Predictors of a volunteer's sense of community
Abstract: We know that sense of community (SoC) is a good thing for volunteers to have, but how do we create it? SoC refers to feelings of membership, feelings of influence, integration and fulfillment of needs, and shared emotional connection. Previous research on volunteers indicates that SoC at the event enhances volunteers satisfaction and commitment and that higher levels of SoC are preceded by higher levels of organisational commitment and their ability to share their opinions and experiences during training. However, previous literature has not confidently identified the factors likely to lead to a sense of community within volunteers. This study hypothesised that role clarity, goal clarity, length of volunteer’s tenure, a leader’s individualised consideration, workgroup size and sport involvement were all antecedents of SoC. Participants were recruited from the 2010 World Rowing Championships, 2010 World Rogaining Championships, 2011 IPC Athletics World Championships, and the 2011 ITF TaeKwonDo Championships. The regression analysis indicated that clarity (a combination of role clarity and goal clarity) was a significant predictor of SoC. The results suggest that the managers of volunteers need to provide specific understanding of the volunteer’s role as well as an understanding of the organisation’s purpose.
Biography: Geoff has an honours degree in Leisure Management and a sport management doctorate from Griffith University. In between degrees, Geoff was General Manager of the Coorparoo Australian Football Club in Brisbane. He began his academic career in 1996 at Central Queensland University before commencing employment at AUT University in 2004. His research interests include sport governance, event management, and sport tourism.
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