Five directions for volunteer management research

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Five directions for volunteer management research

  1. 1. Motivational profile, role identity and volunteer embeddedness Gerry Treuren and Natalie Potter AOM symposium, San Antonio, August 16
  2. 2. Growing challenges for volunteer managers Recruiting and retaining the right volunteers
  3. 3. HRM and OB offers new approaches to volunteer attraction and retention
  4. 4. 1. Message-matching-based approach to recruitment and retention <ul><li>First proposed by Clary et al. 1994, 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>Argued that the motivational emphasis of the recruitment message attracted volunteers with the same motivational orientation </li></ul><ul><li>The more congruent the recruitment message is with potential volunteer motivation, the higher the intention to volunteer </li></ul>
  5. 5. If the message-matching approach is well-founded… <ul><li>Organisations can design better strategies for recruiting preferred motivational types </li></ul><ul><li>Can be expanded to include motivationally appropriate retention strategies </li></ul>
  6. 6. Limits to the current research <ul><li>Only tested using student samples </li></ul><ul><li>Has only looked at intention to volunteer, not actual volunteering </li></ul><ul><li>This approach hinges on getting volunteer motivation right </li></ul>
  7. 7. A message-matching research program
  8. 8. 2. The Associative-Supportive motivation <ul><li>Treuren (2009) proposed the Associative-Supportive motivation based on studies of event and sport volunteering </li></ul><ul><li>Associative-Supportive motivation: Volunteer has a strong attachment to the organisation or activity. They participate to (i) be involved and (ii) to ensure its success. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Some evidence for the Associative-Supportive motivation <ul><li>Strong qualitative and descriptive evidence in event and sport volunteering </li></ul><ul><li>Clary et al (1998) Volunteer Functions Inventory + A-S factor structure works: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sport event volunteers (N=207) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Health-based volunteering (N=203) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Implications of the Associative-Supportive motivation for recruitment and retention <ul><li>Enables better recruitment and retention strategies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognition of A-S motivation enables more accurate description of volunteer motivation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables better targeted message-matching </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Research Questions
  12. 12. 3. Recognition of volunteer profiles <ul><li>Kiviniemi et al (2002) highlighted the multiple motivations of volunteers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promise of identifying generic volunteer types </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identifying generic volunteer types will assist message-matching approaches, and thus lead to better recruitment and retention </li></ul>
  13. 13. Current volunteer profile research <ul><li>Sparked several papers that used cluster analysis and latent class analysis techniques to identify generic volunteer types </li></ul><ul><li>Current research is inductive and sample specific: use of a variety of scales prevents the identification of generic types </li></ul><ul><li>No testing of approach </li></ul>
  14. 14. An example of volunteer profiling <ul><li>Cluster analysis of motivations of 588 event volunteers drawn from 5 organisations </li></ul><ul><li>6 distinct types of volunteers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Three varieties of enthusiasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two varieties of reluctant volunteers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One variety of instrumentalists </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Research Questions
  16. 17. 4. Role Identity of volunteers <ul><li>Volunteer role identity is that aspect of self-concept that sees ‘volunteering’ as part of their identity and personality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ I am a volunteer at ----’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This belief about self can influence volunteer behaviours and expectations </li></ul>
  17. 18. Role Identity of volunteers <ul><li>Role identity is negligible at first – people typically volunteer initially for other reasons </li></ul><ul><li>RI emerges soon after commencement </li></ul><ul><li>As people continue to volunteer, they develop a sense of themselves as ‘volunteers’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This identity consolidates their volunteering involvement </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. Volunteer Role Identity and tenure Unclear – how RI develops over time Volunteering starts
  19. 20. Organisational benefits of managed Role Identity <ul><li>Research has pointed to the importance of volunteer role identity – RI positively correlated with: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>organisational commitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ employee’ engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>organisational identification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>reduced intention to leave </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Role Identity as moderator of the relationship between Psychological Contract Breach and Intention to leave
  21. 22. Role of volunteer Role Identity
  22. 23. Managing Role Identity <ul><li>Cultivation of role identity can lead to better retention and - eventually - better recruitment </li></ul><ul><li>How? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognising and finding legitimate forms for volunteer ‘ownership’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appreciating the different forms taken by volunteer engagement </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. Propositions to be tested
  24. 25. Propositions to be tested
  25. 26. 5. The ‘job embeddedness’ of volunteers <ul><li>Job Embeddedness Theory (JET) holds that employees are bound to their organisations by an idiosyncratic collage of perceptual, cognitive and structural factors </li></ul><ul><li>Some of these factors can be manipulated by management to increase retention </li></ul><ul><li>Potentially directly applicable to volunteers </li></ul>
  26. 27. So what is JET? <ul><li>Volunteer attached to organisation by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisational and community fit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisational and community linkage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisational and community sacrifice </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The greater the embeddedness, the more ‘connected’ and the lower the intention to leave </li></ul>
  27. 28. Moderating role of volunteer embeddedness
  28. 29. Consequences of managing employee embeddedness <ul><li>JET research has found that the different elements of embeddedness reliably predict employee outcomes such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employee attachment and engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organisational citizenship behaviours </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moderator of dissatisfaction and shock </li></ul>
  29. 30. A framework for volunteer management <ul><li>Tools for a framework of volunteer attraction and attachment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A model of recruitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A model of retention </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provides a diagnostic tool for management interventions </li></ul>
  30. 31. Implications of JET for volunteer management <ul><li>Volunteers decide to participate for a variety of reasons related to their community connection </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing volunteering can be explained through the growing organisational embeddedness </li></ul><ul><li>Management can adopt practices that integrate volunteers into the organisation </li></ul>
  31. 32. Propositions to be tested High impact High impact Lower impact
  32. 33. Propositions to be tested Medium impact Medium impact Medium impact
  33. 34. A JET model of volunteer recruitment and retention
  34. 35. Research challenge
  35. 36. Three potential research directions

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