Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Engaging Global Service: Organizational Motivations for and Perceived Benefits of Hosting International Volunteers
by Barnhart, Erin Leslie, Ph.D., Portland State University, 2012, 226; 3516271
Abstract (Summary)

An increasingly popular way for global citizens to contribute to communities around the world is through international volunteering. In tandem with this growing trend, academic research in the field has increased to explore the goals, motivations, and impacts of international service on volunteers, host communities, and volunteer-sending organizations. One of the larger gaps in our understanding of global civic engagement though is the specifics of how and why, as well as the overall impact of international service on, host organizations that seek and/or accept international volunteers.

Using an exploratory research design to collect and analyze survey data and open-ended email inquiry responses from almost 250 organizational representatives in 50+ countries, this dissertation expands the breadth and depth of knowledge on the relationship between host organizations and international volunteers. Findings include a broad and varied range of potential motivations for hosting international volunteers, from direct benefits to the host organization like leveraging organizational capacity to benefits extended to the broader community and volunteers themselves such as providing opportunities for cross-cultural interaction. In addition, host organization characteristics and opinions were compared between two global regions - Africa and Asia - and statistically significant relationships identified between characteristics and opinions of host organizations and their reported satisfaction with international volunteers.

This study contributes new data on and from organizations that host international volunteers. Research findings also support and expand the field's understanding of international volunteer engagement as it relates specifically to organizational capacity and social capital theory.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bassett, Ellen
Commitee: Abbott, Carl, McBride, Leslie, Sherrard Sherraden, Margaret, White, Richard
School: Portland State University
Department: Urban Studies
School Location: United States -- Oregon
Source: DAI-A 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Global service, Host organizations, International volunteers, Nongovernmental organizations, Service, Volunteers
Publication Number: 3516271
ISBN: 978-1-267-45419-5
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