Linking Autonomy-Supportive Leadership to Volunteer Satisfaction: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective

  • Jeannette Oostlander
  • Stefan T. Güntert
  • Theo Wehner
Original Paper

Abstract

This study examines the development of volunteer satisfaction within the framework of self-determination theory (SDT). Therewith, autonomy-supportive leadership—as an influential part of the organizational context—is studied as an antecedent of volunteer satisfaction. The hypothesized model suggests that the link between autonomy-supportive leadership and volunteer satisfaction is serially mediated by general need satisfaction and autonomous motivation. Volunteers (N = 113) working closely together with their supervisors completed a paper-based questionnaire. As predicted, both general need satisfaction and autonomous motivation serially mediated the link between autonomy-supportive leadership and volunteer satisfaction. The results indicate that autonomy-supportive leadership is an important factor of the organizational context, increasing both volunteers’ autonomous motivation and satisfaction. Practical implications for volunteering organizations, as well as implications for further research, are discussed.

Keywords

Self-determination theory Volunteering Autonomy-supportive leadership Satisfaction Autonomous motivation 

Résumé

La présente étude examine l’évolution de la satisfaction des bénévoles à l’aune de la théorie de l’auto-détermination (TAD ou SDT, self-determination theory). En outre, elle étudie la valorisation de l’autonomie par les supérieurs hiérarchiques, en tant que partie influente du contexte organisationnel, comme élément précurseur de la satisfaction des bénévoles. L’hypothèse modélisée postule que le lien entre la valorisation de l’autonomie par la hiérarchie et la satisfaction des bénévoles repose dans l’ordre sur la satisfaction globale des besoins et sur la motivation autodéterminée. Des bénévoles (N = 113) collaborant étroitement avec leur supérieur ont rempli un questionnaire papier. Comme prévu, la satisfaction globale des besoins puis la motivation autodéterminée s’avèrent fonder le lien entre la valorisation de l’autonomie par la hiérarchie et la satisfaction des bénévoles. Les résultats indiquent que la valorisation de l’autonomie par la hiérarchie est un facteur important du contexte organisationnel, qui favorise à la fois la motivation autodéterminée et la satisfaction des bénévoles. Sont alors examinées les conséquences pratiques pour les organisations bénévoles et pour les pistes de recherche à venir.

Zusammenfassung

Die vorliegende Studie untersucht die Entstehung der Zufriedenheit ehrenamtlich Tätiger im Rahmen der Selbstbestimmungstheorie. Damit einhergehend wird die autonomie-unterstützende Führung - ein maßgeblicher Teil des organisationalen Kontexts - als eine Bedingung für die Zufriedenheit ehrenamtlich Tätiger erforscht. Das angenommene Modell lässt darauf schließen, dass die Verbindung zwischen autonomie-unterstützender Führung und der Zufriedenheit der ehrenamtlich Tätigen durch die allgemeine Befriedigung von Bedürfnissen und die autonome Motivation seriell mediiert wird. Ehrenamtliche Mitarbeiter (N = 113), die eng mit ihren Vorgesetzen zusammenarbeiteten, füllten einen schriftlichen Fragebogen aus. Wie zuvor prognostiziert, stellten sowohl die allgemeine Zufriedenstellung von Bedürfnissen als auch die autonome Motivation die Verbindung zwischen der autonomie-unterstützenden Führung und der Zufriedenheit der ehrenamtlich Tägiten her. Die Ergebnisse besagen, dass die autonomie-unterstützende Führung ein wichtiger Faktor im organisationalen Kontext ist, die sowohl die autonome Motivation als auch die Zufriedenheit der ehrenamtlich Tätigen fördert. Es werden praktische Auswirkungen für Freiwilligenorganisationen sowie Implikationen für zufkünftige Forschungen diskutiert.

Resumen

El presente estudio examina el desarrollo de la satisfacción del voluntario dentro del marco de la teoría de la autodeterminación (SDT, del inglés self-determination theory). Con ello, se estudia el liderazgo de apoyo a la autonomía - como una parte influyente del contexto organizativo - como un antecedente de la satisfacción del voluntario. El modelo hipotético sugiere que el vínculo entre el liderazgo de apoyo a la autonomía y la satisfacción del voluntario está mediado en serie por la satisfacción de las necesidades generales y la motivación autónoma. Los voluntarios (N = 113) que trabajaban estrechamente con sus supervisores completaron un cuestionario en papel. Como se predijo, tanto la satisfacción de las necesidades generales como la motivación autónoma mediaban en serie el vínculo entre el liderazgo de apoyo a la autonomía y la satisfacción del voluntario. Los resultados indican que el liderazgo de apoyo a la autonomía es un factor importante del contexto organizativo, aumentando tanto la motivación autónoma como la satisfacción de los voluntarios. Se tratan las implicaciones prácticas para las organizaciones de voluntariado, así como las implicaciones para futuras investigaciones.

摘要

当前研究检查了自我决定理论(SDT)框架内的志愿者满足感的发展。随后,本研究在检查志愿者满足感之前查看了自主支持型领导,这是组织背景具有影响力的部分。假定模型建议自主支持型领导和志愿者满足感之间的联系受一般需求满足感和自主动机的连续调解。志愿者(N = 113)与其主管紧密合作完成了纸质调查问卷。正如预期那样,一般需求满足感和自主动机会连续调解自主支持型领导和志愿者满足感之间的联系。结果表明,自主支持型领导是组织背景的重要因素,增加志愿者的自主动机和满意度。这里还讨论了志愿组织的实际含义以及进一步研究的含义。

要約

本研究は、自己決定理論(SDT)の構造におけるボランティア活動の満足度の進展を調査する。またボランティア活動の満足度に関する前例として、組織的な背景において影響力を持つ要素として自治支持を行うリーダーシップを研究する。仮定したモデルは、一般的な充足感と自治の動機が自治支持を行うリーダーシップとボランティア活動の満足度との関係を連続的に調整することを提案する。管理者と緊密に取り組むボランティア(N = 113)による書面のアンケートから予測されるように、一般的な充足感と自治の動機では、連続的に自治支持しているリーダーシップとボランティア活動の満足度との関連性を調整できるといえる。 結果として、自治支持しているリーダーシップが、ボランティアの自治の動機と満足度を増加させて組織的な背景に関する重要な要素であることを示している。ボランティア団体における実用的な意義およびさらなる調査のための意義について議論する。

ملخص

تبحث الدراسة الحالية تنمية رضا المتطوعين في إطار نظرية تقرير المصير(SDT). بعد ذلك مباشرة٬ قيادة داعمة للحكم الذاتي - كدور مؤثر في السياق التنظيمي - يتم دراسة ذلك بإعتباره سابقة من رضا المتطوعين. يقترح النموذج الإفتراض بأن الإرتباط بين قيادة داعمة للحكم الذاتي و رضا المتطوعين توسط بطريقة تسلسلية عن طريق حاجة رضا عامة ودافع ذاتي. أكمل متطوعين (N = 113) يعملون معا˝ بشكل وثيق مع المشرفين عليهم إستطلاع رأي ورقي. كما هو متوقع، كل من حاجة رضا عامة ودافع ذاتي توسط بطريقة تسلسلية الرابط بين قيادة داعمة الحكم الذاتي و رضا المتطوعين. تشير النتائج إلى أن القيادة الداعمة للحكم الذاتي هي عامل مهم للسياق التنظيمي، تزيد كل من دافع المتطوعين والرضا. تم مناقشة الآثار العملية لمنظمات العمل التطوعي، فضلا˝ عن الآثار المترتبة على إجراء المزيد من البحوث.

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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeannette Oostlander
    • 1
  • Stefan T. Güntert
    • 1
  • Theo Wehner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Management, Technology, and EconomicsETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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