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Analyzing Volunteer Motivation

The scope and nature in relation to sports voluntary involvement is well established, however as stated by Riot et al. (2014) there is a significant threat over voluntary involvement in community sports volunteering. Volunteers have been described as a vital source in relation to sports events and in many cases where they are involved it leads to survival of the event. Thus, most of the sports organisation put their reliance on volunteers for the purpose of ensuring smoothness of a sports event. However the organisation needs to understand the satisfaction and motivation which would lead such volunteers to participate in future events. It has been indicated by Nichols & Ojala (2009) that there has been a significant decrease in the volunteer hours per individual. This situation can pose serious implications towards successful management of voluntary sports organisation along with the benefits for the volunteers and community where they operate. There are various motivations which inspires a person to voluntarily get involved in international community Sports. These motivations have been highlighted by several researches.

The purpose of this report is to identify and discuss motivation in relation to sports volunteering. The paper also highlights the problem of declining involvement in community sports volunteering. In addition the paper discusses the implication of declining involvement in sports community on volunteer management.

The researchers have been interested to analyse and understand people's motivation to volunteer since 1960s.  The notion of volunteer motivation have been analysed in the light of several theories. These theories include concepts like co production theory social exchange theory and the functional perspective of volunteerism

According to the social exchange theory a volunteer is an individual who wishes to provide his or her knowledge, labour and time in relation to performance of an unpaid act towards a Sporting event. The working of a volunteer maybe in group with other volunteers or they may work individually. Therefore volunteerism can be defined as a kind of social behaviour which includes an interaction between different individuals such as the volunteer and agency representatives. According to Doherty (2005) interaction is mostly exchange of materials and goods between two people. Cohesiveness has been defined by Gumulka et al. (2015) as the concept which persuades individuals to involve in a group. An explanation is provided through this as to why people get involved in a group such as a group of volunteers. Although there is no monetary benefit received by the volunteer for their dedication, they do not expect any material or a material thing in return such as meals, clothes or social interactions.

There is a development of a reward cost situation between the volunteers and the organisation or the volunteers themselves. Award in a relationship is anything which is gained upon interaction with another person such as receiving tangible goods or meeting new people. On the other hand and negative consequence of the relationship is the cost for instance the time needed to comply with a duty. In case of voluntary is made to work 8 hours in a Sporting event he would think it is too long on the basis of the exchange ratio and therefore not wish to participate in future. The reward cost ratio may take place through the exchange between the parties. Therefore social exchange is a kind of interaction which emphasizes on what people gain from a relationship and what they put into the relationship. The concept of social exchange plays a vital role in getting volunteers at initial stages and assuring that that participate in future.

Social Exchange Theory

Another theory in relation to volunteer motivation is the coproduction theory. It is defined as a simple effort which is provided by individuals to go through with a task. The concept maybe understood as the active involvement of the direct beneficiaries of the service and the general public. There are three kinds of cooperation activities namely collective, group and individual. In relation to volunteerism in sports group production consists of active voluntary participation by citizens. Three potential reasons have been provided by the coproduction theory as to why people volunteer in any event. Firstly there is a perception up on the volunteer that if they do not participate the event would not be able to function properly. The second reason originates from the curiosity of the volunteer in relation to the agency or the organisation. The third and final reason is the motivation to provide assistant to someone they know such as their favourite player. These reasons constitute strong motivation factors for the volunteers towards ensuring that the event is properly conducted.

Another theory in relation to volunteer motivation is the functional perspective of volunteerism. This approach attempts to understand the social and psychological goals and needs along with the motives and plans which the individuals are trying to attain through their behaviour and belief. In addition to this approach we are informed that for different people same believe or behaviour serves as a different psychological function. The management of volunteer in nonprofit organisation along with their motivation through the use of functional approach have been examined by researchers.

Through this approach it is determined that people are goal-directed and active and participate as volunteers as they wish to satisfy individual goals and needs. Therefore people may get involved into the same voluntary activity with the purpose of fulfilling different motives. In the same way people may engage in similar voluntary activities while participating for different organisations in order to obtain similar motivation. Through the functional perspective of volunteerism many factors in relation to the participation of people is explained. There may be several multiple motives in relation to a volunteer for a single instance of volunteering. To the contrary participation in various events may also satisfied one particular motive of the volunteer. Thus through these factors the importance of multi motivational nature of volunteering is highlighted. The approach focuses on differences in motives which underline volunteer behaviour. Same action may be performed by different people and search action main satisfy various psychological functions in different individuals.

There is a heavy reliance in relation to the assistance provided by volunteers for the Sporting events worldwide. According to Taylor et al. (2003) when the people volunteering in an international event were surveyed it was found that the most important reason and motivation for their participation is to provide support to the national team along with socializing with people who share common interest and meeting new people. Other reasons which motivated people to volunteer in international Sporting event included being outdoors, enhancing the image of the country and building community spirit. There were also other reasons which included enhancing the skills of the volunteers in relation to the sports, gaining access to free tickets and improving contacts for the development of their career.

Co-Production Theory

According to a study conducted by Lasby & Sperling  (2007) the wish of the individuals to provide support in order to ensure the success of an event was determined as the highest voted reason as to why people volunteered in the event. The reason which was voted the second highest in relation to volunteering for the event was the wish to make the society a better place. The volunteers also participated as they wanted to get involved into something worthwhile.

Cuskelly (2004) have highlighted 7 factors of motivation as to why people volunteer International Sporting events. Helping the community and being the part of the team was a big reason for the individuals to participate as volunteers. New opportunities and challenges were offered to the volunteers and relation to personal development. Being able to make business contacts was also one of the factors why individuals volunteered in the sports event. People volunteered as they had independent concept related to others and the sport. People also volunteered in the event as an idea to alleviate boredom and do something new. Seeing the event themselves while working was also a motivational factors for the volunteers. The final motivation in relation to the event was the excitement towards participating in once in a lifetime opportunity.

Recently a significant problem has been highlighted in relation to sports volunteering which is the problem of declining volunteer participation in community Sports. Volunteers predominantly run many community support systems irrespective of the increasing level of government in sports policies along with funding programs and professionalization of sports Organisations. Many governments are taking initiatives towards supporting an encouraging volunteer involvement in community sports which practically acknowledges the problem in relation to volunteer participation in sports events.

The increasing complexity of sports systems, dispowerment of volunteers, conflict between volunteers and paid staff and the lack of understanding in relation to volunteer motivation towards participation in events manifest the problem of declining volunteer participation in sports events. As stated by Nichols and Ojala (2009) there has been a significant increase in the complexity of managing sports organisations. The extent of these complexity is such that it has become very difficult for volunteers other than those who are very committed to their whole to develop skills and find time required to operate in the modern sports. Increased level of accountability and responsibility in the light of the legal system is burden on the volunteers which is fuelling the problem of low participation.

 The hiring of more paid staff by sports organisation also results and considerable conflicts between paid staff and volunteers which discourages voluntary participation in sports. This is because the differences in motives, expectations and values between paid staff and volunteers naturally conflictual. The volunteers are now made to feel that they are managed in form of human resources instead of being viewed as managers and owners of the community Sports. Through the structuring of the flow of information in Sporting events professionals disenfranchise or disempower voluntary participation. In the contemporary management systems volunteers are provided the role of foot soldiers. They are provided with the responsibility without minimal if any consultation to implement those plans which are developed by the professional paid staff. Therefore the increasing level of conflict and complexity reduces both the importance and magnitude of volunteers who had the rule towards managing and organising community Sports.

Functional Perspective of Volunteerism

As provided by Cuskelly (2004) the process of volunteer management has to take into account the motivational factors which persuade the volunteers to participate in Sporting events given their importance in the overall context. The decline in volunteer participation is mainly because of inappropriate Management methods used by voluntary sports organisation towards the management of volunteers. The problems as to why the volunteer participation in community sports is declining have to be considered by volunteer management and an action plan needs to be developed in order to address such problems and enhance volunteer participation in community. This can be achieved by taking into consideration the factors which motivates volunteered to participate in international and community Sporting events. It is the duty of volunteer management to ensure that they retain volunteer participation in sports.

Conclusion

From the above discussion it is clear that participation of volunteers in Sporting events is of utmost importance for the successful completion of the event. There are various studies conducted in the area of volunteer motivation in sports. Through these studies several theories have been identified which explains motivational factors and relation to volunteer participation is Sporting events. Specific reasons for motivation have also been identified through various surveys conducted by researchers. This theories and factors have to be taken into account bye volunteer management in order to ensure that they are able to address the growing problem of decline in voluntary participation in Sporting events. The management needs to move forward from traditional approach of managing sports volunteer which is causing the decline and to adopt a new approach incorporating the motivational factors and the reasons by which the decline is initiated.

References

Breuer, C., & Wicker, P. (2007). Sports clubs in Germany. Sport development report, 2008, 5-50.

Cuskelly, G. (2004). Volunteer retention in community sport organisations. European sport management quarterly, 4(2), 59-76.

Doherty, A. (2005). A profile of community sport volunteers. Toronto: Parks and Recreation Ontario and Sport Alliance of Ontario, 3.

Gumulka, G., Barr, C., Lasby, D., & Brownlee, B. (2005). Understanding the capacity of sports and recreation organizations. Retrieved December, 8, 2007.

Hoye, R., Cuskelly, G., Taylor, T. & Darcy, S. (2008). Volunteer Motives and Retention in Community Sport: A Study of Australian Rugby Clubs. Australian Journal on Volunteering, 13(2), 40-48.

Lasby, D., & Sperling, J. (2007). Understanding the capacity of Ontario sports and recreation organizations. Toronto: Imagine Canada.

Nichols, G., & Ojala, E. (2009). Understanding the management of sports events volunteers through psychological contract theory. Voluntas, 20(4), 369-387

 Ringuet-Riot,C., Cuskelly,G., Auld, C. & Zakus, D. (2014). Volunteer roles, involvement and commitment in voluntary sport organizations: evidence of core and peripheral volunteers. Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, 17:1, 116-133

Taylor, P., Nichols, G., Holmes, K., James, M., Gratton, C., Garrett, R., ... & King, L. (2003). Sports volunteering in England. London: Sport England. 

As a sports enthusiast it is my passion to participate in sporting events as a volunteer. There are various factors which motivates me to participate in sporting events as a volunteer. I realize that volunteers are a vital source in relation to a sport event and in many cases where they are involved it leads to Survival of the event. Volunteers gave the duty of ensuring smoothness of sports events. There are specific reasons which make me want to provide my knowledge, labor and time in relation to performance of an unpaid act towards a Sporting event. I know that there is no monetary benefit received a volunteer for his dedication, I do not expect any material or a material thing in return such as meals, clothes or social interactions. I get a mental satisfaction when I participate in a sporting event as a volunteer. I have a perception that that if I do not participate the event could not be able to function properly. I also participate as a volunteer as I am curious to know about the sports organization. I also participate as a volunteer to provide support to my favorite tam and player.  Through the process I am able to provide support to the national team along with socialize with people who share common interest and meet with new people. The process also helps me to be outdoors, enhance the image of the country and build community spirit. Through the participation I am also able to enhance my skills in relation to the sports, gain access to free tickets and improve my contacts for the development of my career. I also think that if I participate in sporting events as volunteer it would make the society a better place. The participation provides me with new challenges and opportunities to enhance my skills. The participation also gives me a platform to do something new and get rid of boredom.

However as a sports volunteer there are many problems which makes me restrain form participating in sporting events as a volunteer. These problems include the increasing complexity of sports systems, dispowerment of volunteers and conflict between volunteers and paid staff. There has been a significant increase in the complexity of managing sports organisations. The extent of these complexity is such that it has become very difficult for volunteers other than those who are very committed to their whole to develop skills and find time required to operate in the modern sports. Increased level of accountability and responsibility in the light of the legal system is burden on the volunteers which is fuelling the problem of low participation. There is a differences in motives, expectations and values between paid staff and me which is naturally conflictual. I am also now made to feel that I am being managed in form of human resources instead of being viewed as a manager or owner of the community Sports which is a significant reason which motivated me to take part as a sports volunteer.

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My Assignment Help (2022) Motivation In Sports Volunteering [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ss1102-introduction-to-sport-management/motivation-in-sports-volunteering-file-AA36A6.html
[Accessed 22 July 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Motivation In Sports Volunteering' (My Assignment Help, 2022) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ss1102-introduction-to-sport-management/motivation-in-sports-volunteering-file-AA36A6.html> accessed 22 July 2024.

My Assignment Help. Motivation In Sports Volunteering [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2022 [cited 22 July 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/ss1102-introduction-to-sport-management/motivation-in-sports-volunteering-file-AA36A6.html.

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