Adding the Organizational Perspective: How Organizations Shape Service Work Abroad

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Abstract

International volunteering is an increasingly popular form of service work, but the scholarship on international volunteering has done little to unpack the assertion that organizations shape the international volunteering experience. We demonstrate the utility of taking an organizational perspective by reporting on an ethnographic investigation of an international voluntary service episode in Southern India. In doing so, we attend to all of the parties common to international volunteering—the coordinating international volunteer service organization, the host NGOs, and the volunteers—and pay particular attention to the organizational dynamics that influence the service rendered. We find that the different actors in the service relationship understood successful international development efforts in different ways, which frustrated the productivity of the relationships in question. These mismatched goals were partly the legacy of a partnership-formation process that followed a cultural–historical logic rather than an instrumental one. The consequences were dissatisfaction on the part of volunteers and mixed benefits for the organizations with which they were matched. We suggest that these findings have relevance to other international volunteering sites.

Keywords

International voluntary service Interorganizational relationships Organizations Development India 

Résumé

Le volontariat International est une forme de plus en plus populaire de travail, mais les études théoriques sur le bénévolat international n’ont guère contribué à défaire l’affirmation que les organisations façonnaient l’expérience du volontariat international. Nous montrons l’utilité d’adopter un point de vue organisationnel en rendant compte d’une enquête ethnographique d’un cas de service volontaire international en Inde du Sud. Ce faisant, nous participons à toutes les parties communes du volontariat international – l’organisation coordinatrice du service volontaire international, les ONG hôtes et les bénévoles – et accordons une attention particulière à la dynamique organisationnelle qui influe sur le service rendu. Nous constatons que les différents acteurs de la relation de service comprenaient de façons différentes les efforts fructueux du développement international, ce qui compromettait la productivité des relations en question. Ces objectifs inégaux étaient en partie l’héritage d’un processus de formation de partenariats, qui avait suivi une logique culturelle et historique plutôt qu’active. Les conséquences ont été le mécontentement de la part des bénévoles et des avantages mixtes pour les organisations auxquelles ils correspondaient. Nous suggérons que ces résultats intéressent d’autres sites du volontariat international.

Zusammenfassung

Die internationale ehrenamtliche Tätigkeit ist eine Form der Dienstleistungsarbeit, die an Beliebtheit zunimmt; doch die Forschung auf diesem Gebiet hat bislang wenig zur Analyse der Behauptung beigetragen, dass Organisationen die Erfahrungen im Zusammenhang mit einer internationalen ehrenamtlichen Tätigkeit prägen. Wir demonstrieren die Nützlichkeit einer organisatorischen Perspektive und berichten über eine ethnografische Untersuchung eines Abschnitts internationaler ehrenamtlicher Dienstleistungen in Südindien. Dabei betrachten wir alle Parteien, die üblicherweise bei internationalen ehrenamtlichen Tätigkeiten mitwirken - die koordinierende internationale Freiwilligenorganisation, die nicht-staatlichen Gastgeberorganisationen und die ehrenamtlichen Helfer - und konzentrieren uns insbesondere auf die organisatorische Dynamik, die sich auf die bereitgestellten Dienstleistungen auswirkt. Wir kommen zu dem Ergebnis, dass die verschiedenen Akteure in der Dienstleistungsbeziehung ein unterschiedliches Verständnis erfolgreicher internationaler Entwicklungsbemühungen hatten, wodurch die Produktivität der betroffenen Beziehungen verhindert wurde. Diese unterschiedlichen Zielvorstellungen gingen zum Teil auf einen Partnerschaftsgründungsprozess zurück, der eine kulturell-historische statt eine instrumentelle Logik verfolgte. Die Folge waren Unzufriedenheit seitens der ehrenamtlichen Helfer und ein gemischter Nutzen für die Organisationen, denen sie zugeordnet wurden. Wir behaupten, dass diese Ergebnisse für andere Orte internationaler ehrenamtlicher Tätigkeiten relevant sind.

Resumen

El voluntariado internacional es una fórmula cada vez más popular del trabajo de servicios, pero los eruditos en voluntariado internacional han hecho poco para desmontar la aseveración de que las organizaciones dan forma a la experiencia de voluntariado internacional. Demostramos la utilidad de asumir una perspectiva organizativa informando de una investigación etnográfica de un episodio de servicio voluntario internacional en el sur de la India. Al hacerlo, nos ocupamos de todas las partes comunes al voluntariado internacional - la organización coordinadora de servicio voluntario internacional, las ONG anfitrionas y los voluntarios - y prestamos una atención específica a la dinámica organizativa que influye en el servicio prestado. Encontramos que los diferentes actores en la relación de servicio entendieron los esfuerzos de desarrollo internacional exitosos de formas diferentes, lo que frustró la productividad de las relaciones en cuestión. Estas metas discordantes fueron en parte el legado de un proceso de formación-asociación que siguió una lógica histórica-cultural en lugar de una instrumental. Las consecuencias fueron insatisfacción por parte de los voluntarios y beneficios contradictorios para las organizaciones con las que fueron emparejados. Sugerimos que estos hallazgos tienen relevancia para otros emplazamientos de voluntariado internacional.

国际志愿服务是一种愈发流行的服务方式,但有关国际志愿服务的学术研究并未详细分析组织机构培育国际志愿服务经验的论断。我们将通过介绍南印度地区一次国际志愿服务的人种调查展示何为组织角度。在此过程中,我们会考虑国际志愿服务的所有关联方,即国际志愿服务协调组织,东道主非政府组织和志愿者,并会特别关注影响志愿服务的组织动力。我们发现,服务关系中的不同角色以不同的方式理解成功的国际发展,这就对服务关系的成效产生了负面影响。这些互不匹配的目标是遵循历史文化逻辑的合作关系建立过程的遗留问题。结果就是,志愿者甚为不满,而他们加入的组织产生混合效益。我们认为,这些发现与其他国际志愿服务点存有关联。

国際ボランティアは、サービス業務として人気があるが、国際ボランティアにおける奨学金では国際ボランティアの体験をもとにした組織形態の決定に基づいている。南インドにおける民族誌的調査の報告のボランティアサービスのエピソードでは、組織的な観点からの有用性を提示する。そうすることで国際ボランティアサービス団体、ホストNGO、ボランティアの調整先である国際ボランティアに共通の関係者すべてが参加できる。そしてサービス関係に影響を与える組織的なダイナミックスに特に注意を払っている。異なる方法で成功した国際的な開発努力を理解するサービス関係では異なる行為者が存在するが、関係の構築に問題があることがわかった。この矛盾した目的の背景には、機器よりも文化歴史的理論の過程におけるパートナーシップ形成がある。結果から国際的なボランティアに関連することがわかった。

شعبية التطوع الدولي متزايدة لعمل الخدمة، لكن المنحة عن العمل التطوعي الدولي لم تفعل شيئا˝ يذكر لفك التأكيد على أن المنظمات تقوم بتشكيل تجربة التطوع الدولي. نحن نشرح إستخدام وجهة نظر تنظيمية من خلال الإبلاغ عن التحقيق في الظواهرالثقافية لواقعة خدمة تطوعية دولية في جنوب الهند. في القيام بذلك، نحن نحضر لجميع الأطراف المشتركة للتطوع الدولي- تنسيق منظمات الخدمات التطوعية الدولية، المنظمات الغير حكومية (NGOs) المضيفة، والمتطوعين، ونولي إهتمام خاص للديناميكيات التنظيمية التي تؤثر على الخدمة المقدمة. نجد أن مختلف الجهات الفاعلة في علاقة الخدمة يفهمون جهود التنمية الدولية الناجحة بطرق مختلفة، التي أحبطت إنتاجية العلاقات المشكوك فيها. كانت هذه الأهداف الغيرمتطابقة إلى حد ما الإرث لعملية تشكيل الشراكة التي تلت منطق ثقافي تاريخي بدلا˝ من مساهم. العواقب كانت عدم الرضا من جانب المتطوعين وفوائد مختلطة للمنظمات التي كانت متطابقة. نقترح أن هذه النتائج لها أهمية لغيرها من مواقع العمل التطوعي الدولي.

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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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