Leisure-seeking volunteers: ethical implications

The Institute for Volunteering Research
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Voluntary Action, 2007, 8 (3), pp. 19 - 39
Issue Date:
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People construct socially salient identities of others that in some cases affect their morally significant perceptions of, and interactions with, those groups. If these perceptions are flawed, this has a bearing on fundamental ethical questions: in particular, how one sees, treats and understands those groups. Museum volunteers are a group that are often viewed with differing positive and negative associations and values. The objective of this article is to explore the values and commitment of serious leisure volunteers in order to make a more appropriate representation of volunteers. The article presents the results of a study of volunteers at three large museums and art galleries. The results show that these volunteers place a very high value on the work they do for the institution, and that their commitment to the institution is a combination of affective and continuance commitment. These findings challenge typified representations of volunteers, and the implications for ethical volunteer management are discussed.
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