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TitleVolunteer management beyond prescribed best practice: a case study of Portuguese nonprofits
Other titlesVolunteer management beyond prescribed best practice: a case study of Portuguese non-profits
Author(s)Carvalho, Ana
Sampaio, Martinha
KeywordsVolunteer management
Volunteer program
Nonprofit organizations
Human resource management
Best practices
Case study
Case studies
Volunteer programmes
Issue date2017
JournalPersonnel Review
Abstract(s)Purpose: We seek to complement and test prescriptive volunteer management proposals by examining how volunteers are actually managed and exploring factors other than prescribed best practice to assess volunteer management effectiveness. Design/methodology/approach: We use qualitative methods to study five Portuguese nonprofit organisations, selected for having active volunteer programmes while presenting diverse sizes, organisation styles and levels of reliance upon volunteers. Interviews were conducted between February and August 2011 with board representatives, volunteer managers and volunteers. Findings: We assess volunteer management practices in these organisations, and further identify a number of interrelated dimensions affecting volunteer programme success, namely: centrality, formalisation, professional support, sustainability, and a minimum set of practices. We also uncover weakness points that inhibit further development, including lack of a strategic approach and limited capacity to diversify sources of financing. Research limitations: This is an exploratory study, with a limited number of cases and interviews. Practical implications: Our study may help volunteer managers focus their attention in aspects other than prescribed management practice. Although a minimum set of identified practices are vital, the dimensions we uncover have a pivotal role in the success of volunteer programmes. Originality/value: This set of intertwined dimensions has not been specifically addressed in the literature. They go beyond the more conventionally prescribed volunteer management practices, and provide a promising framework for analysing the effectiveness and sustainability of volunteer management.
AccessRestricted access (Author)
Appears in Collections:NIPE - Artigos em Revistas de Circulação Internacional com Arbitragem Científica

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