Using psychological contract theory to explore issues in effective volunteer management

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Journal Article
European Sport Management Quarterly, 2006, 6 (2), pp. 123 - 147
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Psychological contract theory is used here to explore the set of expectations and obligations that community sport club volunteers regard as part of their volunteering experience. In the first phase of the research, focus group interviews were conducted with 98 community sports club administrators about the methods used to manage volunteers and the organisational expectations of the volunteers. In phase two, 48 general volunteers were interviewed about their expectations and perceptions of the club's volunteer management practices. The findings indicate that club administrators and volunteers place different emphases on the transactional, assurance of good faith and fair dealing, and intrinsic job characteristic components of the psychological contract. Notably, club administrators had substantial expectations of volunteers in relation to adherence to professional, legal and regulatory standards. Volunteers were primarily concerned with doing rewarding work in a pleasant social environment that was able to fit within their often tight time restrictions. The implications of these findings for volunteer management processes and practice in community sport clubs are discussed.
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