Studies from Multiple Contexts
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.
Ch 20: New Directions for Volunteering
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NEW DIRECTIONS FOR VOLUNTEERING
Laurie K. Lewis, Loril M. Gossett, & Michael W. Kramer
The inspiration for this book came from of a series of conversations between the three editors in which we all expressed frustration trying to find empirical research focused specifically on volunteering. While there is certainly a great deal of interesting research being done in this area, it is spread among a wide variety of disciplines, journals, and countries. Our goal in preparing this text was to collect a series of research-based studies, from a variety of viewpoints and methodological orientations, which could serve both as a text for volunteer-focused courses, as well as a general reference guide for scholars interested in this research area.
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