Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Stutts

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Huff

Third Advisor

Dr. Patrick Dattalo

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Richard Couto


Child and family nonprofit organizations are essential for the implementation of United States public policy in their role as service providers. Human service nonprofit organizations held approximately 20,000 government contracts, totaling more than $100 billion in 2009 (Boris, deLeon, Roeger, & Nikolva, 2010). Almost 33,000 human service nonprofit organizations contract with the government to deliver services (Boris, et al., 2010). The services provided by these organizations are critical to the lives of vulnerable American citizens. These organizations depend on committed employees to serve this group, carry out the mission, and reach organizational goals. Employees are nonprofit organizations’ greatest resource, investment, and also expense (Rutowski, Guiler, & Schimmel, 2009), thus turnover is considered a critical problem facing the nonprofit sector (Salamon, 2012). Retaining highly committed employees in this important work has been of interest to those studying the nonprofit sector because it is a significant problem particularly in the area of human services (Mor Barak, Levin, Nissly, & Lane, 2006). This study asks if leadership and organizational culture have an impact on nonprofit employees’ commitment to their workplace. This quantitative research uses a quota sample of 103 nonprofit employees to understand the relationships between their perceptions of their managers’ transformational leadership, their perceptions of their organizations’ culture types (clan, adhocracy, hierarchy, market) and two important and distinct employee outcomes, affective commitment and turnover intention. The findings indicate that perceived transformational leadership matters to nonprofit employees as it positively predicts their affective commitment and negatively predicts their turnover intentions. The majority of respondents reported that they perceived their organizations as clan cultures, which are known to be friendly, personal places where belonging and connectedness is high. The findings also reveal that hierarchical cultures play a role in this predictive relationship, having a moderating effect on the relationship between transformational leadership and affective commitment. In contrast, the findings reveal that compared to clan cultures, hierarchical and market cultures may be problematic in that they positively predict employees’ turnover intentions. Further, perceived hierarchical cultures negatively predict the employees’ affective commitment.


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