The matching of motivations to affordances in the volunteer environment: An index for assessing the impact of multiple matches on volunteer outcomes

Arthur A. Stukas, Keilah A. Worth, E. Gil Clary, Mark Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations

Abstract

The functional approach to volunteerism holds that outcomes from volunteering (e.g., satisfaction and intentions to remain a volunteer) are a function of the match between a volunteer's motivations and affordances to meet those motivations found in the environment (i.e., the volunteer activities, position, or organization). In this article, the authors introduce an index for calculating a volunteer's total number of matches across six motivational categories identified by past research. They demonstrate that this index predicts outcomes better than motives or affordances alone and as well as any univariate match index (i.e., in a particular motivational category). Following logic about strong and weak situational contexts, the authors demonstrate that the magnitude of the total matches effect may be greater when organizational contexts are less structured and smaller when contexts are more structured. They discuss theoretical and practical benefits of this total match index.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-28
Number of pages24
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We greatly appreciate the contributions of figures by Drs. Takuya Ito, Anthony Millar, and William Sheridan. We would also like to thank Bridget Leyland and Gavilange Nestor for comments on the manuscript. The work in our laboratory has been supported by a grant from the US Department of Energy to H.M. (DE-FG02-02ER15332). C.L.H.H. was partially supported by the Integrative Bioscience Graduate Degree Program at the Pennsylvania State University.

Funding Information:
We greatly appreciate the contributions of figures by Drs. Takuya Ito, Anthony Millar, and William Sheridan. We would also like to thank Bridget Leyland and Gavilange Nestor for comments on the manuscript. The work in our laboratory has been supported by a grant from the US Department of Energy to H.M. (DE-FG02-02ER15332). C.L.H.H. was partially supported by the Integrative Bioscience Graduate Degree Program at the Pennsylvania State University.

Keywords

  • Motivation
  • Organizational structure
  • Satisfaction
  • Volunteerism

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