Volunteers Managing Volunteers: The Role of Volunteer Board Members’ Motivating and Demotivating Style in Relation to Volunteers’ Motives to Stay Volunteer

  • Tom De ClerckEmail author
  • Annick Willem
  • Nathalie Aelterman
  • Leen Haerens
Original Paper


Against the background of declining volunteering rates in nonprofit and voluntary organizations, this study examined the relationship between the volunteer board members’ (de)motivating style and factors that influence volunteers’ motives to stay volunteer, i.e., volunteers’ motivation and group-task cohesion. To this end, we relied on Self-Determination Theory. Results indicated that the volunteers’ perception of the board members’ motivating style was positively related to volunteers’ autonomous motivation and perceived group-task cohesion via experienced need satisfaction (i.e., a bright pathway), whereas the board members’ perceived demotivating style was positively related to controlled motivation and amotivation via experienced need frustration (i.e., a dark pathway). Implications for volunteer management are illustrated with concrete examples.


Volunteer retention Board members’ (de)motivating style Volunteers’ quality of motivation Volunteers’ perceived group-task cohesion Self-determination theory 



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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health SciencesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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