Volunteer Performance in the Light of Organizational Success: A Systematic Literature Review

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Abstract

Volunteers are crucial to the functioning of nonprofit organizations. Thus, researchers in various disciplines investigate volunteer performance, broadly defined as the value of individual volunteers’ activities for the accomplishment of organizational goals. Yet a comprehensive overview is still missing. To structure this fragmented literature, the systematic review presented herein covers the antecedents and dimensions of individual volunteer performance in the light of organizational success discussed in 75 academic articles. With an integrated framework of volunteer performance, derived from theoretical considerations of organizational success and the ability–motivation–opportunity framework, this article suggests a systematic classification of current scientific knowledge about the antecedents and dimensions of volunteer performance. In turn, this review offers two instructive research avenues helping to develop a holistic picture of the antecedents and dimensions of individual volunteer performance.

Keywords

Volunteering Volunteer performance Organizational success AMO theory Nonprofit organizations 

Résumé

Les bénévoles jouent un rôle crucial dans le fonctionnement des organisations sans but lucratif. Des chercheurs de diverses disciplines enquêtent ainsi sur le rendement des bénévoles, largement défini comme la valeur des activités bénévoles individuelles réalisées en vue d’atteindre des objectifs organisationnels. Aucun aperçu complet de la question n’existe toutefois à l’heure actuelle. Pour structurer cette littérature fragmentée, la présente revue systématique de 75 articles académiques traite des antécédents et des dimensions du rendement bénévole individuel à la lumière de la réussite organisationnelle. En s’appuyant sur un cadre intégré du rendement bénévole, dérivé de considérations théoriques de la réussite organisationnelle et de la structure habileté-motivation-opportunité, le présent article suggère une classification systématique des connaissances scientifiques actuelles sur les antécédents et les dimensions du rendement bénévole. En retour, cette revue offre deux avenues de recherche révélatrices permettant de dresser un portrait complet des antécédents et dimensions du rendement bénévole individuel.

Zusammenfassung

Freiwillige sind für die Funktionsfähigkeit gemeinnütziger Organisationen essentiell. Aus diesem Grund untersuchen Forscher verschiedenster wissenschaftlicher Disziplinen die Leistung Freiwilliger, die einer breiten Definition folgend als der Gesamtwert der individuellen Leistungen, die Freiwillige zum Erreichen der organisationalen Ziele beitragen, angesehen wird. Ein strukturierter Überblick zur Leistung Freiwilliger fehlt jedoch bislang. Zur Strukturierung des Forschungsfeldes präsentiert der hier vorliegende systematische Literaturüberblick, basierend auf insgesamt 75 wissenschaftlichen Artikeln, Determinanten und Dimensionen von individueller Leistung Freiwilliger bezüglich des Beitrags zu organisationalem Erfolg. Mit Hilfe eines integrierten Rahmenwerks, das sich aus theoretisch-konzeptionellen Überlegungen zu organisationalem Erfolg und dem Ability-Motivation-Opportunity-Ansatz (AMO) aufbaut, wird eine systematische Klassifizierung existierender wissenschaftlicher Erkenntnisse zu Determinanten und Dimensionen der Leistung Freiwilliger vorgenommen. Darauf aufbauend wird mittels zweier instruktiver Forschungswege eine Forschungsagenda aufgestellt, die zu einem umfassenden, ganzheitlichen Verständnis von Determinanten und Dimensionen individueller Leistung Freiwilliger beitragen soll.

Resumen

Los voluntarios son cruciales para el funcionamiento de las organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro. Por ello, los investigadores de varias disciplinas investigan el rendimiento del voluntario, definido en términos generales como el valor de las actividades de voluntarios individuales para el logro de las metas de la organización. Sin embargo, sigue faltando una descripción general integral. Para estructurar este material publicado fragmentado, la revisión sistemática presentada aquí cubre los antecedentes y las dimensiones del rendimiento del voluntario individual a la luz del éxito de la organización tratado en 75 artículos académicos. Con un marco integrado del rendimiento del voluntario, derivado de consideraciones teóricas del éxito de la organización y el marco de capacidad-motivación-oportunidad, el presente artículo sugiere una clasificación sistemática del conocimiento científico actual sobre los antecedentes y dimensiones del rendimiento del voluntario. A su vez, esta revisión ofrece dos vías de investigación aleccionadoras que ayudan a desarrollar un panorama integral de los antecedentes y dimensiones del rendimiento del voluntario individual.

Chinese

志愿者对于非盈利组织的运营来说非常关键。由此,不同学科的研究人员对志愿者的表现进行了调查,该表现被广泛定义为个人志愿者的活动为实现组织目标所带来的价值。然而,仍然缺少综合的概述。为结构化本碎片化文献,这里介绍的系统审核将覆盖在75篇学术文章中介绍的组织成功下的个人志愿者表现的前因和维度。凭借由组织成功的理论考虑得出的整体志愿者表现框架,以及能力-动机-机会框架,本文建议对当前的志愿者表现前因和维度科学知识进行系统的分类。本审核反过来提供了两个说明性研究途径,帮助获得个人志愿者的表现前因和维度的整体情况。

Japanese

ボランティアは、非営利組織のセクターの業績には重要である。このように多くの分野の研究者は、ボランティアの実績、広域にいえば組織の目標達成のために個々のボランティア活動の価値を調査する。しかし、比較的な概観は失われている。この断片的な文献を構築するために、組織的な見直しでは、75本の学術論文で議論されている組織の成功における個々のボランティアの業績の範囲と優先性を提示した。ボランティアの実績における統合的な枠組みは、組織の成功と可能性―動機―機会の枠組みにおける理論的な考察からくるが、本論文ではボランティアの業績の規模と優先性について現代科学の知識における組織的な分類を提案する。代わりに、この見直しとしては個々のボランティアの業績の規模と優先性における全体的な概念の進展に役立つ2つの有益な研究を提供する。

Arabic

المتطوعون لهم دور هام لأداء المنظمات الغير ربحية. هكذا، يبحث الباحثون في مختلف التخصصات أداء المتطوعين، يبدو على نطاق واسع بإنه قيمة أنشطة المتطوعين الفردية لتحقيق الأهداف التنظيمية. مع ذلك لا تزال هناك نظرة عامة شاملة مفقودة. من أجل تنظيم هذا الأدب المجزأ، فإن المراجعة المنهجية المعروضة هنا تغطي الأداء السابق والأبعاد لأداء المتطوعين الأفراد في ضوء النجاح التنظيمي الذي تمت مناقشته في 75 مقال أكاديمي. مع وجود إطار متكامل من أداء المتطوعين، المستمدة من الإعتبارات النظرية للنجاح التنظيمي وإطار القدرة على التحفيز والفرص، تقترح هذه المادة تصنيف منهجي للمعرفة العلمية الحالية حول الأداء السابق وأبعاد أداء المتطوعين. في المقابل، تقدم هذه المراجعة إثنين من سبل البحث المفيدة يساعدان على تطوير صورة شاملة للأداء السابق وأبعاد أداء المتطوعين الأفراد.

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research project was supported by the Julius-Paul-Stiegler-Gedächtnis-Stiftung and Center for Doctoral Studies in Business Administration of the University of Mannheim. The authors are grateful for comments received at the 44th ARNOVA conference (19–21 November, 2015, Chicago, USA).

Funding

Author Benedikt Englert received funding by the GlaxoSmithKline Stiftung (500 Euro) and the Julius-Paul-Stiegler-Gedächtnis-Stiftung (900 Euro) for attending the 44th ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action) conference (19–21 November, 2015, Chicago, USA) where he presented this study.

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 and The Johns Hopkins University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chair of Business Administration, Public and Nonprofit ManagementUniversity of MannheimMannheimGermany

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