Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, PhD

Committee Chair

Sun, Jeffrey

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Alagaraja, Meera

Committee Member

Billingsley, Dale

Committee Member

Githens, Rod

Committee Member

Herd, Ann

Committee Member

Scully-Russ, Ellen

Author's Keywords

agriculture; harvest; labor; working conditions; herzberg; two-factor theory


The field of human resource development has twin obligations to promote the performance of organizations and the satisfaction and welfare of all workers. Nevertheless, agriculture appears to be an understudied industry in the field, despite this obligation and the potential for suffering experienced by workers performing crop work. This case study sought to understand the process through which a single agricultural operation fosters optimal conditions for workers engaged in labor-intensive crop production. This study found employees experienced better treatment compared to other agricultural operations, and that conditions were rich in both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors were marked by (a) the recognition employees receive from customers and a vendor; (b) sense of achievement from high rates of production and being treated and respected as professionals; (c) opportunities for advancement that are fair and based on merit; (d) an abundance of growth and development opportunities, including communication and problem-solving skills; (e) responsibility workers have to improve the workplace and share in decision making, and (f) a sense of freedom from oppressive working conditions. Extrinsic factors were marked by: (a) high/low earning potential and potential work interruptions; (b) employer actively striving to offer more year-around employment to core employees; (c) trained and fair managers; (d) amicable and respectful interpersonal relations at all levels; (e) fair company policies and administration; (f) working conditions that promote employee health and welfare; (g) quality of personal life that is diminished by low hours and potential for back pain; and (h) employer is supportive of families.