Organizational Citizenship Initiatives: A Qualitative Analysis of Overcoming Deterrents to Volunteerism and Community Service Opportunities
Beale, RuL., Mattis, Jacqueline S., Cowie, Sheri-Ann E., Watson, Carolyn R., Forrest, Jeannie, Cooper, Diana, International Journal of Business Strategy
This article examines employee, community and organizational benefits of Organizational Initiatives which allow employees to do community service and/or volunteer work during work hours. Work hours that can be used to engage in community service or volunteerism. It can be viewed as an added organizational benefit which meets personal goals of employees in that it provides those employees who value volunteerism and / or community service work an opportunity to fulfill their value while decreasing identified time conflicts and work/family life balance issues. An organization's community reputation benefits through giving back to the community and thereby addresses corporate social responsibility expectations. The community benefits and the win-win-win strategy are reified for the parties involved. Implementation limitations are also addressed in this article.
Keywords: Organizational Citizenship and volunteering, Volunteering and fulfilling organizational community service initiatives, Corporate Citizenship and community service, time and volunteerism
There are many factors which impact the reputation and success of organizations as they attempt to meet responsibilities and expectations of shareholders and numerous other stakeholders. "Strict adherence to a corporate bottom line approach of 'corporate isolationism' is not congruent with contemporary community standards" (Cava and Mayer, 2006). The social ethos in many cultures, communities and neighborhoods expect businesses to give back to the community in some tangible manner. Corporate social responsibility is growing in terms of visibility as well as expectation (Wilson & Musick, 2000; Ehrhart, 2004). Those organizations that give back are lauded and those who do not are often ignored and at times, condemned. Thereby, corporations continue to look for ways to address corporate social responsibility expectations (either because it is the right thing to do or because it is a politically expected thing to do) as well as meeting the needs and expectations of their stakeholders without negatively impacting their "bottom line". (Wollenback & Selle, 2002)
Some organizations have initiated formal and informal organizational citizenship initiatives which can be practiced inside and out of the organization. One of the most fruitful initiatives is occurring in organizations who offer their employees the opportunity to do volunteer work in the community during work hours. Depending on the organization, this can occur weekly or monthly for as little as 4 hours a week or 1 day a month or larger amounts of times where some executives are assigned to an organization for months at a time. Certainly some corporations can provide larger "time" allotments however small amounts of time can be a personal and professional benefit to many employees.(Becker, 1965; Day& Deolin, 1998). Organizations who give their employees the opportunity to decide without being mandated by their employer which organization and what type of volunteering they do provides an employee with an instrumental resource of time to participate in areas in which they are socio-emotionally interested or invested without the burden of trying to find the time. (Morrison, 1994)
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
Volunteers play a crucial role in meeting the vast social, economic, material, intellectual, and spiritual needs of communities. Indeed, individuals who voluntarily contribute their time to social and political causes transfer crucial knowledge and skills (e.g., literacy, moral knowledge) to children, youth and adults; provide material goods and resources (e.g., housing, food, clothing) to individuals who are in need; provide solace to individuals who are sick, distressed, or socially isolated; and help to transform the physical spaces in which people live (e.g., through neighborhood clean-up initiatives). Perhaps because of the profound social and economic value of volunteerism to communities, scholars interested in volunteerism and social participation have focused significant attention on identifying the factors that motivate individuals to volunteer and the factors that promote sustained involvement in volunteer work (see, for example Clary & Snyder, 1991, 1999; Clary Snyder, Ridge, Copeland, Haugen, & Miene, 1998; Hayghe, 1991; Hoge, Zech, McNamara, & Donahue 1998; Omoto & Snyder, 1995; Regnerus, Smith, & Sikkink, 1998). Considerably less empirical energy has been dedicated to discerning the deterrents to volunteerism among adults. The lack of empirical attention to the factors that discourage volunteerism tacitly supports two crucial yet empirically unsupported notions: First, this gap reifies the notion that those who do not volunteer simply value pro-social involvement less than their counterparts who do volunteer. Second, the gap reinforces the notion that knowing why people volunteer is empirically more valuable to efforts at volunteer recruitment and retention than knowing why people do not volunteer. This multi-method study seeks to broaden the discourse about involvement in volunteer work by examining the factors that deter working age adults from volunteering.
2.1 Theorizing Volunteerism and Social Participation
Motivations to volunteer have been conceptualized in numerous ways. Some scholars argue that volunteerism is a function of human, social, and cultural capital. Others insist that volunteerism is a result of egoistic or altruistic motivations. Still others argue that personality and affect play important roles in stimulating volunteerism. Each of these perspectives is worthy of review because it is all too easy to assume that if …
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Publication information: Article title: Organizational Citizenship Initiatives: A Qualitative Analysis of Overcoming Deterrents to Volunteerism and Community Service Opportunities. Contributors: Beale, RuL. - Author, Mattis, Jacqueline S. - Author, Cowie, Sheri-Ann E. - Author, Watson, Carolyn R. - Author, Forrest, Jeannie - Author, Cooper, Diana - Author. Journal title: International Journal of Business Strategy. Volume: 7. Issue: 3 Publication date: September 2007. Page number: 32+. © 2008 International Academy of Business and Economics. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
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