Title

Matching expectations for successful university student volunteering

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Emerald Publishing Ltd

Faculty

Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science

School

School of Business and Law

RAS ID

23530

Comments

This article was originally published as: Paull, M., Paull, M., Omari, M., Omari, M., MacCallum, J., MacCallum, J., ... & Holmes, K. (2017). Matching expectations for successful university student volunteering. Education+ Training, 59(2), 122-134.

Original article available here

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of expectation formation and matching for university student volunteers and their hosts.

Design/methodology/approach

This research involved a multi-stage data collection process including interviews with student volunteers, and university and host representatives from six Australian universities. The project team undertook an iterative process of coding and interpretation to identify themes and develop understanding of the phenomenon.

Findings

University student volunteering has the potential to fail to meet the expectations of at least one of the parties to the relationship when the expectations of the parties are not clearly articulated. Universities operating volunteer programmes have an important role in facilitating expectation formation and matching, minimising the chances of mismatched expectations.

Research limitations/implications

The study confirms the operation of a psychological contract for university student volunteers and organisations who host them which is consistent with other research in volunteering demonstrating the importance of matching expectations.

Practical implications

The paper identifies the importance of expectation formation and matching for hosts and students, and highlights the role of universities in facilitating matchmaking.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the growing body of research on the role of the psychological contract in volunteering, in particular in university student volunteering and host organisations.

DOI

10.1108/ET-03-2016-0052

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