Public service motivation and volunteering.
Authors: Costello, J.
This thesis is a collection of essays that addresses the challenge of understanding the relationship between public service motivation and volunteering. Set in the backdrop of increased corporate and public sector social responsibility, I first examine the theoretical rationale behind public service motivation (PSM). I address the debate of how it affects volunteer behavior through the concept of volunteering intensity. As individuals often have preconceived notions as to how their values match with an organization, I integrate the theory of Person- Organization fit (P-O Fit). The model is quantitatively tested in four studies using data sets of individuals who have a history of volunteering in the Southwest region of UK and Italy. In the first study, I confirm that individuals with high levels of PSM report exerting greater volunteering intensity or effort. The second study examines how PSM differs across homogenous and heterogeneous samples of Millennials. In the third study, I find limited support for the presumption that individuals who are coerced into volunteering exert less effort then their non-coerced counterparts. In the final study, I explore if PSM has different outcomes in relation to time, frequency and volunteering intensity. Together, this collection of papers are interwoven around the discussions concerning using PSM as a motivator to volunteer. These studies have implications that can impact policies such as the UK Work Program, mandated volunteering in school and organizational social responsibility programs. The findings also have practical implications for HR managers that are highlighting social responsibility as part of their employer branding process. Additionally, volunteer coordination managers across sectors can benefit from how these studies improve our understanding of PSM and P-O fit in the volunteering context. Finally, from an academic viewpoint, I contribute to debates surrounding the third wave of PSM research.