High-Performance Human Resource Practices and Volunteer Engagement: The Role of Empowerment and Organizational Identification

  • Charlotte TraegerEmail author
  • Kerstin Alfes


Volunteering research has long focused on the characteristics of volunteers and their motivations to highlight what drives them to dedicate their free time to good causes. More recently, researchers have turned their attention toward exploring the management practices that nonprofit organizations can implement to promote volunteers’ motivations and thereby improve their attitudes and performance. Our study contributes to this research by analyzing the extent to which combinations of human resource practices can be leveraged to influence volunteers’ level of engagement in their role. Survey results from 256 volunteers in five different nonprofit organizations in the Netherlands support our hypothesized model. Specifically, high-performance human resource practices are related positively to volunteer engagement, and volunteers’ organizational identification and psychological empowerment can account for a significant portion of variance in this relationship. Implications for research and the professional management of volunteers are discussed.


Empowerment Engagement High-performance human resource practices Nonprofit organizations Organizational identification 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© International Society for Third-Sector Research 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of Organization and Human Resource ManagementESCP Europe Business School BerlinBerlinGermany

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