 86% of partic ipants reported being satisfied with their jobs however, one measure of job satisfaction relating to salary and pay was perceived as low with approximately 62% of participants feeling that they were underpaid. Comments of new professionals related to pay were also noted. Objective four compared the level of orga nizational socialization with job satisfaction. There was a strong correlation be tween job satisfaction and orga nizational socialization. In addition, it was also determined that the number of months of the job negatively affected job satisfaction.

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83 Finally, the last objective was developed to measure job satisfaction with the methods of organizational socialization used within the exte nsion organizations. It was found that working with the county extension director to establish job expectations and duties was the most significant in determining job satisfaction of new extension professionals. It was also found that the number of organizational socialization met hods agents participated in impacted job satisfaction. A number of excellent comments were also generated from this study and were coded into major domains. Those domains included co mments on training, salary and pay, co-workers and mentors, and county extension directors. A more thorough discussion of findings will be discussed in Chapter 5.

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84 Figure 4. Mean Training Score Note: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree.

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85 Figure 4-2. Mean Scores for Knowledge Domain. Note: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree.

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86 Figure 4-3. Mean Score for Co-Worker Support Note: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree.

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87 Figure 44 Mean Scores fo r Future Prospect Domain Note: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = ne ither agree nor disagree, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree.

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88 Figure 4-5 Mean Score for Total Or ganizational Socialization Index Note: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neither agree nor disagree, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree.

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89 Table 4-1. Months on the Job of Extension Professionals Months on the Job: f % 6-8 months 39 16.2 9-12 months 76 31.5 13-15 months 48 19.9 16-18 months 78 32.4 Total 241 100.0 Table 4-2. Programmatic Areas of New Extension Professionals f % 4-H Youth Development 79 32.8 Agriculture 55 22.8 Family & Consumer Sciences 45 18.7 Horticulture 26 10.8 Other, please specify 23 9.5 Natural Resources 13 5.4 Total 241 100.0 Table 4-3. Comparison of New Agents and All Agents New Agents f % All Agents f % Agriculture 5522.81033 28.4 Family & Consumer Science 4518.71001 27.6 4-H Youth 7932.8930 25.7 Horticulture 2610.8264 7.3 Other 239.5263 7.2 Natural Resources 135.4138 3.8

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90Table 4-4. Correlation Between the Four Organizational Social ization Domains Training Score Knowledge Score Coworker Support Score Future Prospects Score Training Score .824 .449 .668 Knowledge Score .420 .590 Coworker Support Score .440 Future Prospects Score _ N = 241 Table 4-5 Domain/ Combined Organizational Socialization Score Training Score Knowledge Score Coworker Support Score Future Prospects Score Org. Soc. Index Ave. Mean 3.53 3.65 4.27 3.70 3.79 Median 3.60 3.80 4.40 3.80 3.85 Mode 4.00 4.00 5.00 3.80 3.95 Std. Deviation .81 .65 .57 .75 .58

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91 Table 4-6. OSI Total Score Table 4-7. aJIG Total Score N 241 Mean 34.57 Median 35.00 Mode 35.00 Std. Deviation 3.43 N 241 Mean 75.84 Median 77.00 Mode 79.00 Std. Deviation 11.53

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92 Table 4 -8. aJIG Scores Questions: Yes f % No f % ? f % Work on Present Job: With respect to your current work, do you feel your job is satisfying? 20183.4125.0 2811.1 Does your job give you a sense of accomplishment? 20886.393.7 2410.0 Do you feel your present work is challenging? 22091.3156.2 62.5 Do you feel your present work is dull? 52.122995.0 72.9 Do you feel your present job is uninteresting? 83.322894.6 52.1 Present Pay: With respect to your current pay, do you feel your income is adequate for normal expenses? 7932.813154.4 3112.9 Do you feel your current pay is fair? 9941.110443.2 3815.8 Do you feel your current pay is insecure (not reliable)? 4317.817472.2 2410.0 Do you feel you are well paid? 4920.314961.8 4317.8 Do you feel you are underpaid? 13355.27732.0 3112.9 Opportunities for Promotion: With respect to opportunity for promotion in your current job, do you feel you have good opportunity for promotion? 12853.15824.1 5522.8 Do you feel that there is promotion based on ability? 11045.67430.7 5723.7 Do you feel you are in a dead-end job? 2410.18878.0 2912.0 Do you feel you have a good chance for promotion? 12551.95623.2 6024.9 Do you feel that your organization has an unfair promotion policy? 3012.414258.9 6928.6 Supervision: With respect to your current immediate supervisor, does s/he praise good work? 19380.13715.4 114.6 Is your immediate supervisor tactful? 19380.13414.1 145.8 Is your immediate supervisor up to date? 18375.93313.7 2510.4 Is your immediate supervisor annoying? 3112.920283.8 83.3 Would you consider your immediate supervisor good? 18878.02711.2 2610.8

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93 Table 4-9. Job Satisfaction and Organizational Socialization Job Sat. Total Org. Soc. Index Total Job Sat.Total .674 Org.Soc.Index Total N = 241 Table 4-10. Relationship Between Job Sa tisfaction and Months in Extension Job Sat. Total Training Score Knowledge Score Coworker Support Score Future Prospects Score Org. Soc. Index Total Months In Extension -.165 -.031 .014 -.043 -.166 -.072 N = 241 Table 4-11. Comparison of Leve ls of Organizational Socia lization and Jo b Satisfaction SS df MS F p Between Groups 120.89 6 20.15 1.74 .11 Within Groups 2709.90 234 11.58 Total 2830.80 240

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94 Table 4-12. Methods of Organiza tional Socialization Checked Table 4-13. Job Satisfaction a nd Assigned Formal Mentor SSdfMSF p Between Groups 6.3216.32 .54 .46 Within Groups 2824.4823911.89 Total 2830.80240 Table 4-14. Job Satisfaction a nd Self Selection of Mentor SSdfM SF p Between Groups 52.93152.93 4.55 .03 Within Groups 2777.8623911.62 Total 2830.80240 Table 4-15. Job Satisfaction and Immediate New Agent Orientation SSdfM SF p Between Groups 73.76173.76 6.39 .01 Within Groups 2757.0423911.53 Total 2830.80240 Method Selected: Yes n % No n % Formal mentor (assigned). 150 62.2 91 37.8 Informal mentor (self selected). 102 42.3 139 57.7 Attended new agent orientati on immediately after being hired (within 3 months). 145 60.2 96 39.8 Attended new agent orientation 3 months or more after being hired. 113 46.9 128 53.1 Used orientation and training web modules. 112 46.5 129 53.5 County Extension Director revi ewed job expectations and duties. 187 77.6 54 22.4 Worked with co-workers to discuss job duties and responsibilities. 182 75.5 59 24.5

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95 Table 4-16 Job Satisfaction of New Agents and Orientation SSdfM SF p Between Groups 14.96114.97 1.27 .26 Within Groups 2815.8323911.78 Total 2830.80240 Table 4-17. Job Satisfaction and Use of Web Modules SSdfMSF p Between Groups 6.0816.08.52 .47 Within Groups 2824.7123911.82 Total 2830.80240 Table 4-18. County Extension Director s and Effect on Job Satisfaction SSdf MS F p Between Groups 116.311116.3110.24 .00 Within Groups 2714.4923911.35 Total 2830.80240 Table 4-19: Job Satisfaction a nd Co-workers Discussion of Job Expectations and Duties SSdf MS F p Between Groups 23.94123.942.04 .15 Within Groups 2806.8523911.74 Total 2830.80240 Table 4-20. Job Satisfaction and Methods of Organizationa l Socialization SS df MS F Sig. Between Groups 81.31 2 40.65 3.52 .03 Within Groups 2749.48 238 11.55 Total 2830.80 240 Note: 3 groups on 7 items checked. Group 1=checked 1-3 items (N=70), Group 2 = checked 4 items (N=66), Group 3 = checked 5-7 items (N=105

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96 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RE COMMENDATIONS This chapter presents conclusions for each of the six study objectives. This study was used to investigate organizational socializati on and job satisfaction in new extension agents within the southern region by use of an Internet survey. One of the most important aspects of the study was to determine which organizational socialization method traditionally employed by the extension service might be most significant wi th respect to job satisfaction in these new professionals. Data analysis and results were pr esented in Chapter 4. This chapter presents key findings of the study, implications, limitations, recommendations, conclusions and directions for future research. Population The population for this study consisted of 321 new extension agents with six months to eighteen (18) months of on the job experience th at were identified by their respective states professional development specialists in Alabam a, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Seventy-five (75) percent or 241 new extensi on agents out of 321 potential participants completed and submitted the Internet survey. Objective of the Study The overarching goal of this study was to iden tif y the perceived level of organizational socialization and job satisfaction of new extension employees with in the southern region and to identify possible methods of organizational soci alization that may impact job satisfaction. The researcher developed the following objectives to accomplish the identified goal.

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97 Objective 1: Gather demographic data on new extens ion agents in each state including: months on the job, programmatic area, and other professional positions held prior to gaining employment with the extension service. Objective 2: Examine perceived level of organizational socialization of new extension hires using OSI. Objective 3: Examine the perceived level of job sa tisfaction of new extension hires using Abridged Job in General Measurement (aJIG) instrument Objective 4: Compare the perceived level of orga nizational socialization with job satisfaction to examine if perceived level of or ganizational socialization impacts job satisfaction, and examine the possible relationship of organi zational socialization and job satisfaction. Objective 5: Compare job satisfaction with type of organizational socialization taking place; (1) formal mentor, (2) informal, self sel ected mentor, (3) immediate orientation program (within three months after hire), (4) formal orientation program af ter three months of hire, (5) web-based modules, (6) Discussing job expectations and duties with CED/immediate supervisor and (7) discussing job expecta tions and duties with co-workers; to examine if there are differences in methods and job satisfaction. Objective 6: Compare the number of organizational so cialization methods participated in by new agents with respect to their job satisfaction. Data Collection R.J. Taorminas (1991) Organizational So cialization Index (OS I) and the Abridged Job Descriptive Index (aJDI), developed by P.C. Smith, Kendall & Hulin in 1969, were used to measure perceived level of organizational socializ ation and perceived level of job satisfaction in new extension professionals. Both of these instru ments were combined into one Internet survey using Zoomerang an on-line survey development and ma nagement system. Participants were

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98 invited to participate via email and reminders were sent to non-respondents, as suggested by Dillman (2000). The OSI consisted of a twenty-question in strument, which was broken down into five questions on each of the four components of organizational socialization: knowledge, training, co-worker support and future prospects. Responses for the OSI were in the form of a 5-point Likert type scale with 1= st rongly agree and 5= strongly disa gree. Items were re-coded; 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = st rongly agree, when data was in putted into SPSS version 12. The aJDI was also a twenty-question instrument that asked questions relating to (1) work on present job, (2) present pay, (3) opportunities for promotion and (4) superv ision. Responses to the aJIG were scored Yes = 2, No = 1 and Not Sure = 1.5. In addition, participants were asked to identi fy their major programma tic area and, indicate how long they had been on their current job (six months eight months, nine months twelve months, thirteen months fifteen months, and si xteen months eighteen months). Participants were asked about their state affiliation, previous employment with the cooperative extension service, and asked to select wh ich orientation programs and activities they had participated in during employment in their current position. The Zoomerang survey was utilized and designed to make sure there would be no missing data; no non -responses were allowed. Participants had to answer each question to move on to the next question. Finally, an open-ended question was asked at the end that concerned experien ces with orientation in current employ. Data Analysis The data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 12 and was down loaded directly from the Zoomerang web site into an Excel spread sheet. The Excel data was then re-coded into SPSS version 12 for analysis.

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99 Summary of Findings The findings of this study point to several theoretical and practical implications. Overall, the findings suggest that the longe r new agents are employed within extension, the less satisfied they are with their jobs. Most new agents also perceived their organizational socialization/ orientation to be adequate. Met hods of organizational socializati on that impact job satisfaction include self-selection of mentor s by new agents, immediate new agent orientation (three months or less on the job) and the CED /immediate supervisor discussing job duties and expectations. Six research objectives were developed for this study. The results of th e analysis of data for each of the five objectives are presented in the following discussion. Objective 1: Demographic data on new extension agen ts was explored with the number of agents with 16 to 18 months on the job accounting for roughly one-third of new professionals being hired within the s outhern region. The other large group c onsisted of extension agents with 9 12 months of experience. Roughl y one third of new agents cons idered themselves within the 4-H programmatic area and one fifth were considered agriculture agents, one fifth listed themselves as family and consumer science ag ents. Almost 90% of new agents had not been previously employed with extension. In comparis on, the largest number of total agents employed within the southern region were agriculture agents (almost 29%), family and consumer science agents (28%) and then 4-H agents, maki ng up approximately 26% of the total. Objective 2: This objective was used to determine the perceived level of organizational socialization of new hires using the OSI. A Pear son Correlation matrix was used to explore the strength of the relationship betw een the four different domains of organizational socialization: knowledge, training, co-worker support and futu re prospects. There was a strong positive correlation between knowledge and training. This is hardly surprising as training increases knowledge of the organization including, but not limited to, understa nding organizational

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100 terminology, politics, structure and job expectati ons and duties. There was also a strong positive correlation between the domains of training and future prospects. Again, training facilitates knowledge and understanding of how the promotiona l process works within that organization. When reviewing mean scores for participants perception of training, on a Likert type scale of 1= strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree, participants somewhat agreed that they had received adequate training ( M = 3.53, SD = .80). They also felt as if they had an adequate understanding of the organization ( M = 3.65, SD = .64). It was also felt by participants that they were well supported by co-workers ( M = 4.27, SD = .57). The domain of co-worker support contained the highest score of all four domai ns. As extension prof essionals are highly encouraged to work in teams and groups in a va riety of settings and programmatic areas, it is encouraging to discover that co -worker support ranks very highly for new extension agents. The overall mean score for organizational socialization was M = 3.79, SD = .57. Out of a possible score of 100 points for organizationa l socialization, (on a five point Likert-type scale), the mean total was 75.83 with a SD of 11.53. Objective 3: Using the aJIG, the perceived level of job satisfaction was calculated. Out of a total of 40 points available (2 points possibl e for each answer); the total mean scored was M = 34.57 with a SD = 3.43. Separating the scores into their re spective categories; answers relating to work on your present job indicated approximately 83% of new professionals were satisfied with their jobs in general, 86% percent felt that their current job ga ve them a sense of accomplishment, and 90% of participants felt that their work was challenging. It was also concluded by 95% of participants that the positi on was not dull, and 94.6% felt that their jobs were interesting.

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101 An aspect of job satisfaction that was ranked the lowest related to present pay. Only 32.8% of participants felt that their income was ade quate for normal expenses, 41% felt their current pay was fair, and 20.3% indicated th at they felt well paid. Se veral comments were received that dealt with the negative aspects of pa y and salary which included comments about long hours, continuous weekend duty and lack of compensatory time that influenced the perceived level of pay. Perceptions on opportunities for promotion were varied as a little over half of the participants (53%) felt that they had good opportunities for promotion, and 45% felt that promotion was based on ability. However, 78% of pa rticipants did not feel that they were in a dead-end job. When comparing this answer with the OSI for the questions related to future prospects, answers were somewhat similar with over half the particip ants (60%) agreeing or strongly agreeing that there were opportunities for advancemen t within the organization, and forty three percent (43%) of part icipants could readily anticipate prospects for promotion. These scores are possibly attributed to the fact that it typically takes a long amount of time to achieve promotion and permanent status. Some states (Flori da as an example) requi re agents to typically wait six years before they are eligible for prom otion. Regardless of these perceptions, answers on the OSI that dealt with future prospects concluded that 78% agreed or strongly agreed that they expected the organization to continue to employ them for many more years. Objective 4: Comparing the perceived level of or ganizational socialization with job satisfaction to determine if the level of social ization had an impact of job satisfaction was the next objective addressed in this study. A Pearson correlation matr ix determined that there was a strong positive correlation between how participants felt they had be en socialized with respect to their job satisfaction; the more th at the participants felt that they had been socialized, the higher

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102 their job satisfaction score. It was also discovered that the longer particip ants were on the job, the lower their job satisfaction, and th e less likely participants were to feel that they had received adequate training. Objective 5: The impact of socialization/orientat ion methods were examined and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted using a ll seven levels of the variable (methods) to determine if organizational socialization had an impact on job satisfactio n. It was noted that a using all seven methods had a slight impact. It was then decided to do separate ANOVAs on each different method of organizational social ization, treating each method as a separate variable, controlling for months in extension, to determine if there were differences in the way that new agents are socialized /orientated compared to perceived level of job satisfaction. Notably, the methods that impacted job satisfact ion were agents selecting their own mentors, agents receiving new agent orientation and trai ning within three months of hire, and county extension directors discussing j ob expectations and duties with new agents. Less significant were the use of web modules, assigning a form al mentor to a new extension agent, and orientation and training after 3 months of hire. Objective 6: Comparing the number of organizational socialization methods participated in by new agents with respect to their job sa tisfaction was undertaken using an ANOVA to determine if the number of social ization/orientation methods agents participated in impact job satisfaction. Agents were grouped according to how many organizational socialization methods they selected in question 6. A histogram was used to determine a logical break in groups. Group one (1) were those new agents that participated in one (1) to three (3) methods of organizational socialization ( N = 70), group two (2) indicate d that they participated in four (4) methods (N= 66), and group three (3) participat ed in five to seven methods of organizational socialization

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103 ( N =105). It was found that the number of methods th at agents participated in did impact job satisfaction. Realistically, very few of these methods are done as a single unit. Most states use a variety of means to socialize/orient new agents, however ; using methods that significantly impact job satisfaction could have an impact on reten tion rate of new extension professionals. Limitations This study was designed to be explorator y and was unique to the population under study. Nevertheles s, there is a great deal that can be learned and applied to future research. One of the major strengths of this study was the use of a census popula tion; all new agents in the southern region (with th e exception of Arkansas) were c ontacted concerning this study. A 75% return rate was achieved and was consider ed satisfactory for this population. There was no difference between early responders and non responde nts. Five new extension agents were called and each agent stated that summer was a particular ly bad time to participate in a survey; however their answers were similar in na ture to early responders. An additional strength of the study was the instruments used. Both instruments had been independently tested for validity and reliability by a number of different researchers. In addition, the survey was easily accessible on the web, and was short (46 questions to check and one comment question). A weakness of this study was the time of y ear conducted. Summer is a particularly poor time to undertake a survey of extension agents. 4-H agents have summer programs, agriculture and natural resource agents are out in the fi eld and taking numerous calls concerning crops, vegetables, etc. Eleven (11) agents emailed rese archer to ask if they could please fill out the survey in the fall when things were less busy.

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104 Conclusions and Implications Based on the research findings, the conclusions and im plicat ions for this study are as follows: Objective 1: Gather demographic data on new extens ion agents in each state including: major program area, months on the job, current state of employment, and other professional extension positions held prior to gaining empl oyment with their current extension service. According to data, the majority of new agen ts hired are in the 4H programmatic area (33%) however 4-H agents account 25.7% of the total agents employed within the southern region, agriculture agents account for 22.8% of number of new agents hired and 28.4% of total number employed, and Family and Consumer Scie nce agents account for 18.7% of new agents and 27.6% of total number of agents. More 4-H agents were considered new than any other group and compared to the total percentage of agen ts, there is a disparity. On the other side of this issue of disparity, almost 19% of new agents were in the Family and Consumer Science programmatic area, while the total number of FCS agents made up almost 28%. A recommendation to address this issue cal ls for research in job satisfaction in programmatic areas. If this is a trend, it needs to be examined more closely to determine why there is a disparity in the number of new 4-H ag ents and FCS agents compared to the number of total 4-H and FCS agents. Working towards iden tifying satisfaction leve ls of the different program areas, and which organizational social ization methods made the large impact per programmatic group might yield some additional discoveries on agents making the decision to leave or stay within the organization. Objective 2: Examine the perceived level of organi zational socializati on of new extension hires using the Organizational Socialization Index (OSI).

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105 There is a strong positive corr elation between knowledge and training. The more training a new agent receives, the higher the knowledge perception. This is cons istent with the literature on new employees and training. With respect to future prospects, or how ne w agents perceived their future within the organization including the promotional process, on ly 52% of new agents felt that they had a good chance for promotion, however 78% of participan ts agreed or strong ly agreed that the organization would employ them for many more years to come. A recommendation to address this issue would be to provide opportunities fo r growth and development by allowing agents to hold district and state-level leadership positio ns, serving on committees, and even serving as mentors to new professionals. Using the caree r stage model, the extension organization can reward new hires as they progre ss through different stages. In ot her words, a system that can address the five to seven years it takes to obtai n a promotion in an extension position in a more proactive manner. One comment received by a ne w agent addressed this issue, The main problem with me foreseeing myself in this posi tion long term is the lo w level of compensation. Without knowing that a pay increase ($10,000) will occu r within the next 5 years, there will be no way that I will or can re main in this position. Objective 3: Examine the perceived level of job sa tisfaction of new extension hires using Abridged Job in General Measurement (aJIG) instrument. For the most part, new agents were satisfied with their jobs, fe lt their jobs to be challenging and rewarding and gave them a sense of accomplishment. However, satisfaction with pay and salary was low with approximately 62% of agents reporting that they felt they were not well paid, and 55% felt they were underpaid. Ma ny of the comments by new agents addressed the disparity between pay and the number of hours required to work. The pay might be okay if

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106 we werent traveling all the time or required to work weekends and night with no comp time, and I feel that I am paid fairly for the work that I do but not for the hours that I put in at the office were consistent themes within the comme nts section related to present pay. Extension agents have traditionally been required to work nights and weekends as well as the traditional 40-hour a week. Another issue is the pay and comp time. I would not have a problem with that salary I receive if I did not have to work nights and weekends. I would be more inclined to accept my pay if I were given proper comp time. The first recommendation that addresses the i ssue of pay, salary and lack of comp time would be to make sure prior to hiring new agents, that time commitment issues are understood. An informal survey undertaken by Place and Higg ins (2005) concluded that new agents did not understand the time commitments of the job and th e nights and weekends associated with an extension position. Hiring the right person for the right job is key and allo wing a potential hire to examine aspects of the position prior to intervie wing, can assist with pre-conceived notions of the job itself. The second recommendation that addresses this i ssue is to undertake a process that allows those hired into extension positions to have opportunities that they seek in order to stay in a position. As the literature indicates, generation Xers l ook for opportunities to learn knowledge and skills that will assist them in further em ployment. Employers need to offer opportunity for growth and learning to attract those types of employees. Openga rt (2000) concluded in the study on free agents that, continuous learning in the workplace as a key component to achieving their goal of retaining employment for the duration of th eir careers is vital in being able attract top candidates. In addition, the free agent values freedom and so allowing for a more flexible schedule may be in order, as long as the mi ssion of extension is kept as the focus.

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107 The career stage model of Dalton, Thompson and Price (1977) can be used as a guide to assist with providing some of the information in what new, middle and late career agents desire to continue to be employed within the organi zation. Administrators can utilize this model to assist with increasing job satisfaction of agents in all stages or their career, in addition to new professionals. Objective 4: Compare the perceived level of orga nizational socialization with job satisfaction to examine if perceived level of or ganizational socialization impacts job satisfaction and if organizational socialization an d job satisfaction are correlated. Research findings indicate that the perceive d level of organizational socialization for new extension agents does have a positive relationshi p to job satisfaction, as the literature also indicates. In this analysis, r = .674, which indicates a strong positive correlation between how participants felt they were socialized comp ared to their total job satisfaction score Objective 5: Compare job satisfaction with method of organizational socialization taking place within the organization. Those methods include : assigning a formal mentor, self selection of a mentor, immediate new agent orientation3 months or less on the job, new agent orientation after 3 months on the job, the use of web modules orientation by county ex tension directors, and co-workers discussing expectations of the job; to determine if there were any differences and determine which method(s) if any, made the most difference. Immediate orientation of new employees (less than three months on the job) was found to be significant with respect to job satisfaction. Working toward a method to socialize/orient and train new employees immediately has the potentia l to increase job sa tisfaction and, as the literature indicates, increase job tenure. The im pact of longevity on the job also increases customer satisfaction, internal mo ral within the office and within the organization, and decreases

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108 money lost to the organization. As Chandler (2004) states, it is estimated that an agent whose salary is $30,000 could cost the organizati on between $7,200 to $30,000 in turnover costs per employee. Kutilek (2000) also concluded that Ohio extension lost approximately $80,000 each year due to agent turnover and prolonged v acancies. These are significant costs to the organization and orienting and tr aining new hires immediately, could have the potential to lower those costs when combined with other methods of organizational social ization that research indicates also increase job satisfaction. Of the several organizational socializati on methods employed with extension in the southern region, the impact of the C.E.D/ immediate supervisor wa s most significant with respect to job satisfaction for new extension professionals. C.E.D/immediate supervisors are often not hired because of their management and leadership abilities, or are hired wi th little or previous administrative and/or human resource manageme nt experience (Lyles & Warmbrod, 1997). They are hired because they excelled in a particular programmatic ar ea. CED/ immediate supervisors, and those wishing to become CED/immediate superv isors, need to be trained in effective human resource management and leadership, with sp ecial focus on socializ ing and orienting new employees. CED/immediate supervisors are often not credited time to socialize new agents though the time that directors spend in this ende avor can greatly influence how long a new agent may be retained. Ensuring that CED/immediate su pervisors understand that the time they spend socializing those new hires has an impact on th e longevity of new extension professionals and allowing CED/immediate supervisors time to do this is highly recommended. Continue to find creative ways to social ize new extension agents. Though web modules and the used of formal mentors did not significan tly impact job satisfaction, continuing to use a variety of methods to socialize new employees concentrating on those that made the most

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109 impact, can help with retaining new employees. Providing these resources to those with over 18 months of employment may reduce agent turnover. This study de monstrates that the longer new agents are on the job, the less satisfied they are with the job. By providing additional support to new agents with over 18 months of experience; retaining ment oring programs, continuing to have meaningful discussions with CED/immediate supervisor on job expectat ions and duties, and creating additional opportunities to work with colleagues; tenure may be increased. One of the methods of organizational socializati on particular interest is that of mentors. Self-selected mentors made more of an impact th an formal assigned mentors with respect to job satisfaction. One of the recommendations to addr ess this issue would be to look at Social Learning Theory (Bandura, 1977). The social lear ning (or social cognitive) theory of Dr. Bandura emphasizes the importance of observing beha viors, attitudes and em otions of others and modeling those behaviors, attit udes and emotions. Banduras basic premise is that we learn by observing what others are doing and is a general theory of human behavior. There are three basic principles of this theory The first principle is attention to the modeled event and being able to rehearse the modeled event over and over, which aids in the retention of that behavior, attitude or emotion. The second prin ciple is that individuals are more likely to adopt the behavior observed if they value the outcome. The third princi ple indicates that the model needs to be similar to the observer and is admired by the observer, or the model is someone the observer they can identi fy with. It is important that there is a degree of emotional attachment that is felt toward the individual model (Brown, 1999). Th is last principle was acknowledged by Bandura in Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change (Bandura, 1977). This component of self-efficacy a ssists with the increased adoption rate of the observer. According to Bandura, it is this sense of perceived self-efficacy that helps to explain

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110 the differences in behavior between people even when they have observed the same behaviors, attitudes and emotions. The selection of mentor s, if following Bandura, would involve a mentor that was seen as similar to the new agent. That could be age, ge nder, programmatic area, et c. If the mentors that are selected are not perceived to be similar to the new agent, and they are not able to identify with the new agent, this may l ead to mentors not having an impact in new agent job satisfaction. Self selection of mentors ranked as having a higher impact on j ob satisfaction than an assigned mentor. Careful selection of mentors could as sist with increasing job satisfaction, using Banduras Social Learning Theory as a guide. Objective 6: Compare the number of organizational so cialization methods participated in by new agents with respect to their job satisfa ction. It was determined that the number of methods used with socializing new agents did increase job satisfaction. Using those methods that were determined to increase job satisfaction (CED/immediate supervisor discussions, immediate orientation, and self selection of mentors) as primary methods of organizational socialization is a recommendation. However, making sure that thos e methods are used effectively, by studying the research and literature, is highly suggested. The extension service is a research based organization and it is important that we use the research internally to find those best practices of organizational socialization make the most impact to new faculty and develop programs that are based on that research. Recommendations for Future Research This study was descriptive in design and wa s a primary step in examining organizational socialization and job satisfaction. The results of this study provide a platform for future research related to this study. This study can serve as a f oundation for additional research in the areas of

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111 organizational socialization and job satisfacti on. For this reason, the following recommendations for future research based on the findings and conclusions of this study are as follows: 1. It is recommended that additional research be conducted on job satisfaction with the different programmatic areas as explained above. Are agents involved with a particular programmatic area more satisfied with their jobs than in other programmatic areas? 2. Another area of research al ong those lines of the above recommendation is to examine possible differences in organizational socializ ation and job satisfacti on scores between the different programmatic areas. There has been research conducted on why agents leave (Kutilek, 2000), however, not with respect to organizational socialization and job satisfaction by programmatic area. Providing this type of res earch information can assist state program leaders with identifying issues pertinent to that part icular programmatic area and plan for addition in service workshops, if needed. 3. A study to explore job satisfaction with agen ts that have been employed longer than 18 months would also be of bene fit to the organization. This st udy should be longitudinal in nature and follow agents as they progress in their jobs. This st udy could assist with determining possible reasons why agents stay and/or leave their pr esent employment and examine the period where that determination may be made. 4. Qualitative studies using agent exit interviews should be undertaken to identify possible themes in agents self-terminating their employment with extension. 5. As CED/immediate supervisors have been shown to impact job satisfaction in new agents, studies should be conducted that include the perception of county ex tension directors and competencies in orienting and training new agents. CED/immediate supervisors socialization/orientation of new extensi on professionals signif icantly impacts job

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112 satisfaction, what are those knowledge and sk ills with respect to socializing that CED/immediate supervisors possess or do not possess? Signifi cance can have both negative and positive impacts on job satisfacti on. Providing needed information and skills to those CED/immediate supervisors that do not feel comfortable socializing new employees could be of great benefit to the organization. CED/immediate supervisor perceptions of socializing new extension faculty are key. Those aspects can include perceived strengths and wea knesses of CED/immediate supe rvisor with respect to socializing new agents, possible barriers to socialization, competencies needed to successfully socialize new agents, leadership and management stre ngths and weaknesses. 6. Another recommendation for research is to identify characteristics of effective mentors. This would assist with being able to iden tify potential new agent mentors using criteria identified by new agents on e ffective mentors and mentoring. 7. Exploring the number of methods of organizational socializat ion methods used would also be of interest. There was a difference between those agents participating in one to three methods, those participating in four methods and those participating in five to seven methods, but there are more conclusions that can be gathered about this. Which of those methods (what combination) may make th e most impact in job satisfaction? Recommendations In addition to future research that should be conducted, based upon the findings of this study and the conclusions drawn, the fo llowing recommendations are offered: Study results should be made available to pr ofessional development specialists in each state in the southern region for review in the form of executive summaries. Salary and pay have been continuous issues within extension. As the number of new extension agents are sa tisfied with their current position, and often salary dollars are not available to increase pay or offer dollar incentives, the extension organization should explore other alternatives to assist with th e perception of long hours and low pay. Options

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113 could include information to extension ag ents on balancing work and family, time management training and adjusting expectations of the job to address perceived pay disparity issues. Sharing research results with County Extensi on Directors to increase awareness of their importance in the job satisf action of new professionals. Implementing new agent orientation as soon afte r hire as possible to increase perception of organizational socializati on and job satisfaction. Disseminate extension employment informa tion to prospective new agents prior to interviewing. Information should include work hours, a summary of what extension agents may do within their jobs, professiona l development opportunities, etc. Work on identifying effective mentors for new agents and allow those new agents ample time to work in teams and groups within the county, district, region and state. Assist new faculty with devel oping a professional developmen t plan that addresses their personal professional development needs. Summary In this chapter the population, objectives, da ta collection, data analysis, summ ary of findings, limitations, conclusions and recommendations were discussed in de tail. Six objectives were identified for this study which included ex amining perceived level or organizational socialization and job satisfaction among new agents with six months to 18 months of job experience in the southern region. It was discovered that the perceived level of organizational socializ ation does impact job satisfaction. It was also found th at that several methods of or ganizational soci alization highly impacted job satisfaction. Those methods were the CED/immediate supervisor discussing job expectations and duties, immediat e orientation of new agents a nd self-selection of mentors. In addition it was also determined that the number of organizational socialization methods used impacted job satisfaction. There was a diffe rence in those particip ating in one to three methods, four methods, and five to seven methods.

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114 In this chapter there were many implications and recommendations. Some of those include examining disparity issues among new agents hired and total agents employed, increasing opportunities for new agents to judge future pros pects and provide for future growth using the career stage model, work on the perceived disparity with pay hours worked. It is recommended that prior to interview prospective employees understand the number of hours that extension agents typically work. In addition it is reco mmended to use the career stage ladder as a foundation for professional development. This chapter also discussed recommendations for future research projects as well as recommendations concerning this research in general.

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115 APPENDIX A: IRB PROTOCOL UFIRB 02 Social & Behavioral Research Protocol Submission Title of Protocol: A Comparison of Organizational So cialization and Job Satisfaction And New Extension Agents within the Southern Region. Principal Investigator: Cynthia Higgins UFID #: Degree / Title: PhD. Candidate Department: Agriculture Education and Communications Mailing Address: 164 SW Mary Ethel Lane, Lake City, Florida. 32025 Email Address & Telephone Number: Email: cmah1@ufl.edu Phone: 3 86-758-1168 Co-Investigator(s): UFID#: Supervisor: Dr. Nick Place, UFID#: Degree / Title: PhD./ Department: Agriculture Education and Communications Mailing Address: PO Box 110540, Gainesville, Florida, 32611-0540 Email Address & Telephone Number: Email: Phone: 352-392-0502 Date of Proposed Research: May 25, 2007 Source of Funding (A copy of the grant proposal must be submitt ed with this protocol if funding is involved): Self funded Scientific Purpose of the Study: To determine the job satisfaction rate with the met hod of socialization new extension agents receive. Describe the Research Methodology in Non-Technical Language: ( Explain what will be done with or to the research participant. ) See attached methodology section, which includes the two surveys that w ill be utilized, if approved. Describe Potential Benefits and Anticipated Risks: ( If risk of physical, psychological or economic harm may be involved, describe the steps taken to protect participant.)

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116 Professional development specialists from southern re gion states will be able to utilize information to best plan training and orientation for new extension agents assisting new extension agents in preparing for their new careers and ma ximizing training dollars. Describe How Participant(s) Will Be Recruited, the Number and AGE of the Participants, and Proposed Compensation: Participants are new extension agents within the 13 st ates of the southern region with at least 6 months of job experience and no more than 18 months of job experience (with the extension service). New agents will be identified by professional developmen t specialists in each stat e and email addresses will be forwarded to researcher. There are approximately 300 new extension agents falling into the above criteria within the southern region. New extens ion professionals range in age from 22 to 65. There will be no compensation for participation in this study. Describe the Informed Consent Process. Include a Copy of the Informed Consent Document: Participants will be asked to participate in this internet survey and will receive a copy of the informed consent document that they will be asked to review before participating in the on line survey. Principal Investigator(s) Signature: Supervisor Signature:

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117 APPENDIX B: INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB) APPROVAL

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118 APPENDIX C: AJIG PERMISSION Dear Cynthia, Attached please find the aJDI. We understand your concerns about confidentiality, so leaving the person's zip code out is fine with us. We do ask t hat you include the company's zip code. As per the agreement, you have 350 uses of the measure. If you should need more uses at a later date please let me know. I have also attached another document that shows wh ich items are to be reverse scored. For reverse scored items, Yes = 0, No = 3, and ? = 1. For items that are not reve rse scored, Yes = 3, No = 0, and ? = 1. Next, add up the item scores for each facet on the measure. You should not have one overall score (i.e. you should not add up all of the facet scores). To get an overall idea of job satisfaction you should look at the sub-score for the Job in General scale. For each facet, the highest score that can be obtained is a 15. For the JIG, the highest score is a 40. If you have missing values for some items code those as If you have more than 1 missing value per facet, you cannot create a facet score. Maya ******************************************* Maya Yankelevich JDI Research Assistant Department of Psychology Bowling Green State University Voice: 419.372.8247 Fax: 419.372.6013 **********************************************************

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119 APPENDIX D: R.J. TAORMINA PERMISSION (OSI) Dear Cindy, Many thanks for your interest in my conception of organizational socialization, and for letting me know about it! If you are planning to gath er data on the socialization of employees, you might be interested in the updated measure of socialization, namely, the one I published in 2004. I am attaching this paper to facilitate your rese arch (the new OSI measure is included in that publication). I am not familiar with the recruitment, training, work, etc., of extension agents, so I am not sure what else I can help you with at this time. But since you have read my theory paper (the 1997 model), you should have a rather complete idea of how socialization is seen from the employee's perspective.... I think the succe ss of my model has been due to the fact that I examine socialization, and measure it, from the employee's point of view, rather than from the manager's perspective. If you look at the early work by John van Maanen & Edgar Schein, you will see that they look at socialization almost exclusively fr om the manager's point of view, which is to "shape" or "mold" workers into what they want th em to be, and their theory and research focused only on methods to achieve that. The employee, on the other hand, is not an automa ton, evaluates the areas in which socialization is taking place, and determines for himself or he rself how successful the organization has been in those areas. Forgive me for "preaching" on this t opic (regarding the point of view), but I have done a considerable amount of empirical research on this topic using the OSI, and it invariably is strongly related to a variety of positive outcome s, such as organizational commitment and job satisfaction (as shown in the 2004 paper), and the OSI can be ve ry revealing as a "diagnostic" instrument to determine the strong and weak areas of an organization's so cialization endeavors. As an example, you might want to look at my pa per (with Carrie Law) on socialization and nurse burnout. This paper is often cited in medical journals... and it shows how important Training (one of the four OS domains) is to preventing nurse burnout. I am attaching that paper as well (in case you cannot find it). I wish you great success with your dissertation and with usin g my theoretical model (and measure). I also look forward to hearing how successful you were with them. Best regards, Robert Taormina University of Macau

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120 APPENDIX E: PRELIMINARY LETTER (EMAIL) Dear My name is Cindy Higgins. I am the 4-H agent in Columbia County, Florida and also finishing up my PhD in Extension Leadership at the Univers ity of Florida. For my research project, I am conducting a study dealing with how new agents ar e socialized/oriented into their jobs in extension and comparing the method of orientatio n to the level of job satisfaction. Your email was provided to me by your state professional development specialist and has been approved by the Dean of Extension at your University. As a 4-H agent for 22 years, I find this topic very interesting and very important. I am hoping that this study will allow professional development specialists in each of the 13 states to plan and carry out those socializa tion/ orientation programs that have the most impact for new agents. Th is is where you come i n. I need your input to complete this study. Your perceptions are vital and your participation ha s far reaching impacts. This survey will take only about 15 minutes of y our time. I have included the informed consent form for your review, as required by the University of Florida, as well as the link to the survey itself. The results of this survey will only be reported as a sout hern region study and no individual state data will be available. As with any survey, your participation is completely voluntary but I hope that you will be able to assist me, as well as those new agents now entering the field of extension. I have included the inform ed consent required by the University, and at the end of that, the web site to take the survey. Please insert this number ( ) into question #1. It will help me to send out reminder emails as the survey progresses. Thank you in advance for your participation in this study. Please feel free to contact me at this email address, and/or Dr. Nick Place, my co mmittee chair (nplace@ufl.edu) if you have any questions or concerns. I look fo rward to your participation. Cindy Informed Consent : Protocol Title: A Comparison of Organizational Social ization and Job Satisfaction with New Extension Agents within the Sout hern Region. Protocol # 2007-U-0487. Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to compare job satisfaction of new agents with method(s) in which they were social ized or oriented into the Cooperative Extension Service. This study is designed to assist professional development specialists determine the most effective methods of socializing a nd orienting new agents to extens ion. This is a southern region study and there are 13 states and approximately 3 00 new extension agents that will be involved. This information will be used as a total southern region study; there will be no individual state data. Time Required: It is anticipated that it will take no more than 20 minutes to fill out the survey. Risks and Benefits: All data will be kept strictly confidential, and reported only as a total southern region report, there are no risks asso ciated with this study. Be nefits include being a part of a study that will help focus training dollars on the methods of socialization and

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121 orientation found most effective in this study Compensation: There is no compensation associated with this study. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. All data will be coded together using zoomerang (a data management and survey system) using SPSS. A southern region re port will be generated. No individual states data will be reported Voluntary Participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from this study at anytime without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about this study: Cynthia Higgins, Graduate Student and Columbia Count y 4-H Coordinator, 164 SW Mary Ethel Lane, Lake City, Florida. 32025. (386) 758-1168. Dr. Nick Place, Graduate Chair, University of Florida, P.O. Box 110540, Gainesville, FL. 32611-0540. (352) 392-0502. Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in this study: UFIRB Office. Box 112250, University of Flor ida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250. (352) 392-0433. Agreement: I have read the procedure described above By logging on and participating in this Internet survey, I vol untarily agree to particip ate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description. Please click on this web site, which will take yo u directly to the surv ey. Thank you so much.

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122 APPENDIX F: FIRST REMINDER LETTER (EMAIL) Dear Just a reminder, would you please take the time to fill out the survey below if you haven't done so already. It will take only about 10 minutes of your time. If you are unable to participate because you haven't been employed at least 6 months and no more than 18 months, please let me know so that I can cross that number off my list. I have included the origin al letter; consent form and Internet site of the survey for your convenience. Thanks so much for your help with this. Cindy My name is Cindy Higgins. I am the 4-H agent in Columbia County, Florida and also finishing up my PhD in Extension Leadership at the Univers ity of Florida. For my research project, I am conducting a study dealing with how new agents ar e socialized/oriented into their jobs in extension and comparing the method of orientatio n to the level of job satisfaction. Your email was provided to me by your state professional development specialist and has been approved by the Dean of Extension at your University. As a 4-H agent for 22 years, I find this topic very interesting and very important. I am hoping that this study will allow professional development specialists in each of the 13 states to plan and carry out those socializa tion/ orientation programs that have the most impact for new agents. Th is is where you come i n. I need your input to complete this study. Your perceptions are vital and your participation ha s far reaching impacts. This survey will take only about 15 minutes of y our time. I have included the informed consent form for your review, as required by the University of Florida, as well as the link to the survey itself. The results of this survey will only be reported as a sout hern region study and no individual state data will be available. As with any survey, your participation is completely voluntary but I hope that you will be able to assist me, as well as those new agents now entering the field of extension. I have included the inform ed consent required by the University, and at the end of that, the web site to take the survey. Please insert this number ( ) into question #1. It will help me to send out reminder emails as the survey progresses. Thank you in advance for your participation in this study. Please feel free to contact me at this email address, and/or Dr. Nick Place, my co mmittee chair (nplace@ufl.edu) if you have any questions or concerns. I look fo rward to your participation. Cindy Informed Consent : Protocol Title: A Comparison of Organizational Social ization and Job Satisfaction with New Extension Agents within the Sout hern Region. Protocol # 2007-U-0487. Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to compare job satisfaction of new agents with method(s) in which they were social ized or oriented into the Cooperative Extension

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123 Service. This study is designed to assist professional development specialists determine the most effective methods of socializing a nd orienting new agents to extens ion. This is a southern region study and there are 13 states and approximately 3 00 new extension agents that will be involved. This information will be used as a total southern region study; there will be no individual state data. Time Required: It is anticipated that it will take no more than 20 minutes to fill out the survey. Risks and Benefits: All data will be kept strictly confidential, and reported only as a total southern region report, there are no risks asso ciated with this study. Be nefits include being a part of a study that will help focus training dollars on the methods of socialization and orientation found most effective in this study Compensation: There is no compensation associated with this study. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. All data will be coded together using zoomerang (a data management and survey system) using SPSS. A southern region re port will be generated. No individual states data will be reported Voluntary Participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from this study at anytime without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about this study: Cynthia Higgins, Graduate Student and Columbia Count y 4-H Coordinator, 164 SW Mary Ethel Lane, Lake City, Florida. 32025. (386) 758-1168. Dr. Nick Place, Graduate Chair, University of Florida, P.O. Box 110540, Gainesville, FL. 32611-0540. (352) 392-0502. Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in this study: UFIRB Office. Box 112250, University of Flor ida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250. (352) 392-0433. Agreement: I have read the procedure described above By logging on and participating in this Internet survey, I vol untarily agree to particip ate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description. Please click on this web site, which will take yo u directly to the surv ey. Thank you so much. http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB226FQMK9JBW

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124 APPENDIX G: FINAL REMINDER LETTER (EMAIL) Dear This is the last chance to participate in this very important survey. Would you please take the time to fill out the survey below if you haven' t done so already? It will take only about 10 minutes of your time. If you are unable to partic ipate because you haven't been employed at least 6 months and no more than 18 mont hs, please let me know so that I can cross that number off my list. I have included the original letter; consent form and Intern et site of the survey for your convenience. Thanks so much for your help with this. Cindy My name is Cindy Higgins. I am the 4-H agent in Columbia County, Florida and also finishing up my PhD in Extension Leadership at the Univers ity of Florida. For my research project, I am conducting a study dealing with how new agents ar e socialized/oriented into their jobs in extension and comparing the method of orientatio n to the level of job satisfaction. Your email was provided to me by your state professional development specialist and has been approved by the Dean of Extension at your University. As a 4-H agent for 22 years, I find this topic very interesting and very important. I am hoping that this study will allow professional development specialists in each of the 13 states to plan and carry out those socializa tion/ orientation programs that have the most impact for new agents. Th is is where you come i n. I need your input to complete this study. Your perceptions are vital and your participation ha s far reaching impacts. This survey will take only about 15 minutes of y our time. I have included the informed consent form for your review, as required by the University of Florida, as well as the link to the survey itself. The results of this survey will only be reported as a sout hern region study and no individual state data will be available. As with any survey, your participation is completely voluntary but I hope that you will be able to assist me, as well as those new agents now entering the field of extension. I have included the inform ed consent required by the University, and at the end of that, the web site to take the survey. Please insert this number ( ) into question #1. It will help me to send out reminder emails as the survey progresses. Thank you in advance for your participation in this study. Please feel free to contact me at this email address, and/or Dr. Nick Place, my co mmittee chair (nplace@ufl.edu) if you have any questions or concerns. I look fo rward to your participation. Cindy Informed Consent : Protocol Title: A Comparison of Organizational Social ization and Job Satisfaction with New Extension Agents within the Sout hern Region. Protocol # 2007-U-0487. Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study.

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125 Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this study is to compare job satisfaction of new agents with method(s) in which they were social ized or oriented into the Cooperative Extension Service. This study is designed to assist professional development specialists determine the most effective methods of socializing a nd orienting new agents to extens ion. This is a southern region study and there are 13 states and approximately 3 00 new extension agents that will be involved. This information will be used as a total southern region study; there will be no individual state data. Time Required: It is anticipated that it will take no more than 20 minutes to fill out the survey. Risks and Benefits: All data will be kept strictly confidential, and reported only as a total southern region report, there are no risks asso ciated with this study. Be nefits include being a part of a study that will help focus training dollars on the methods of socialization and orientation found most effective in this study Compensation: There is no compensation associated with this study. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. All data will be coded together using zoomerang (a data management and survey system) using SPSS. A southern region re port will be generated. No individual states data will be reported Voluntary Participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from this study at anytime without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about this study: Cynthia Higgins, Graduate Student and Columbia Count y 4-H Coordinator, 164 SW Mary Ethel Lane, Lake City, Florida. 32025. (386) 758-1168. Dr. Nick Place, Graduate Chair, University of Florida, P.O. Box 110540, Gainesville, FL. 32611-0540. (352) 392-0502. Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in this study: UFIRB Office. Box 112250, University of Flor ida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250. (352) 392-0433. Agreement: I have read the procedure described above By logging on and participating in this Internet survey, I vol untarily agree to particip ate in the procedure and I have received a copy of this description. Please click on this web site, which will take yo u directly to the surv ey. Thank you so much.

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126 APPENDIX H: AJIG INDEX (ABR IDGED JOB IN GENERAL INDEX) Bowling Green State University, 1975, 1985, 1997 Scoring Key aJDI & aJIG: WORK ON PRESENT JOB Yes No ? Satisfying.............................................3 0 1 Gives sense of accomplishment...........3 0 1 Challenging 3 0 1 Dull 0 3 1 Uninteresting........................................0 3 1 PRESENT PAY Yes No ? Income adequate for normal expenses....3 0 1 Fair.......................................................3 0 1 Insecure................................................0 3 1 Well paid..............................................3 0 1 Underpaid.............................................0 3 1 OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROMOTION Yes No ? Good opportunities for promotion..........3 0 1 Promotion on ability............................3 0 1 Dead-end job........................................0 3 1 Good chance for promotion.................3 0 1 Unfair promotion policy......................0 3 1 SUPERVISION Yes No ? Praises good work................................3 0 1 Tactful..................................................3 0 1 Up-to-date............................................3 0 1 Annoying.............................................0 3 1 Bad.......................................................0 3 1 This measurement instrument must be purchas ed from JDI Associates. Access to the actual instrument is limited but the scoring key was available to assist with dissertation proposal.

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127 APPENDIX I: ORGANIZATIONAL SOCIALIZATION INDEX (OSI) Note: Organizational Socialization Inventory: 5 = strongly agree 4 = agree, 3 = neither agree nor Disagree, 2 = disagree, 1 = strongly disagree. Please answer the following: 5 4 3 2 1 This organization has provided excellent job training for me. I know very well how to get things done in this organization. Other workers have helped me on the job in various ways. There are many chances for a good career with this organization. The training in this organization has enabled me to do my job very well. I have a full understanding of my duties in this organization. My co-workers are usually willing to offer their assistance or advice. I am happy with the rewards offered by this organization. This organization offers thorough training to improve employee job skills. The goals of this organization have been made very explicit. Most of my co-workers have accepted me as a member of this organization. Opportunities for advancement in this organization are available to almost everyone. Instructions given by my supervisor have been valuable in helping me do better work. I have a good knowledge of the way this organization operates. My co-workers have done a great deal to help me adjust to this organization. I can readily anticipate my prospects for promotion in this organization. The type of job training given by this organization is highly effective. This organizations objectives are understood by almost everyone who works here. My relationship with other workers in this organization is good. I expect that this organization will continue to employ me for many more years.

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128 APPENDIX J: ZOOMERANG SURVEY Organizational Socialization and Job Satisfaction for New Extension Professionals 1. Please type in the code that you were given in your email as king you to participate in this survey. 2. Please indicate your major program area. Please select the best one that reflects your job description. Agriculture Natural Resources Horticulture Family and Consumer Sciences 4-H Youth Development Other, please specify 3. Please indicate the number of months you ha ve been employed in your current position. 6 months 8 months 9 months 12 months 13 months 15 months 16 months 18 months 4. Please indicate which state you are curre ntly employed with. (Remember, this information will be held in strict confidence). Alabama Arkansas Georgia Florida

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129 Kentucky Louisiana Mississippi North Carolina Oklahoma South Carolina Tennessee Texas Virginia Prefer not to answer 5. Have you ever been employed in extension in another state? Yes No If yes, please indicate total number of months or years employed in extension in another state. 6. In your present extension position, what orientation programs and activities have you participated in? Please check all that apply. I have or have had a formal mentor (one that was assigned to me). I have or have had an informal mentor (one I selected myself). I attended new agent orientation immediatel y after being hired (within 3 months). I attended new agent orientation 3 months or more after being hired. I used orientation and training web modules. I have met with my county extension di rector to review j ob expectations and duties.

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130 I have worked with my co-workers to discuss my job duties and expectations. I have not participated in any of the above. Other, please specify. 7. This organization has provided excellent job training for me. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 8. I know very well how to get things done in this organization. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 9. Other workers have helped me on the job in various ways. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 10. There are many chances for a good career with this organization. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 11. The training in this organization has enabled me to do my job very well. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5

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131 12. I have a full understanding of my duties in this organization. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 13. My co-workers are usually willing to offer their assistance or advice. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 14. I am happy with the rewards offered by this organization. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 15. This organization offers thorough traini ng to improve employee job skills. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 16. The goals of this organization have been made very explicit. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 17. Most of my co-workers have accepted me as a member of this organization. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5

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132 18. Opportunities for advancement in this orga nization are available to almost everyone. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 19. Instructions given by my supervisor have been valuable in helping me to do better work. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 20. I have good knowledge of the way this organization operates. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 21. My co-workers have done a great deal to help me adjust to this organization. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 22. The type of job training given to me by this organization is highly effective. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 23. I can readily anticipate my prospects for promotion in this organization. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5

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133 24. This organizations objectives are under stood by almost everyone who works here. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 25. My relationship with other worker s in this organization are good. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 26. I expect that this organization will con tinue to employ me for many more years. Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree 27. With respect to your current work, do you feel your job is satisfying? Yes No Not sure 28. Does your current job give you a sense of accomplishment? Yes No Not sure 29. Do you feel your present work is challenging? Yes No Not sure 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5 1 3 2 4 5

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134 30. Do you feel your present work is dull? Yes No Not sure 31. Do you feel your present job is uninteresting? Yes No Not sure 32. With respect to your current pay, do you feel your income is adequate for normal expenses? Yes No Not sure 33. Do you feel your current pay is fair? Yes No Not sure 34. Do you feel your current pay is insecure (not reliable)? Yes No Not sure

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135 35. Do you feel you are well paid? Yes No Not sure 36. Do you feel you are underpaid? Yes No Not sure 37. With respect to opportunities for promoti on in your current jo b, do you feel that you have good opportunities for promotion? Yes No Not sure 38. Do you feel that there is promotion based on ability? Yes No Not sure 39. Do you feel that you are in a dead-end job? Yes No Not sure

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136 40. Do you feel you have a good chance for promotion in your current job? Yes No Not sure 41. Do you feel that your organization has an unfair promotion policy? Yes No Not sure 42. With respect to your current immediate s upervisor, doe she/he praise good work? Yes No Not sure 43. Is your immediate supervisor tactful? Yes No Not sure 44. As far as management and supervision, is your supervisor up to date? Yes No Not sure

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137 45. Is your immediate supervisor annoying? Yes No Not sure 46. Would you consider your immediate supervisor good? Yes No Not sure 47. If you have any addition comments concerni ng your experiences with your orientation for your current position, please add t hose here. I welcome any comments you may have.

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138 REFERENCES Abbasi, S., & Hollm an, K. (2000). Turnover: The real bottom line. Public Personnel Management, 29 (3). Agnew, D.M. (1991). National tr ends in programming, preparation and staffing of county level cooperative extension se rvice offices as identified by state extension directors. Journal of Agriculture Education. Spring. Allen, N.J., & Meyer, J.P. (1990). Organizational So cialization tactics: A longitudinal analysis of links to newcomers commitment and role orientation. Academy of Management Journal, 33 (4), 847-858. Allen, N.J., & Meyer, J.P. (1990). The measuremen t and antecedents of affective, continuance and normative commitment to the organization. Journal of Occupational Psychology, 63, 1 18. Anonymous. (1994). Journal of European Industrial Training, 8(7), 5-7. Ash, M. (1985). Mary Kay on People Mana gement. Grand Central Publishing. Ashford, S., & Black, J. (1996). Pr oactivity during organizational en try: The role of desire for control. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 199-214. Ashforth, B., Saks, A., & Lee, R. (1998). Social ization and newcomer adjustment: The role of the organizational context. Human Relations, 51 (2). Ashforth, B., Sluss, D.M., & Harrison, S. (2007) Socialization in or ganizational contests. International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 22. Edited by G.P. Hodgekinson and J.K. Ford. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Ayers, D., & Stone, B. (1999). Extension Or ganization of the Future: Linking Emotional Intelligence and Core Competencies. Journal of Extension, 37 (6). Bailey, D. (1993). Induction training using training technology: Part 1. Training and Management Method, 7 (1), 7 17. Baker, E.H., & Jennings, K.M. (2000). Limitations in realistic recruiting and subsequent socialization efforts: The case of Riddick Bowe and the United States Marine Corps. Public Personnel Management, 29 (3), 367 378. Balzer, W.K., Kihm, J.A., Smith, P.C., Irwin, J.L. Bachiochi, P.D., Robie, C., Sinar, E.F., & Parra, L.F. (1997). Users manual for the Job Descriptive Index. (JDI: 1997: Revision) and the Job in General Scales. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University.

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147 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Cynthia Higgins was born in Barranquilla, Columbia, South Am erica in 1959. The oldest of two children, she traveled th e world as a child, lived in f our different countries and six different states before attending West Virgin ia University in 1978. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in animal scien ces from WVU in 1981, and a Masters of Science Degree in agriculture education in 1984, also from West Virginia University. Upon graduating from college, Cynthia taugh t high school agriculture from 1984 -1986 at Morgantown High School in Morgantown, West Virginia. She was one of only four female agriculture instructors in the state. During that time, she met Danny Bell at the wedding of her friend, and soon after the two decided to get married. Prior to the wedding, Cynthia applied for and acquired a position as the Columbia County 4-H Coordinator in 1986 where she remains toda y. She and Danny were married a month after starting the job in Buffalo, New York, th en home of her parents, on August 2, 1986. Cynthia began working part time on her PhD in Extension Leadership in 2003, while still working full time as the 4-H Coordinator. A six month sabbatical was granted in 2005 that allowed Cynthia to finish the majority of he r course work. Cynthia plans to graduate in December 2007. Upon completion of her PhD. Progr am, Cynthia plans on continuing work in the extension field in some capacity. Cynthia and Danny have two sons: David, age 16 (a high school j unior) and John, age 11 (a middle school student). Both boys are avid so ccer players, Danny serves as both school and recreational soccer coach, and Cynthia serves as official soccer mom.