Academic journal article Asian Social Science

The Role of Egoistic Motives for Malaysian College Students' Involvement in Volunteering Activities

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

The Role of Egoistic Motives for Malaysian College Students' Involvement in Volunteering Activities

Article excerpt

Abstract

Egoistic motives play an important role for the involvement of college students in volunteering activities. This study extends the prior research to the Malaysian context and aims to emphasize on descriptive analysis of egoistic motives. A quantitative cross sectional survey research method was used to collect data. A self-administered questionnaire comprised of a demographic and an adaptation of Volunteer Function Inventory (VFI) was administered to samples from four public universities in Peninsular Malaysia. They were proportionately and randomly selected in the study. Data were analyzed using descriptive analysis. In a sample of 310, the results of the study revealed that egoistic motives in terms of career needs, self-protection and social needs were from high to very high level. The results also showed that the need to reduce the feeling of loneliness had recorded the highest mean of items. Besides, the results found that majority of the respondents acknowledged that egoistic motives were important for their involvement in volunteering activities. Meanwhile, 96 per cent of them acknowledged that the most important reason for their involvement in volunteering activities was to protect them from loneliness. The implications for theory and volunteers' managerial practices are discussed and put forward.

Keywords: college students, egoistic motives, volunteers, volunteerism

1. Introduction

Volunteering plays a vital role for the development and wellbeing of a community. In fact, the impact of volunteering is not only concern with productivity and responsibility of a citizen but also the wellbeing of others. Hence, its spirit and application will lead to stability and peace of a nation. The government should give special attention to college students' involvement in volunteering activities because they are a very significant population. They are future leaders who will continue the development and wellbeing of a society and nation (Azizan, 2004). They are highly educated people and the role model to community. They also have strong power of peer influences because most of them are young people (Newman & Newman, 2006) and intellectuals see them as a potential group to influence their peers positively. In addition, college students also responsible to meet part of the goals of a university that is to serve community.

Recently, Malaysian government had launched 1M4U and had provided special grants for the youth including the college students to organize volunteering activities (Ministry of Youth & Sports Malaysia, 2013). The government also embedded volunteerism element in Malaysian national education policies (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2013). These are as the facts that Malaysian government realizes the importance of college students' involvement in volunteering activities. However, researchers are not yet investigate why Malaysian college students involve in volunteering activities scientifically.

The Functional theory explains that a person's attitude or behavior may be serve different psychological needs (Houle, Saragin & Kaplan, 2005; Katz, 1960). Past literatures have found the role of egoistic motives for the involvement of adults (Clary & Snyder, 1991, 1999; Clary, Snyder, Ridge, Copeland, Stukas, & Haugen, 1998; Snyder, Clary & Stukas, 2000) and students in volunteering activities (Abrami & Perry, 1976; Batson & Coke, 1981; Devlin & Trudeau, 1996; Fitch 1987; Serow, 1991; Smith, 1981). However, most of those studies have done in overseas. This study extends the prior research to the Malaysian context and aims to analyze the egoistic motives in depth. The research gap and the lack of research on volunteering motivation among Malaysian college students' volunteers have attracted the researchers to conduct this study. In addition, people cannot apply the results of volunteering motivation studies among adult volunteers that get much more attention in this area to another generation automatically as volunteering motivation changes over time (Kirkpatrick Johnson, Beebe, Mortimer, & Snyder, 1998; Omoto, Snyder, & Martino, 2000). …

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