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The Dynamics Influencing Volunteer Satisfaction as Well as Intentions to Continue as a Volunteer for Future Sporting Events

Autor:   •  July 12, 2017  •  2,183 Words (9 Pages)  •  212 Views

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Findings

The instrument used to measure volunteer satisfaction was the Volunteer Satisfaction Index designed by Galindo-Kuhn and Guzley (2001). The scale contained 40 items, and measured five dimensions (containing eight items each) of volunteer satisfaction, these included: organizational support, communication quality, group integration, work assignment, and participation efficacy (Pauline 2011).

In addition to items evaluating satisfaction, the questionnaire also incorporated three items designed to measure behavioural intent to remain with a Likert scale, from 1 (certainly not) to 7 (certainly). Lastly, the instrument built in items designed to collect demographic information such as: gender, age, employment status, marital status, educational level, income, golf experience, and previous volunteer experience (Pauline 2011).

According to Pauline (2011) expressive statistics exposed the significance of each of the 40 items in prompting the satisfaction of volunteers. The results specified that overall satisfaction was between “satisfied” and “very satisfied” (M = 5.78, SD = .68) showing that the volunteers were virtually very satisfied with the service at the 2009 Turning Stone Championship. More specifically, as all 40 items were studied, respondents cited their relationship with other volunteers as vital (Pauline 2011). Pauline (2011) noted that volunteers were unsatisfied with the communication quality. The lowest five satisfaction items all ranged within this area. Volunteers were also apprehensive with the limited recognition they received for their efforts. Pauline (2011) reveals how this is indicative of the participants ranking “How often the organisation acknowledges the work I do” as the least satisfying item.

In regards to examining the effect of previous sport volunteer experience on satisfaction, an ANOVA exposed a noteworthy difference for the work assignment factor [F (1,203) = 4.97, p .05) amongst the volunteers on the four remaining factors participation (efficacy, group integration, organizational commitment, and communication quality).

Whether a relationship existed between prior sport volunteer experience and intent to volunteer for future events was the final research reviewed. According to Pauline (2011) results showed a significant difference in future volunteering intentions among volunteers with and without previous sport event volunteering experience [F (1, 203) = 3.37, p

Discussion

The outcomes of this study presented a number of areas for discussion, as it confirmed some of the earlier research on volunteer satisfaction at sporting events, but also exposed some distinctive aspects as well.

While previous literature has considered overall satisfaction, Pauline (2011) took her study further by examining the affiliation between satisfaction, previous volunteer experience and behavioural intentions to remain for future events and community volunteering. Thus, the more specific purposes of the existing study involve not only discovering the antecedents of volunteer satisfaction for both first time and experienced volunteers but also, its effect on the intent to remain as a volunteer at a sport event associated with the Professional Golf Association event circuit as well as other volunteer contribution opportunities (Pauline 2011).

Consistent with previous research, Pauline’s (2011) study revealed evidence that volunteers were satisfied and felt their work was beneficiary. Pauline (2011) noted, the volunteers commented that they were most satisfied by having the opportunity to benefit others through their commitment to the event. This supports the construct Galindo- Kuhn and Guzley (2002) named participation efficacy.

Pauline (2011) highlighted that volunteers were mostly satisfied with the experience, although disappointed with the lack of information and inefficient communication between the volunteers and the management. This appeared to be the major concern in the present study and according to Galindo-Kuhn and Guzley, (2002) is significant not only for volunteer satisfaction, but also event management.

Relative to satisfaction, the outcomes of the present study also confirmed the more time spent volunteering at the event, the higher level of satisfaction. Pauline (2011) signified that this could have been influenced by the rewards program that the event staff implemented for which volunteers received incentives (e.g. restaurant gift certificates and rounds of golf tickets for the event). This could have also contributed to the volunteers feeling appreciated, although Pauline (2011) does note that further research needs to explore specific influences of rewards provided contributing to satisfaction.

For sporting event managers, this study provided an understanding of the level of satisfaction for the volunteers at this particular event, the influence of experience and time and identified the topics that need to be examined more thoroughly to improve the general experience. As noted in the work of Pauline (2011) such findings have numerous implications to ensure a constructive experience for returning volunteers and first timers. For sporting event managers, such information can be useful in designing strategies for managing events and recruiting event volunteers (Pauline 2011). Silverberg et al (2001) signified the need to understand volunteer satisfaction in an effort to: assist managers, retention, avoid costly recruitment, and volunteer management processes. Pauline’s (2011) study builds on this understanding by further distinguishing the respective satisfaction facts and future intentions of volunteers from a professional golf event. Event managers should strive for volunteers that have a desire to give back to the community and want to immerse themselves in the sport setting. As these individuals appear to have a greater level of satisfaction and higher intent to return in the future, this can decrease the time required of event managers in training, recruiting and managing volunteers.

Beyond the time commitment for volunteer management, retention of volunteers is crucial to the success of sporting events thus volunteer managers must work to do everything possible to ensure that volunteer satisfaction remains strong (Du 2009).

There are quite a few limitations to this research that should be recognised as well as recommendations for future research. Firstly the results of this study relate to the volunteers of the 2009 Turning Stone Championship event, thus generalising from the conclusions is limited to that population or similar populations of sport event volunteers (Pauline 2011). Secondly, Pauline (2011) acknowledged

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