Influence of Human Resource Practices on Employee Intention to Quit

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Virginia Tech


Reducing employee turnover through retention practices is an area of great interest to employers who depend on a highly skilled workforce. In recent years, Cooperative Extension has experienced the loss of many local agents/educators due to resignation and also retirement incentives offered as a cost saving measure to manage reduced funding. Due to the type of work, the training needed, and the small pool of qualified applicants, it is important to pay attention to the retention of newly hired Extension workers. Prior research suggests a linkage of factors that can predict the likelihood of new employees' intention to quit. Human resource practices including recruitment & hiring, compensation & benefits, training & development, and supervision & evaluation are items that can directly influence the level of job satisfaction of new employees as well as their level of commitment to the organization. The level of job satisfaction and organizational commitment can, subsequently, predict an employee's level of intention to quit. This paper will share findings of research conducted in the fall of 2010, which included 480 Extension agents/educators, representing 12 states in the Southern United States. The study targeted employees with less than six years of employment and investigated human resource practices that influence intention to quit. Findings indicate a significant relationship between perceptions of human resource practices and intention to quit, mediated by organizational commitment and job satisfaction. Accordingly, the research has important implications for the management of Cooperative Extension and anyone working in or preparing to work in related fields.



Cooperative Extension, Intent to Quit, Human Resources, Organizational Commitment, Job Satisfaction