Managerial Strategies to Influence Frontline Worker Understanding of Performance Measures in Nonprofit Child Welfare Agencies

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Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quaterly

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In response to demands of funders and interorganizational competition, nonprofit human service organizations have invested in performance measurement to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of internal operations. Literature suggests that frontline workers’ involvement in performance measurement is critical in supporting organizational efforts to improve performance. Yet, we lack information on how nonprofit managers convey performance standards to frontline workers and promote their engagement in performance measurement. This study draws on data from the 2011 National Survey of Private Child and Family Serving Agencies to identify strategies nonprofit managers used to engage frontline workers in performance measurement. Findings indicate that less than half of managers reported that their workers had a strong or very strong understanding of the agency’s performance measures. Managerial communication and board involvement in performance measurement were associated with greater worker understanding of performance measures. These managerial approaches may be key factors in frontline understanding of performance measures.



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