Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA)


This study broadened the focus of staff burnout research by analyzing organizational perspectives to augment the staff perspectives presented in current research. Managers of mental health organizations in the Bay Area were surveyed for their perceptions of stress in their agencies, for their perceptions of the acceptable level of burnout among staff, and for their reports on the status of actual working conditions and benefits.

Using discriminant function analysis, this study showed a statistically significant difference for two agency characteristics-annual budget level and turnover rate-when analyzed in conjunction with managers' perceptions of the acceptable level of burnout. This study found that managers at mental health organizations perceived stress in their agencies as relating to organizational and external environment factors, such as uncertainty of funding, lack of leadership, and poor job design. Managers were aware of the impact that management and outside resources have on the levels of stress experienced in their agencies. This study also found that the majority of managers were interested in reducing burnout at their agencies. This study was unable to discover any distinction between existing agency "coping mechanisms" and managers' perceptions of the acceptable level of burnout in their agencies.

Based on these findings, implications for organizational response to staff burnout and suggestions for future research are discussed.