Michael J. Austin


Professor of the Graduate School MICHAEL J. AUSTIN served as the director of the Mack Center on Nonprofit and Public Sector Management in the Human Services and as editor of Human Service Organizations. He is also the former dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania and has taught at Florida State University and the University of Washington, where he chaired the macro practice specializations.

As a leading contributor to the field of human services management, Dr. Austin has taught in the areas of theory for practice and the management of program implementation. His work focuses on nonprofit and public sector management, organizational change and policy implementation.

In addition to consulting with human service organizations nationally and internationally, Dr. Austin is the author and co-author of 20 books as well as 140 articles and 40 chapters and technical reports on the subject of human service management.

Research / Expertise

  • Strategic Planning
  • Social Service Management
  • Organizational Development

Awards / Honors

Chauncey Alexander Lifetime Achievement Award, Network of Social Work Management, June 2016

Fellow, American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, January 2016

Lifetime Career Achievement Award, Association of Community Organization and Administration, Council on Social Work Education, New York, February 2005

Slavin-Patti Award for Best Article, 2010: (with Benton, A.). Managing Nonprofit Mergers: The Challenges Facing Human Service Organizations. Administration in Social Work. 34 (4), 2010

Expanded Publications

Goossen, C. & Austin, M.J. (2017) Service user involvement in UK social service agencies and social work education. Journal on Social Work Education, 53(1), 1-15

Graaf, G., McBeath, B., Lwin, K., Holmes, D. & Austin, M.J. (2017). Supporting evidence- informed practice in human service organizations: An exploratory study of link officers. Human Service Organizations. 41(1), 58-75

Taylor, S., Carnochan, S. & Austin, M.J (2016). Engaging employers as partners in subsidized employment programs. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare., XLIII (1),149-169

Austin, M.J. & Isokuortti, N. (2016). A framework for teaching practice-based research with a focus on service users, Journal of Teaching in Social Work, Special Issue. 36(1), 11-32

Jolles, M.J., McBeath, B., Carnochan, S. & Austin, M.J. (2016). Factors associated with managerial innovation in public human service organizations. Human Service Organizations. 40(4), 421-434

Graaf, G., Carnochan, S., Radu, P. & Austin, M.J. (2016).The impact of the great recession on county human service organizations: A cross case analysis. Human Service Organizations. 40(2), 152-169

Austin, M.J., Anthony, E., Knee, T.R. & Mathias, J. (2016). Revisiting the relationship between micro and macro social work practice. Families in Society. 97(4), 270-277 

Carnochan, S. & Austin, M.J. (2015) Redefining the bureaucratic encounter between service providers and service users: Evidence from the Norwegian HUSK Projects. Journal of Evidence-based Social Work, 12(1), 64-79.

Murtaza, N. & Austin, M.J. (2015) Community organizing and service delivery in the midst of an economic crisis: The role of a Jewish INGO in Argentina, 2001-2009. Social Development Issues. 37(1), 38-52

 McBeath, B., Jolles, M.P., Carnochan, S., & Austin, M.J. (2015). Organizational and individual determinants of practitioner evidence use in public human service organizations. Human Service Organizations. 39(4), 267-289

Radu, P., Carnochan, S. & Austin, M.J. (2015). Obstacles to social service collaboration in response to the great recession: The case of the Contra Costa County Safety Net Initiative. Journal of Community Practice. 23(3/4), 323–347

Carnochan, S., Samples, M., & Myers, M, Austin, M.J. (2014). Performance measurement challenges in nonprofit human service organizations, Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43(6).1014-1032

McBeath, B. & Austin, M.J. (2014). The organizational context of research-minded practitioners: Challenges and opportunities. Research in Social Work

Carnochan, S., Taylor, S. & Austin, M.J. (2014). Employer-Employee relationships in subsidized employment programs: The role of soft skills. Families in Society. 95(3)

Sommerfeld, D.H. & Austin, M.J. (2014). Mapping the research priorities of nonprofit sector research centers: Implications for nonprofit human services research. Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership. 4(1), 11-24

Morris, Z. & Austin, M.J. (2014) Leadership development in the Jewish nonprofit sector: A case study of the New York Muehlstein Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership. Journal of Jewish Communal Services, 89(1), 125-140.

Research interests: 
  • Strategic Planning
  • Social Service Management
  • Organizational Development