Volume 51 - Number 2 - 2010 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2010.02036



This qualitative study sought to explore and describe why Florida agricultural agents remained in an extension career. A purposive sample was used to select twelve agents who were classified into one of the three stages of the career stages model (Kutilek, Gunderson, & Conklin, 2002). In–depth interviews were used to investigate positive and negative influences that affected agents' decisions. Grounded theory was used as the primary data analysis method (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Seven selective codes emerged as the most influential factors on agents' employment decisions. These codes were internal satisfaction, community leadership, external motivators, career benefits, change agents, network of support, and extension work environment. A grounded theory was created to delineate the relationships between the codes and explain the findings.

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