Journal of Academic Ethics

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 87–106 | Cite as

Cultural Values and Volunteering: A Cross-cultural Comparison of Students’ Motivation to Volunteer in 13 Countries

  • Henrietta Grönlund
  • Kirsten Holmes
  • Chulhee Kang
  • Ram A. Cnaan
  • Femida Handy
  • Jeffrey L. Brudney
  • Debbie Haski-Leventhal
  • Lesley Hustinx
  • Meenaz Kassam
  • Lucas C. P. M. Meijs
  • Anne Birgitta Pessi
  • Bhangyashree Ranade
  • Karen A. Smith
  • Naoto Yamauchi
  • Siniša Zrinščak
Article

Abstract

Voluntary participation is connected to cultural, political, religious and social contexts. Social and societal factors can provide opportunities, expectations and requirements for voluntary activity, as well as influence the values and norms promoting this. These contexts are especially central in the case of voluntary participation among students as they are often responding to the societal demands for building a career and qualifying for future assignments and/or government requirements for completing community service. This article questions how cultural values affect attitudes towards volunteerism, using data from an empirical research project on student volunteering activity in 13 countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific region. The findings indicate that there are differences in motivation between countries which represent different cultural values. This article sets these findings in context by comparing structural and cultural factors which may influence volunteerism within each country.

Keywords

Volunteer motivation Cultural values Students Cross-cultural comparisons 

References

  1. Anheier, H. K., & Salamon, L. M. (1999). Volunteering in cross-national perspective: initial comparisons. Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems, 62(4), 43–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Astin, A. W., & Sax, L. J. (1998). How undergraduates are affected by service participation. Journal of College Student Development, 39(3), 251–263.Google Scholar
  3. Billis, D. (1993). Organizing public and voluntary agencies. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Carson, E. D. (1999). On defining and measuring volunteering in the United States and abroad. Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems, 62(4), 67–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Clary, E. G., Snyder, M., Ridge, R. D., Copeland, J., Stukas, A. A., Haugen, J., et al. (1998). Understanding and assessing the motivations of volunteers: a functional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1516–1530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cnaan, R. A., & Goldberg-Glenn, R. S. (1991). Measuring motivation to volunteer in human services. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 27, 269–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cnaan, R. A., Pessi, A. B., Zrinščak, S., Brudney, J. L., Grönlund, H., Haski-Leventhal, D., et al. (2010). The impact of student values and religiosity on pro-social behavior: A cross-national perspective. Article manuscript.Google Scholar
  8. Curtis, J. E., Baer, D. E., & Grabb, E. G. (2001). Nations of joiners: notions of voluntary association membership in democratic societies. American Sociological Review, 66(6), 783–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dekker, P. (2002). On the prospects of volunteering in civil society. Voluntary Action, 4(3), 31–48.Google Scholar
  10. Dekker, P., & Halman, L. (2003). Volunteering and values: An introduction. In P. Dekker & L. Halman (Eds.), The values of volunteering: Cross-cultural perspectives (pp. 1–6). New York: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  11. Esping-Andersen, G. (1999). Social foundations of post-industrial society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Ferrera, M. (1996). The ‘Southern Model’ of welfare in social Europe. Journal of European Social Policy, 6(1), 17–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gidron, B. (1978). Volunteer work and its rewards. Volunteer Administration, 11(1), 18–32.Google Scholar
  14. Hadzi-Miceva, K. (2007). A comparative analysis of the European legal systems and practices regarding volunteering. International Journal of Not-for-profit Law, 9(3), 37–58.Google Scholar
  15. Handy, F., Cnaan, R. A., Brudney, J., Meijs, L., Ascoli, U., & Ranade, S. (2000). Public perception of “Who is a Volunteer”: an examination of the net-cost approach: a cross-cultural perspective. Voluntas, 11(1), 45–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Halman, L. (2003). Volunteering, democracy and democratic attitudes. In P. Dekker & L. Halman (Eds.), The values of volunteering: Cross-cultural perspectives (pp. 179–198). New York: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  17. Haski-Leventhal, D., Cnaan, R. A., Handy, F., Brudney, J. L., Holmes, K., Hustinx, L., Kang, C., Kassam, M., Meijs, L. C. P. M., Ranade, B., Yamauchi, N., Yeung, A. B. & Zrinščak, S. (2008). Students’ Vocational Choices and Voluntary Action: A 12 Nation Study. Voluntas, 19(1), 1–21.Google Scholar
  18. Haski-Leventhal, D., Grönlund, H., Holmes, K., Meijs, L. C. P. M., Cnaan, R. A., Handy, F., Brudney, J., Hustinx, L., Kang, C., Kassam, M., Pessi, A. B., Ranade, B., Smith, K. A., Yamauchi, N. & Zrinščak, S. (2010). Service-Learning: Findings From a 14-Nation Study. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing, 22(3), 161–179.Google Scholar
  19. Hodgkinson, V. (2003). Volunteering in global perspective. In P. Dekker & L. Halman (Eds.), The values of volunteering: Cross-cultural perspectives (pp. 35–53). New York: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  20. Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations. Sage: Thousand Oaks.Google Scholar
  21. Inglehart, R. (1997). Modernization and postmodernization: Cultural, economic, and political change in 43 societies. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Inglehart, R. (2003). Modernization and volunteering. In P. Dekker & L. Halman (Eds.), The values of volunteering: Cross-cultural perspectives (pp. 55–70). New York: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  23. Kitchen, S., Michaelson, J., Wood, N., & John, P. (2006). 2005 citizenship survey: Active communities topic report. London: CLG.Google Scholar
  24. Meijs, L. C. P. M., & Bridges Karr, L. (2004). Managing volunteers in different settings: Membership and programme management. In R. A. Stebbins & M. Graham (Eds.), Volunteering as leisure/leisure as volunteering: An international assessment (pp. 177–193). Wallingford: CAB International.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Merrill, M. V. (2006). Global trends and the challenges for volunteering. The International Journal of Volunteer Administration, XXIV(1), 9–14.Google Scholar
  26. Musick, M. A., & Wilson, J. (2008). Volunteers: A social profile. Bloomington & Indianopolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Musick, M. A., Wilson, J., & Bynum, W. B. (2000). Race and formal volunteering: the differential effects of class and religion. Social Forces, 78(4), 1539–1570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. O’Brein, E. M. (1993). Outside the classroom: students as employees, volunteers and interns. Research Briefs, 4, 1–12.Google Scholar
  29. OECD Factbook 2008: Economic, Environmental and Social Statistics 2008. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 2008. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  30. Parboteeah, K. P., Cullen, J., & Lim, L. (2004). Formal volunteering: a cross national test. Journal of World Business, 39, 431–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rochester, C., Paine, A. E., Howlett, S., & Zimmeck, M. (2010). Volunteering and society in the 21st century. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  32. Ruiter, S., & De Graaf, N. D. (2006). National context, religiosity, and volunteering: results from 53 countries. American Sociological Review, 71, 191–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Salamon, L. M., & Anheier, H. K. (1998). Social origins of civil society: explaining the nonprofit sector cross-nationally. Voluntas, 9(3), 213–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Salamon, L. M., & Sokolowski, S. W. (2003). Institutional routes of volunteering: Toward a macro-structural theory of individual voluntary action. In P. Dekker & L. Halman (Eds.), The values of volunteering: Cross-cultural perspectives (pp. 71–90). New York: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  35. Schimmack, U., Oishi, S., & Diener, E. (2005). Individualism: a valid and important dimension of cultural differences between nations. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 9(1), 17–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schwartz, S. H. (1994). Beyond individualism and collectivism: New cultural dimensions of values. In U. Kim, H. C. Triandis, C. Kagitcibasi, S.-C. Choi, & G. Yom (Eds.), Individualism and collectivism: Theory, method and application (pp. 85–119). CA: Thousand Oaks.Google Scholar
  37. Schwartz, S. H. (2007). Universalism values and the inclusiveness of our moral universe. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 36, 711–728.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sundeen, R. A., & Raskoff, S. A. (1994). Volunteering among teenagers in the United States. Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 23(4), 383–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wilson, J., & Janoski, T. (1995). The contribution of religion to volunteer work. Sociology of Religion, 56, 137–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. World Values Survey 2009. The World Values Survey. http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org, accessed 08/11/10.
  41. Wuthnow, R. (1991). Acts of compassion. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Yeung, A. B. (2004). An intricate triangle: religiosity, volunteering, social capital. European perspective – the case of Finland. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 33(3), 401–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ziemeck, S. (2003). The economics of volunteer labour supply: An application to countries of a different development level. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrietta Grönlund
    • 1
  • Kirsten Holmes
    • 2
  • Chulhee Kang
    • 3
  • Ram A. Cnaan
    • 4
  • Femida Handy
    • 4
  • Jeffrey L. Brudney
    • 5
  • Debbie Haski-Leventhal
    • 6
  • Lesley Hustinx
    • 7
  • Meenaz Kassam
    • 8
  • Lucas C. P. M. Meijs
    • 9
  • Anne Birgitta Pessi
    • 10
  • Bhangyashree Ranade
    • 11
  • Karen A. Smith
    • 12
  • Naoto Yamauchi
    • 13
  • Siniša Zrinščak
    • 14
  1. 1.Department of Practical TheologyUniversity of HelsinkiUniversity of HelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Curtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.Yonsei UniversitySeoulKorea
  4. 4.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Cleveland State UniversityClevelandUSA
  6. 6.Centre for Social Impact, Australian School of Business, University of NSWKensingtonAustralia
  7. 7.Ghent UniversityGentBelgium
  8. 8.American University of SharjahSharjahUAE
  9. 9.Rotterdam School of ManagementErasmus UniversityDR RotterdamThe Netherlands
  10. 10.Helsinki Collegium of Advanced StudiesUniversity of HelsinkiFinland
  11. 11.Marketing & Market Research ConsultantsPuneIndia
  12. 12.Victoria University WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  13. 13.Osaka School of International Public PolicyOsaka UniversityToyonakaJapan
  14. 14.Faculty of Law, Department for Social WorkUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia

Personalised recommendations