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How the Organizational Context Impacts Volunteers: A Differentiated Perspective on Self-determined Motivation

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to examine how the organizational context of a non-profit organization (NPO) influences the motivation and work behaviors of volunteers. We hypothesized that the organizational context—operationalized by the motivational potential of the tasks, autonomy supportiveness of the supervisor, and value congruence between volunteer and NPO—can benefit or thwart self-determined motivation, which in turn predicts work engagement and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB). In particular, the innovative aim of the study was to differentiate between general and organization-focused self-determined motivation (general and organization-focused SDM). Structural Equation Modeling revealed a distinction based on data from 2,222 volunteers: general SDM was related to the motivational potential of the task, whereas value congruence accounted for organization-focused SDM. Autonomy supportiveness of the supervisor similarly influenced both foci. Furthermore, general SDM enhanced work engagement, whereas OCB was solely linked to organization-focused SDM.

Résumé

Ce travail de recherche améliore notre compréhension des fondations émergentes d’entreprise et privées en Inde, en adoptant le point de vue de leurs fondateurs : la nouvelle génération de dirigeants d’entreprise indiens très fortunés. Basé sur plus de quarante-cinq entretiens et s’inspirant de la littérature existante, il explore l’environnement de ces personnes, leur position unique d’ « hyperagents » , ainsi que le contexte indien qui modèle leurs fondations. Nos résultats suggèrent que ces philanthropes préfèrent les modèles de fondations opérationnels ainsi que les secteurs « sûrs » en termes politiques et sociaux; ils transfèrent les tendances d’entreprise, poursuivent l’objectif d’un changement social en prenant un rôle de guide ou de catalyseur, et ont une préférence pour le contrôle au détriment de la coordination des acteurs. Ces approches sont logiques étant donné le contexte, mais elles constituent plus un pas vers davantage de philanthropie de la part des personnes fortunées du pays qu’un objectif idéal. Ce travail pourra s’avérer intéressant pour qui souhaite entamer une collaboration avec les fondations et les philanthropes indiens. De plus, étant donné le peu de recherche existant sur la philanthropie indienne, il contribue au développement des théories spécifiques à l’Inde.

Zusammenfassung

Diese Studie verhilft uns zu einem Verständnis der neu entstehenden Unternehmens- und Privatstiftungen in Indien aus der Perspektive ihrer Gründer, nämlich Indiens neue Generation hochvermögender Unternehmer. Beruhend auf mehr als 45 Befragungen und aufbauend auf der vorhandenen Literatur untersucht die Studie den Hintergrund dieser Personen, ihre einzigartige Position als „Hyper-Verteter“und die indischen Rahmenbedingungen, unter denen sich ihre Stiftungen gestalten. Die Ergebnisse weisen darauf hin, dass diese Philanthropen operationelle Stiftungsmodelle, politisch und gesellschaftlich „sichere“Bereiche, die Übernahme von Geschäftstendenzen, die Verfolgung einer gesellschaftlichen Veränderung durch eine Antriebs- oder Katalysatorfunktion sowie eine Kontrolle auf Kosten der Koordination zwischen den Akteuren bevorzugen. In dem gegebenen Kontext machen diese Ansätze Sinn; sie sind jedoch nicht das optimale Endziel, sondern eher ein Schritt in Richtung einer Entwicklung der Philanthropie hochvermögender Personen in dem Land. Diese Studie ist für Personen von Interesse, die mit indischen Philanthropen und Stiftungen arbeiten möchten. Zudem ist sie in Anbetracht der nur beschränkt vorhandenen wissenschaftlichen Ausführungen zu indischer Philanthropie ein Beitrag zur Entwicklung Indien-spezifischer Theorien.

Resumen

La presente investigación construye nuestra comprensión de las fundaciones hindúes corporativas y privadas emergentes a través de las lentes de sus fundadores - nueva generación de líderes empresariales con patrimonio elevado de la India. Basándose en más de cuarenta y cinco entrevistas y haciendo uso del material existente publicado, la presente investigación explora los antecedentes de estos individuos, su posición única como “hiperagentes”, y el contexto hindú que da forma a sus fundaciones. Los hallazgos sugieren que estos filántropos prefieren modelos de fundación operativos, sectores política y socialmente “seguros”, arrastran tendencias empresariales, persiguen el cambio social mediante un papel impulsor o catalizador, y mantienen su preferencia por el control a costa de la coordinación entre actores. Estos enfoques son lógicos dado el contexto pero no son el objetivo final ideal, sino más bien un paso hacia el fomento de la filantropía de personas con patrimonio elevado (HNWI) en el país. El presente trabajo será de interés para aquellos que tratan de relacionarse con filántropos y fundaciones hindúes, y dados los limitados eruditos existentes en la filantropía hindú, contribuye al desarrollo de teorías específicas de la India.

摘要

本研究透过印度新兴的公司与私人基金会的创始人——印度新一代高资产净值商业领袖——的角度,调查了解这些基金会。在超过45个访问与对现有文献信息进行提取的基础上,本研究对这些人士的背景、他们作为“超级代理人”的独特地位以及促成他们的基金会的印度环境背景等方面进行了探究。研究结果显示,这些慈善家更偏好运营性基金会模式、政治与社会“安全”的行业,擅于驾驭商业趋势,能通过驱动者或催化者的角色追求社会变革,并不惜以在行动者之间斡旋为代价以取得控制权。在印度的大环境下,这些途径是顺理成章的,但并非理想的最终目标,而只是在该国推进高资产净值人士慈善事业的其中一步。本文对于那些希望能与印度慈善家与基金会接洽的人士有一定的参考价值。鉴于现有的关于印度慈善事业的学术研究较为有限,本文对发展具有印度特点的理论有一定的贡献。

要約

本研究では、新しい事業者、つまりインドにおける新世代の富裕層のビジネスリーダーの視点を通して、企業および民間のインド財団の出現に対する理解を構築する。45 件のインタビューと既存の文献に基づいて、個人の状況、「ハイパーエージェント」としてのユニークな配置、設立を形成するインドの状況を調査する。結果より、慈善活動では、運用基盤モデル、政治的かつ社会的な「安全」セクターを好むこと、ビジネス傾向を引き継ぐこと、ドライバーもしくは触媒の役割を通じて社会的変化を追求すること、当事者間の調整を犠牲にして調整の設定を保持することが明らかになった。これらのアプローチは、与えられた状況が論理的ではあるが、理想でも最終目標でもなく、むしろ国の富裕層の社会貢献活動の推進に向けたステップであるといえる。インドの慈善家、財団、制約された既存のインドの奨学金の関係者の利害関係であり、インドの特定の理論の開発に貢献している。

ملخص

هذا البحث يؤسس فهمنا لمؤسسات الشركات والقطاع الخاص الناشئة من خلال عدسة مؤسسيها - جيل الهند الجديد من قادة الأعمال ذات قيمة الدخل الصافي العالي. على أساس أكثر من خمسة وأربعين من المقابلات و بالإعتماد على الكتابات الموجودة ، إنه يفحص خلفية هؤلاء الأفراد ، موقفهم الفريد من نوعه ‘ وكلاء لديهم حيوية ‘ ، والسياق الهندي الذي يشكل أساساتها. النتائج تشير إلى أن هؤلاء المحسنين يفضلون نماذج أساس تشغيل ، سياسيا˝ وإجتماعيا˝ القطاعات ‘ الآمنة ‘ ، تحمل أكثر النزعات التجارية ، متابعة التغير الإجتماعي من خلال دور رائد أو محفز، وعقد تفضيل للسيطرة على حساب التنسيق بين الجهات الفاعلة. هذه الأساليب هي منطقية بالنظر إلى السياق ولكن ليست هي نهاية الهدف المثالي ، وليست خطوة نحو تقدم الأفراد ذو قيمة الدخل الصافي العالي (HNWI) للعمل الخيري في البلد. هذا العمل سوف يكون ذو فائدة لأولئك الذين يبحثون في التعامل مع أهل الخير والمؤسسات الهندية ، و مفترض أن المنح الدراسية الموجودة محدودة في العمل الخيري الهندي ، إنها تساهم في تطوير نظريات الهند - المحددة .

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Acknowledgments

This research was financially supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (Grant No. 1000014_124444).

Author information

Correspondence to Susan van Schie.

Appendix

Appendix

General SDM (According to MWMS as of Gagné et al. (2014)

I put effort in my volunteer activity, …

Intrinsic Motivation

  1. 1.

    Because I enjoy my volunteer activity very much.

  2. 2.

    Because what I do in my volunteer activity is exciting.

  3. 3.

    Because my volunteer activity is interesting.

  4. 4.

    Because my volunteer activity is a lot of fun.

Identified Regulation

  1. 5.

    Because I personally consider it important to put efforts in my volunteer activity.

  2. 6.

    Because it aligns with my values to put efforts in my volunteer activity.

  3. 7.

    Because putting efforts in my volunteer activity is of personal significance to me.

  4. 8.

    Because what I do in my volunteer activity has a lot of personal meaning to me.

Organization-Focused SDM (Based on MWMS as of Gagné et al. 2014)

I put effort in my volunteer organization (e.g., speaking positively about the organization or come forward with ideas that benefit the organization)

Intrinsic Motivation

  1. 1.

    Because I enjoy speaking about the organization.

  2. 2.

    Because I enjoy thinking ahead for the organization.

Identified Regulation

  1. 3.

    Because I personally consider it important to properly represent the organization.

  2. 4.

    Because I align myself with the organization.

  3. 5.

    Because helping on the organization is of personal significance to me.

  4. 6.

    Because I find it important that issues for (organizational) improvement are raised.

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van Schie, S., Güntert, S.T., Oostlander, J. et al. How the Organizational Context Impacts Volunteers: A Differentiated Perspective on Self-determined Motivation. Voluntas 26, 1570–1590 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11266-014-9472-z

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Keywords

  • Organizational context
  • Self-determination theory
  • Motivation
  • Volunteers