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Volunteering and Communication

Studies from Multiple Contexts

Edited By Michael W. Kramer, Loril M. Gossett and Laurie K. Lewis

This book won the 2014 Applied Communication Division Award for Outstanding Edited Book

There is a growing interest in studying nonprofit organizations and volunteers as an alternative to studying employees in for-profit businesses and government agencies. This is driven in part by the recognition that volunteers make important contributions to society and the economy. This book is the first edited volume written primarily by communication scholars to focus on volunteers. It explores the experience of being a volunteer and managing volunteers through a focus on empirical examination of communication in volunteering. The contributors explore volunteers broadly and are divided into five sections which cover becoming a volunteer; learning about self as a volunteer; dark sides of volunteering; organizationally supported volunteering; and voice and dissent. The final chapter suggests areas of future research and application of the book.
An important focus of the book is its data-based, empirical studies. Although each chapter includes applications, those recommendations are based on systematic studies of volunteers rather than primarily on anecdotal evidence or previous literature. Furthermore, each chapter includes a brief field experience narrative written by a volunteer, as well as addressing a broader conceptual or theoretical issue of organizational studies. In this way the book provides more than just case studies of volunteers, but also addresses general organizational issues.


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Author Biographies


Joshua B. Barbour (Ph.D., Organizational Communication, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign) is an assistant professor of communication at Texas A & M University. His research centers on the confluence of the mac- romorphic and communicative in organizing and emphasizes the negotiation and management of information, uncertainty, and risk. His work has ap- peared in Management Communication Quarterly, Communication Theory, the Journal of Health Communication, and the Journal of Communication. He may be contacted at Isabel C. Botero (Ph.D., Organizational Communication, Michigan State University) completed the work for the book chapter while she was a Visit- ing Scholar in the Center for Corporate Communication at Aarhus University (Denmark) during the 2011–2012 academic year. Her research interests in- clude communication in and about family firms, influence processes in the organization, information sharing in groups, and crisis communication. Her work has appeared in Communication Monographs, Communication Year- book, Management Communication Quarterly, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Journal of Management Studies, and Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. She may be contacted via email at botero- Theresa R. Castor (Ph.D., Speech Communication, University of Washing- ton) is an associate professor of communication at the University of Wiscon- sin–Parkside. Her area of research intersects organizational communication and language and social interaction. Her specific focus is on language use during decision making, focusing on governance contexts such as faculty senate meetings, school board meetings, and disaster conferences among public officials. The central theoretical issue of her work is understanding the interrelationship between...

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