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A psychological contract perspective to the link between non-profit organizations' management practices and volunteer sustainability

Citation

Stirling, C and Kilpatrick, SI and Orpin, P, A psychological contract perspective to the link between non-profit organizations' management practices and volunteer sustainability , Human Resource Development International, 14, (3) pp. 321-336. ISSN 1367-8868 (2011) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

The definitive published version is available online at: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals

Official URL: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals

DOI: doi:10.1080/13678868.2011.585066

Abstract

This study applies the concept of the psychological contract to the relationship between management practices and volunteers. Formalization of the voluntary sector is impacting on volunteers’ experiences and may breach the psychological contract from the volunteers’ perspective. This mixed method study interviewed 67 volunteers and volunteer coordinators/administrators, and collected mail survey information from 152 volunteer organizations. The transactional management practices of keeping formal records and not paying volunteers out of pocket expenses are negatively associated with volunteer recruitment and retention. Alternatively, publicly recognizing volunteers through a volunteer newsletter supports volunteers’ relational expectations and is positively linked to adequate volunteer numbers. Our findings have important implications for the human resource development practices of non-profit organizations in dealing with their volunteers: they suggest that the relational expectations of volunteers are an important aspect of the psychological contract, which could be used by organizations as a framework for developing management practices that fit the volunteer ethos of trust and networks.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:health, non-profit, organizations, rural, volunteers
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Business and Management
Research Field:Human Resources Management
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and Productivity
Objective Field:Management and Productivity not elsewhere classified
Author:Stirling, C (Associate Professor Christine Stirling)
Author:Kilpatrick, SI (Professor Sue Kilpatrick)
Author:Orpin, P (Dr Peter Orpin)
ID Code:70504
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2011-06-23
Last Modified:2017-11-28
Downloads:11 View Download Statistics

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