Organizational Identity Development in Sport Volunteers

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 University of Florida
  • | 2 University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • | 3 Temple University
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Volunteers provide essential services to community sport organizations; thus, it is important to understand the underlying factors in successful volunteer–organization relationships. Organizational identification, an integral component of relationship building for members in an organization, is a useful yet underutilized concept to understand how and why volunteers create lasting, deep relationships with sport organizations. This research utilizes a sequential mixed-method design to examine the evolution of organizational identification among volunteers in a community sport organization. The survey results indicate that new volunteers formed their organizational identification over the course of a single program season, such that, by the end of the season, they were similar to returners. Subsequent qualitative analysis of focus group data indicated that the content and evolution of organizational identities varied for newcomers and returners. These results provide important contributions related to the ongoing nature of identity work of volunteers and offer practical implications for volunteer management within community sport organizations.

Wegner is with the Department of Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA. Baker is with the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA. Jones is with the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Wegner (christinewegner@ufl.edu) is corresponding author.
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