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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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Ch 13: Managing Volunteer Tensions: Unpacking Experiences and Responses to Organizational Irrationalities

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Chapter 13

MANAGING VOLUNTEER TENSIONS: UNPACKING EXPERIENCES AND RESPONSES TO ORGANIZATIONAL IRRATIONALITIES

Disraelly Cruz University of West Florida

I could remember coming home on Saturday at 1 o’clock after having worked [at the farmer’s market], this would have been my 46th hour of work for the week, and taking a hot bath because I was so cold that I couldn’t bend my fingers. Then sleeping the rest of the day. Feeling just constantly under the gun. I don’t know. I think you get to a point where you have to say, “Okay, this is too much.” I mean I just remember I was angry. I resented everything I was doing –Alethia.

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