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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Revising the Volunteer Functions Inventory: An Exploratory Study of Additional Functions
by Hochstetler, Jay J., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2014, 89; 3578565
Abstract (Summary)

Volunteers provide valuable human resource assets in many areas of society and are critical to the success of non-profit organizations. The Volunteer Functions Inventory (VFI) has been used for over ten years and has received the most attention from researchers who cite the theoretical basis, the predictive nature, and the general purpose application of the inventory as major strengths. However, there are several shortcoming of the instrument which limits its value to organizations that use volunteers. Several researchers have suggested that additional functions should be included in the VFI. The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify missing functions that should be part of this inventory in order to improve its effectiveness as a tool for identifying volunteer motivations. The problem was that the VFL is an incomplete survey of functions for volunteer motivations, which limits its usefulness to practitioners and researchers. This research study was a qualitative multiple case study analysis which included interviews with volunteers, informant feedback, and focus group review of the coding of excerpts. A total of twelve volunteers from three volunteer organizations were purposefully selected for maximum variation. Questions were field tested with four experts and the researcher conducted face-to-face interviews with each participant. Informant feedback was used to verify the transcription and the analysis of the results, and a focus group performed a sorting procedure to verify the results. The analysis supported use of the six functions included in the VFI, and found considerable support for the concepts of civic responsibility and debt or obligation as functions that provide motivation for volunteerism. There were a notable number of comments by the participants that aligned with these two functions, and were validated through the triangulation methods of participant feedback and the focus group. Based on this study, the researcher concludes that civic responsibility and debt or obligation are functions that should be included in the VFI. The researcher recommends that additional studies should be conducted to develop a modified VFI including these functions. This includes creating and validating questions for the two additional functions, and a testing and validating a revised inventory.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gossett, Kenneth D.
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 75/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Management, Psychology
Keywords: Functional motivation, Volunteer motivation, Volunteer recruiting, Volunteer retention
Publication Number: 3578565
ISBN: 978-1-303-72582-1
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