Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Agriculture (MAgr)


Agricultural Education

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. K. Dale Layfield

Committee Member

Dr. Kristine Vernon

Committee Member

Dr. Christopher Eck


Turnover and employee burnout are problems the Cooperative Extension System is facing nationwide, and the Clemson University Cooperative Extension System is no exception. There has been previous research done within the Extension system to identify the factors contributing to turnover and burnout, however, both remain an issue. Yet, there has been no research done to examine the Clemson University Cooperative Extension System individually. To further investigate factors contributing to burnout, this pilot study was conducted with Clemson University Clemson Extension agents using a burnout assessment that has not previously been used in Extension research. This study described Clemson University Cooperative Extension agents’ perceptions of six work constructs that may lead to burnout to determine if there were any relationships between the constructs and demographic characteristics of Clemson University Cooperative Extension Agents. The work constructs studied were workload, control, community, reward, fairness, and values. Findings indicated that agents had an overall positive perception of the constructs, and the constructs studied were not contributors to burnout among Clemson University Extension agents. There was also only one relationship found between burnout risk and demographic characteristics. The younger an Extension agent was, the lower the fairness score was. This study established reliability coefficients for the survey instrument used and identified future implications for the use of the instrument. Since there were inconsistencies in the data when compared to the literature review, it is recommended that future research be conducted using other factors of work to identify which do contribute to burnout.



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