The Special Olympics is a recognized sport movement for persons with intellectual impairments. This movement provides services that include participation in a health program, a family program, the scientific academy, and volunteering ( Special Olympics Germany, 2017a ). National Summer and Winter
Kirstin Hallmann, Anita Zehrer, Sheranne Fairley and Lea Rossi
Erik L. Lachance and Milena M. Parent
Volunteers have been recognized as indispensable resources for the survival and success of sport events ( Bang & Chelladurai, 2009 ). To date, current research on volunteers in sport events has examined the volunteer experience in relation to constructs, which include, but is not limited to
Jean Harvey, Maurice Lévesque and Peter Donnelly
This study focuses on the relationship between sport volunteerism and social capital, defined here as a resource that stems from participation in certain social networks. A position generator and a resources generator were used to measure the social capital of respondents. Results from this pilot study survey, exploring several aspects of volunteerism in sport in two Canadian communities (one in Québec, the other in Ontario), show a strong relationship between volunteerism in sport and social capital but do not allow a precise measure of the direction of this relationship. Results also show stronger relationships between sport volunteerism and social capital when we control for gender, language, and age.
Stacy Warner, Brianna L. Newland and B. Christine Green
Volunteers provide an essential human resource to sport organizations. Yet measures of motivation and satisfaction have had limited impact on an organization’s ability to improve their volunteer systems. This study applied the Kano Method to categorize volunteers’ perceptions of their experience into four dimensions of satisfaction: Attractive (or Satisfiers), Must-Be’s (or Dissatisfiers), One-Dimensional, and Indifferent. Four types of volunteers (44 sport continuous, 47 sport episodic, 49 nonsport continuous, 176 nonsport episodic) completed a web questionnaire including 26-paired features of their experience, 26 motives, and five key outcome measures. Although motives were deemed important, alone they were poor predictors of key outcomes and were unrelated to satisfaction. Volunteers in the four contexts classified the 26 features in different ways. No Must-Be’s (dissatisfiers) were identified by any group. Although most features were identified as Attractive, the distribution of One-Dimensional and Indifferent features varied by context. One-dimensional items were only identified among features categorized as Supportive Culture, Clear Direction, and Contribution. These features should be prioritized as managers improve volunteer management systems. The Kano Method extends our understanding of the volunteer experience by providing researchers with a tool to distinguish the way volunteers conceptualize their experience. From a practical standpoint, it provides volunteer managers with an additional tool in their efforts to recruit and retain volunteers by prioritizing features that will most immediately impact volunteers.
Sheranne Fairley, Pamm Kellett and B. Christine Green
Volunteers have become essential to the delivery of sport events. Megaevents, such as the Olympic Games, rely on a large number of volunteers for the successful running of the event, some of whom travel to volunteer. This study investigates the motives of a group of people who volunteered at the Sydney Olympics as they prepared to travel to volunteer at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Four key motives were identified: (a) nostalgia, (b) camaraderie and friendship, (c) Olympic (i.e., subcultural) connection, and (d) sharing and recognition of expertise. The motives identified distinguish event volunteer tourists from other volunteer tourists and from other event volunteers. It is suggested that the recruitment, retention, and reacquisition of event volunteers will be served by understanding the motives and experiences of repeat event volunteers.
Alison J. Doherty and Albert V. Carron
Understanding the experiences of volunteers in amateur sport organizations is critical to their effective management of these nonprofit organizations. The purpose of this study was to explore cohesion in volunteer sport executive committees. Members (n = 117) of sport executive committees or boards completed a questionnaire that assessed perceptions of cohesion, individual satisfaction, effort, intent to quit, committee effectiveness, and a variety of individual (gender, committee, role, tenure) and organizational (committee, size, gender composition, frequency and length of meetings) variables. Task cohesion was found to be stronger than social cohesion. Only committee size was found to be associated with perceptions of cohesiveness; members of smaller committees perceived less social cohesion than members of medium and larger committees. Task and social cohesion predicted volunteer satisfaction and perceived committee effectiveness, while volunteer effort and intent to remain with the committee were predicted by task cohesion. The results are discussed in terms of their implication for theory and practice.
Deborah L. Feltz, Teri J. Hepler, Nathan Roman and Craig Paiement
The Coaching Efficacy Scale (CES) measures beliefs coaches have to affect the learning and performance of their athletes. While previous research has provided support for the model of coaching efficacy and the CES as an adequate measure of the construct, these studies have used paid high-school and college coaches. It is possible that the factor structure of the CES may not replicate for volunteer youth sport coaches. The purpose of this study was to explore coaching efficacy sources used by volunteer youth sport coaches. In addition, the validity of the CES was examined, using a 5-point condensed rating scale, among volunteer youth sport coaches before exploring the sources. The study involved 492 volunteer youth sport coaches from various team sports. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the CES had an acceptable fit to the data. The sources of coaching efficacy were examined via multivariate multiple regression and canonical correlation. Results indicated that more confident coaches had more extensive playing and coaching backgrounds, felt their players improved more throughout the season, and perceived more support than did less confident coaches, particularly in regard to technique and game strategy efficacy.
May Kim, Galen T. Trail, Jon Lim and Yu Kyoum Kim
Retaining volunteers is a critical issue for sport organizations utilizing volunteer labor. Based on the theory of planned behavior, the theory of work adjustment, psychological contract theory, two frameworks (person-environment fit and empowerment), and previous empirical results, we proposed and tested three models to explain intention to continue volunteering with 224 volunteers from the Special Olympics State Summer Games. We accepted a model in which Empowerment fully mediated the relationship between Person-Environment Fit and Intention to Continue Volunteering. We also found that Psychological Contract Fulfillment moderated the relationship between Fit and Empowerment.
Holly Thorpe and Megan Chawansky
work with Afghan girls. The two research questions guiding this project are: What are international female staff and volunteers’ experiences of working for a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Afghanistan? and How were their experiences influenced by formal and informal (sport) management strategies
May Kim, Packianathan Chelladurai and Galen T. Trail
Volunteers in sport are indispensable, but there is a dearth of systematic research in volunteer retention. The focus of this study was to investigate three different volunteer-retention models incorporating person–task fit (P–T fit), person–organization fit (P–O fit), managerial treatment (MT), empowerment, and intention to continue volunteering. Using structural equation modeling, data from 515 volunteers in the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) were compared across a fully mediated model, a partially mediated model, and a direct-effects model. The results of the fully mediated model, in which empowerment mediated the relationship between P–T fit, P–O fit, MT, and intention to continue volunteering, fit well and better than the other two models. P–T fit, P–O fit, and MT jointly explained 46.8% of variance in empowerment, and empowerment explained 13.5% of variance in intention to continue. Volunteer organizations need to focus on empowering their volunteers through the fit of the volunteer to the task, organization, and appropriate managerial treatment.