In recent decades, there has been a burgeoning interest in the study of volunteering, and the number of publications devoted to volunteering has grown exponentially. In this chapter, we examine emerging theories and new directions in volunteering research. First, we discuss multi-level perspectives that try to understand volunteering in complex interaction with the organizational and institutional context. Next, we present process-oriented approaches that focus on the experience of volunteering, as it changes through different stages of organizational socialization, and as a consequence of broader societal and sector-wide transformations. Finally, in the light of these sector changes, new methods of social accounting have emerged that expand traditional financial statements of nonprofits to account for volunteer labor. This review demonstrates that, as research on volunteering further expands, it tends to grow in its diversity of questions and viewpoints, and to reflect the complex and dynamic nature of volunteering more precisely.


Nonprofit Sector Slot Machine Voluntary Sector Volunteer Program Social Accounting 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Catholic University of LuevenLuevenBelgium
  2. 2.University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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