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Social Work Student Asks What Satisfies Middle Managers


In the lobby of The Door, a Manhattan-based social service agency for young people, a teen wore a hoodie and a frown—but broke into a smile when an intake counselor arrived.

And smiles could be seen all around during a tour of the agency given by its deputy executive director, David Vincent, PhD. To even the critical observer, it would seem that the people who work at The Door like their jobs.

The job satisfaction at The Door exemplifies the findings in Vincent’s dissertation, “Commitment to Social Justice and its Influence on Job Satisfaction and Retention of Nonprofit Middle Managers.” He is graduating with a doctorate in social work from the Graduate School of Social Service(GSS).

In a survey of 38 New York-area nonprofit settlement houses, Vincent asked middle managers to rate their awareness of social justice issues and examined how that awareness affected job satisfaction. He found that when managers’ social justice sensitivity aligned with the mission of the organization, their job satisfaction was high, as was job retention.

“When the baby boomers begin to retire, there’s going to be a big gap in the managerial pipeline at nonprofits, so we need to understand what makes employees happy,” said Vincent, who teaches in the leadership track at Fordham as an adjunct professor of social work. “Middle managers are future leaders, so we need to ask how we can help them be better leaders, and what kind of professional development do they need.”

Read the rest of the story in Inside Fordham.


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