Personal characteristics affecting agricultural extension workers' job satisfaction level.

Author:Asadi, Ali


In Iran, 23 million people are earning directly from agriculture and nearly 3.5 million of active population is working in this sector (1). Role of extension and education of agriculture is vital in the agricultural development and can't be gainsaid (23). Despite the efforts with regards to agricultural development and supporting farmers to improve their competencies in different aspects of their jobs by Iran Agricultural Extension Organization (AES), there are indications that the efficiency and the quality of the support provided by AES have not been enough to serve the farmers' needs (9). Also AES in Iran is suffering from malfunctions in the area of human resource management and development (10). Moreover, the challenge of working for extension is included job positions are multidimensional, often including new projects before the old are completed. Frustration and stress are continuous due to the slowness of finishing many projects. Time frames are much longer due to a variety of factors, including a lack of funding, a long approval process, differences between agent and administrative values, and philosophical differences (12).

One of the closely associated concepts with performance of an organization is job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is defined as all the feelings that an individual has about his/her job (22). Several studies have shown the impacts of job satisfaction on other essential factors of organizations. Bowran and Todd (3) asserted that "behavioral and social science research suggests that job satisfaction and job performance are positively correlated. A better understanding of job satisfaction and factors associated with it helps managers guide employee's activities in a desired direction". Rownowski and Hulin (20) suggested that the most useful information to have about an employee in an organization is a valid measure of their overall level of job satisfaction. Job satisfaction factors allow individuals to reach their psychological potential. To find relationships among some important factors in organizations, Heskett et al. (8) established a framework in which internal service quality drives employee satisfaction, which, in turn, drives employee performance that generates service quality. Finally, service quality drives customer satisfaction that leads to customer retention and profits (Fig. 1). Based on this context as well as to know totally most of the analyses dealing with the relationship between job satisfaction and other variables of interest have been based on data collected in Western countries (13) and studies of Iranian agricultural extension workers' job satisfaction are rare, we can come to this point: knowing the factors related to extension workers' job satisfaction can be of paramount topics.


Job satisfaction in extension is dependent on many factors (6).

Empirical literature suggests that Job satisfaction is related to a number of organizational, professional and personal variables (14). Research results also indicated that many personal characteristics affect job satisfaction in many different and complex ways (11). This study was designed to identify extension workers' personal characteristics and their relationships with job satisfaction.

Purpose and objectives: The main purpose of this research was to investigate the relationship between personal characteristics and job satisfaction.

Of particular interests were to:

* Study the personal traits of extension workers in context of job satisfaction

* Measure the level of job satisfaction of extension workers and

* Explore the extent to which certain personal characteristics predict extension workers' job satisfaction


Population and sample: The study's population and sample consisted of all the Agricultural Organization extension workers from Fars province southern Iran (Fig. 2). This is one of the leading provinces in agricultural production (7).


Instrument: A variety of scales and self-developed questionnaires...

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