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The appropriate literature sources and analyse the key concepts surrounding the motivation and expectations of volunteers.

| November 23, 2012


Studies on Volunteers’ Profile, Motivation, Expectations and the benefits of Volunteering.

Studies on Volunteers’ Profile, Motivation, Expectations and the benefits of Volunteering has gained  more ground than ever before in recent years, due to the big Sports Events becoming more important than previously. Because of the  development of the Society, the demand of Volunteers is needed. There is a wider literature on Volunteers’ Profile, Motivation, Expectations and the benefits of Volunteering.

One of the most significant researches that have been done on Volunteers is the National Survey of Volunteering (Smith, 1997), which examined how volunteers are recruited and the benefits of volunteering. The most important results were that the primary motivations for volunteering were based on altruistic and self- interested reasons. Smith had found that 48% of the respondents had offered to help, following 47% who had been asked to help by someone. An additional 45% had volunteered because of the needs and interests of their family and friends, and 42% because of thier own needs and interests.

 “The most important benefits volunteers had taken  from their voluntary work were the enjoyment they experienced , the satisfaction of seeing result, meeting new people, making  friends and a sense of personal achievement”. (Smith, 1997,  p.61-62) 

Manchester Metropolitan University (2008) similarly had conducted a Study on Volunteers of the Commonwealth Games to draw-up a profile of volunteers and their pre-Games motivations and expectations on a sample of 698 volunteers. The most important motivation for volunteering found by the study was the volunteers were motivated by being a part of a team and supporting their city, in this case Manchester, and their nation, as well as taking advantage of a unique opportunity.  When the participants of the study were asked if one of their reasons for volunteering in the Commonwealth Games was because it is an exciting experience almost all had agreed that this was one of their main reasons for volunteering, as was the fact that the opportunity itself was a chance of a lifetime and it also provided satisfaction when they helped others. The results on the experience of volunteering were that the whole experience proved to be a unique experience for them and their expectations were far exceeded. The volunteers of the Commonwealth Games had said that they thought that the Games were successful, and they were proud that they were a part of this Event ( Ralston et al., 2008).

G. Pauline and J. S. Pauline (2009) investigated the demographic profile of volunteers and their motivation for getting involved in a professional tennis event. Their results were that the Volunteers’ profile were similar to those of tennis participation population and were similar to other games’ volunteers .Volunteers were motivated by material and purposive factors.  In more detail, the authors found that the Volunteers in their research were influenced in volunteering because they were familiar with the game of tennis. The most common response the authors found regarding the Volunteers’ motivations was that they volunteered because “It is fun to volunteer for this event”(Pauline and Pauline, 2009: 178). And the least important motivation mentioned was that of the volunteer’s employer or school rewarding them with extra credits or bonuses for volunteering. Volunteers were also motivated in helping the event to be successful and serving their community (Pauline and Pauline, 2009)

Studies based on Theories of Altruism and Selflessness and categorising the volunteers’ Motivation into Factors

Volunteer motivation uses theories of altruism and selflessness (Phillips, 1982; Rehberg, 2005). The most important and common motivation in many studies has been found to be that volunteers aims are ‘to help where is needed’. Many volunteer researches have found different motivations including those of altruism, social contact, personal interests, and emotional needs to name a few (Yeung, 2004).  Mallias and Papadimitriou (2002) conducted a research on the volunteers volunteering in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and examined volunteers’ motivations, based on theories of altruism and selflessness. The data analysis was conducted with a 28 item one-dimensional scale named: the Motivation Volunteer Scale (MVS) and categorised the factors into four groups: Purposive, Solidary, External Traditions and Commitments. Their conclusions were that the most important motivations of volunteers were Purposive followed by Solidary. Other researches, such as that of Kokolakakis (1999) on volunteers in the United Kingdom, found that the volunteers tend to volunteer for their own good and own intrinsic satisfaction. Similarly, Shibli, et al. (1999) found that the basic reason for volunteering was not altruistic but rather meeting what volunteers wanted. The literature on Volunteering gives us a complex system of factors that differ from organizations’ or events’ characteristics. A research by Cnaan and Goldberg-Glen (1991) investigated 27 studies on motivation of volunteers and collected data from 258 volunteers and 104 non-volunteers, and after the data was analysed using a 22 item unidimensional scale named the Motivation Volunteer Scale (MVS), had found that motivations were altruistic and egoistic, showing that volunteers not only wanted  to help the organization, but also wanted to be  reward from their volunteering. (Cnaan& Goldberg-Glen, 1991).

Bang and Ross (2009) investigated the impact of volunteers’ motivations and satisfaction using Bang and Chelladurai’s (2003) Volunteer Motivations Scale for International Sporting Events (VMS-ISE). Data were collected from 254 volunteers which volunteered for the 2004 Twin Cities Marathon. The results were  that volunteer motivations could be divided into seven factors: Expression of Values, Community Involvement, Interpersonal Contacts, Career Orientation, Personal Growth, Extrinsic Rewards and Love of Sport  The factors that showed the volunteers’ satisfaction were: Expression of Values, Career Orientation, and Love of Sport ( Bang and Ross ,2009: 68).

Further studies, included that of Wang (2009) which was conducted on volunteers of the 10th National Sport Meeting in 2005 and the 10th National Sport Games in 2005, using both questionnaires and interviews of 350 volunteers who took part. In this study the current state of the participation motivations of the volunteers for large-scale sports events in China were researched. The analysis was done on the factors that motivated volunteers participating in volunteer services and those who dropped-out, and the status of motivations of volunteers who get involved in the voluntary service of large sports events. The results of this study, showed that the motivations of volunteering in voluntary services of sports events can be divided into five factors: Purpose factors, Interpersonal factors, Social Impact factors, Personal factors and the Family Traditional factors.

Clary et al. (1998) based on their results proposed six groups of factors  of  volunteer motivations which they categorised as: Opportunities  expressing one’s values relating to altruistic and humanitarian concerns for others; Opportunities for new learning experiences, and to exercise one’s knowledge, skills, and abilities (Understanding);  Opportunities to be with one’s friends or to engage in an activity viewed favourably by important others (Social); Experiences that may be obtained from participation in volunteer work (Career); Reduced guilt over being more fortunate than others and addressing one’s own personal problems (Protective); and The ego’s growth and development (Enhancement).  Hardin et al. (2007) also researched volunteer motivations by grouping those motivations into different factors. These were grouped into four factors which explained how volunteers characterise their incentives of volunteering: Purposive , Self-interest,External and Escapism. Grammatikopoulos et al. (2006) used the SEVMS in a study of Greek volunteers, with the purpose of trying to explain the motivation of volunteers by the four factors that Twyncam et al. (2002/2003) have used in their study of the Star Choice World Junior Curling Tournament. The four factors were: solidary, purposive, commitment, and external traditions. Other research on motivations of volunteers grouped into factors is that of Bang and Chelladurai (2003) in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, who found  six factors using the Volunteer Motivations Scale for International Sporting Events (VMS-ISE). The Factors were: Expression of Values, Patriotism, Interpersonal Contacts,  Personal Growth, Career Orientation, and Extrinsic Rewards.

Studies on Special Sport Events

Clary et al. (1998) try to help us understand more about the nature of volunteering, however,  they fail to explain the differences between the importance of volunteering in Sports Events and  in volunteering in Special Sport Events. Based on the literature scoping of previous research, it has become evident that there is a lack on research on the motivations of the volunteers of Special Sport Events. This has proven a limitation of the research area, as the Special Sport Events have much more prestige due to the social message they give, and therefore differences between the motivations of the volunteers are to be expected (Farrell et al., 1998).

Farrell et al. (1998) studied the volunteers motivations and satisfaction at the 1998 Canadian Women’s Curling Championship by using Cnaan and Goldberg-Glen’s (1991) Motivational Volunteer Scale. The  result of this   study made  a new  28 item scale called the Special Event Volunteer Motivation Scale (SEVMS) based on the MVS (Cnaan and Goldberg-Glen,1991). The SEVMS divided motivation of volunteers  into four categories; purposive, solidary, external traditions, and commitments.The most important factor the results showed were the purposive factors whilst the least important factors were the external traditions which gave more emphasis to  extrinsic motivations, and the commitments dimension which gave more emphasis  on the expectations of others for vollunteering. Similarly, three other studies (Grammatikopouloset al., 2006; Twynam et al., 2002/2003; Williams et al.,1995) used the SEVMS at special events. One of the studies was on the World Cup downhill skiing event by Williams et al. (1995), which suggested that  the most important volunteer motivations were to support the national team, improve and empower the community spirit and the community image.


Based on the above findings the wider literature is based upon the profile, the motivations, the expectation of volunteers and the benefits of volunteering. Many studies have also found that motivations of volunteers are based on altruism, selflessness and the self determination theories (SD) (Deci& Ryan, 1985b; Ryan &Deci, 2000). The majority of the volunteer researchers have grouped the volunteer motivations into factors, with the most popular factors being: the purposive and the solidary. The volunteer motivations of Special Sport Events have been found to be limited, with the researches conducted being less than those in Sport Events and more complicated than those in Sport Events .

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