Date of Conferral





Human Services


Kimberly Farris


As required by the Government Performance Results Act of 1993, the use of performance measurements in social service organizations to measure outcome data has increased expectations of efficient outcomes in service delivery. This study addressed the problem of inefficient service delivery in nonprofit human service organizations from the perspective of direct service staff responsible for service provision. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore how direct service staff in nonprofit organizations perceive their individual contributions to the overall goal of providing efficient quality service. Principal agent theory framed the inquiry regarding how direct service staff working in nonprofit human service organizations perceive the nature and value of using performance measurements as required by law. Data were collected from 5 direct service workers through semi-structured interviews and analyzed for content themes using Ethnograph software. The results of this study indicated direct service workers perceive organizational efficiency related to how well they do their jobs and not overall at the organizational level. In addition, participants identified job training and more open communication with management to understand how organizational level goals would be valued to do their jobs effectively. This study contributes to social change by informing those who develop nonprofit human services policy and practice of the potential for further staff training curriculum and improvements to the organizational accountability culture.