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.
Christine E. Wegner, Bradley J. Baker, and Gareth J. Jones
Christine E. Wegner, Jeremy S. Jordan, Daniel C. Funk, and Brianna Soule Clark
In the current study the researchers investigated the creation of an identity for Black female runners through their psychological and behavioral involvement in a national running organization for Black women. A repeated measures design was used with 756 members, surveying them twice over a 14-month period regarding their involvement both with the organization and with the activity of running. We found that members’ psychological and behavioral involvement with running increased over time, and that this change was more salient for members who did not consider themselves runners before they joined the organization. These findings provide initial support for the facilitation of a running identity through membership in this running organization.
Gareth J. Jones, Christine E. Wegner, Kyle S. Bunds, Michael B. Edwards, and Jason N. Bocarro
To promote community development, sport-for-development (SFD) organizations strive to build local leadership that fosters long-term sustainability. Although shared leadership (SL) structures are particularly effective in these settings, there has been limited attention to SL within the SFD context, especially from a multilevel perspective. While previous studies of leadership in sport have primarily focused on the individual traits of leaders, multilevel analysis is required to understand how environmental characteristics relate to leadership development. This qualitative case study analyzes the development and deployment of SL in an American SFD organization. Interviews, observations, and document analysis are used to generate data, and theoretical thematic analysis is used to identify key themes related to the environmental characteristics of SL. Results highlight how environmental characteristics are related to SL, as well as group and task characteristics. The discussion integrates these findings with SL theory to discuss implications for the management of SFD projects in this context, and recommends integrated forms of leadership that combine shared and servant leadership approaches.