What preevent motives determine the decision to volunteer at a sporting event: How can Herzberg's two-factor theory help?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Event Management


Cognizant Communication Corporation


School of Business and Law


Originally published as: Lamb, D., & Ogle, A. (2019). What preevent motives determine the decision to volunteer at a sporting event: How can Herzberg's two-factor theory help?. Event Management, 23(4-5), 495-510. Original publication available here


This article examines the preevent motivations of volunteers recruited from the local community for a sporting event. Using empirical data and Herzberg's two-factor theory as a framework, satisfaction attributes impacting upon volunteer expectations prior to the actual event were investigated. The researchers sought to determine why volunteers involved themselves with the event, and what key factors underpinned their decision-making process. A paper-based survey administered to registered volunteers probed volunteers' preevent motives. The emergent themes from analysis of the respondents' (N = 97) feedback ranged from altruism (helping others) to self-interest (a complimentary round of golf). The predominant theme was the respondents' "love of the game," which encompassed the subthemes of self-interest and perceived personal benefits. Also, community benefits such as the building of community identity, social recognition, and pride were deemed as important due to the affiliative nature of the local golfing fraternity, the primary distinguishing factor for volunteering at the material event. The study found that hygiene factors were crucial in forming the foundations for a positive volunteer experience, whereas satisfaction was closely linked to the presence of motivational attributes of the event. The identification of hygiene and satisfaction factors can be invaluable input for event organizer's strategy to recruit volunteers. Furthermore, by putting into place hygiene factors volunteers are less likely to experience dissatisfaction and by targeting the primary motivators of their volunteers, the attention of prospective volunteers can be captured and then effectively converted into an interest in the event eventually leading to making the commitment to participate. The effective engagement with volunteers can engender a positive experience, which increases the likelihood of repeat volunteering.