Social Work Leadership: Predictors Of Leadership Position In A Sample Of Human Service Professionals
MetadataShow full item record
Type of WorkText
ProgramDoctor of Philosophy
RightsThis item is made available by Morgan State University for personal, educational, and research purposes in accordance with Title 17 of the U.S. Copyright Law. Other uses may require permission from the copyright owner.
Retirements and an aging workforce have increased the need to fill leadership positions in human service agencies. It is essential that social workers are prepared for careers as leaders at the highest executive levels. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of having a leadership position in a human service agency. It was hypothesized that there would be associations between leadership positions in a human service agency and socio-demographic characteristics-age, gender, race/ ethnicity, marital status and parenting status; professional characteristics-Title IV-E participation, state of employment, years of experience, licensure, leadership training, current leadership and/or management experience, previous leadership or management experience, type of employment agency, agency funding type, and population served (urban or not urban); and leadership qualities-skills, style, and motivational needs. A sample of 267 of human service professionals with at least two years of experience were recruited using snowball sampling methods. Bivariate statistical methods-Chi-Square and T-tests were used to explore the relationship between overall leadership position and (1) the socio-demographic and professional characteristics and (2) leadership qualities, respectively. Multiple logistic and multi-nominal logistical regressions were used to examine the joint predictors for the specific types of leadership positions (overall leadership, agency/executive director, clinical director, program manager or director, supervisor, or other leadership) versus non-leadership position Significant predictors were dependent upon (1) the specific type of leadership position and (2) the variables considered. For examples, self-actualization was the only leadership quality that was significantly associated with overall leadership, agency/executive and program/clinical directors. Leaders were more self-actualized than non-leaders. At least one professional characteristic was significant for all types of leaderships. In conclusion, results from this study suggested that agencies need to create a clear pathway to advancement, succession plans to replace an aging workforce, and also invest in training to support workers so that they can reach their highest potential.