1 ANTECEDENTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF EMPLOYEE VOLUNTEERISM By JESSICA B. RODELL A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCT OR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010
2 2010 Jessica B. Rodell
3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First, I would like to thank Jason Colquitt for his guidance and advice during this process and over the past five years. Words cannot express how much his ment oring and friendship mean to me. I also thank committee members Timothy Judge, Jeffery LePine, and James Algina for generously donating their time and thoughtful counsel. Second, I thank my family for their love and support. In particular, I thank my husba nd Simon for his unwavering encouragement and faith in my abilities and my mother for being my ultimate cheerleader.
4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 3 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 6 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 7 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 8 CHAPTER 1 INTRO DUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 10 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 12 Volunteering Defined ................................ ................................ .............................. 12 Volunt eering Literature ................................ ................................ ............................ 15 The Volunteer Profile ................................ ................................ ........................ 16 Theoretical Perspectives of Volunteering ................................ ......................... 17 Consequences of Volunteering ................................ ................................ ........ 21 Volunteering and Regular Employment ................................ ............................ 23 3 THEORY AND HYPOTHESES ................................ ................................ ............... 27 Antecedents of Volunteering ................................ ................................ ................... 28 Employer Consequences of Volunteering ................................ ............................... 33 Positive Employer Consequences ................................ ................................ .... 34 Negative Employer Consequences ................................ ................................ .. 43 Individual Consequences of Volunteering ................................ ............................... 50 4 METHODS ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 55 Sample and Procedure ................................ ................................ ........................... 55 Measures ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 57 Participant Measures ................................ ................................ ........................ 57 Coworker Measures ................................ ................................ ......................... 63 Volunteer Peer Measures ................................ ................................ ................. 66 5 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 68 Descriptive Statistics ................................ ................................ ............................... 68 Tests of Hypotheses ................................ ................................ ............................... 69 Antecedents of Volunteering ................................ ................................ ............ 71 Employer Consequences of Volunteering ................................ ........................ 7 1 Individual Con sequences of Volunteering ................................ ........................ 74
5 6 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 80 Summary of Results ................................ ................................ ................................ 80 Antecedents of Volunteering ................................ ................................ ............ 80 Employer Consequences of Volunteering ................................ ........................ 83 Individual Consequences of Volunteering ................................ ........................ 88 Theoretical Implications ................................ ................................ .......................... 89 Practical Implications ................................ ................................ .............................. 91 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 92 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 95 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 110
6 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Volunteering items assessed for content validity ................................ ................ 67 4 2 Means, standard deviations, and zero order correlations for construct validity .. 67 5 1 Mean, standard deviations, and zero order correlations for hypothesis testing .. 75 5 2 Structural equation modeling results f or volunteering ................................ ......... 77 5 3 Structural equation modeling results for employer identification, absorption, and self esteem ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 77 5 4 St ructural equation modeling results for job performance ................................ .. 77 5 5 Total, direct, and indirect effects of volunteering on job performance and life satisfaction ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 78 5 6 Structural equation modeling results for life satisfaction ................................ ..... 78
7 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3 1 Model of hypothe sized relationships ................................ ................................ ... 54 5 1 Summary of the tested model ................................ ................................ ............. 79
8 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy ANTECEDENTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF EMPLOYEE VOLUNTEERISM By Jessica B. Rodell May 2010 Chair: Jason A. Colquitt Major: Business Administration In this dissertat ion, I explored the role of volunteering in regard to regular employment. Given that both of these activities are prevalent in Americans lives (Corporation for National & Community Service, 2007; Hulin, 2002), it seems likely that simultaneous involvement in these two domains would have important implications for one another. As such, I outline and test a model that incorporates three specific ways for these domains to have mutual influences. First, the model suggests that volunteering is predicted by volun teer task meaningfulness and that this relationship is influenced by the meaningfulness of regular employment tasks. In particular, employees will volunteer for meaningful volunteer tasks as an effort to compensate for non meaningful regular employment tas ks. Second, the model suggests that volunteering has a simultaneous Further, employers have some control over the ultimate impact of volunteering on job performance through the extent to which the company encourages employee volunteering. Finally, the model suggests that volunteering benefits the individual volunteer in terms of life satisfaction. This model was tested on a sample of 125 individuals who were full time employe es and volunteers. The results suggested that the
9 meaningfulness of a volunteer task influenced the frequency of volunteering, but that this relationship was not affected by the meaningfulness of regular job tasks. In terms of employer relevant consequence s, volunteering had a positive indirect effect on job performance (specifically, citizenship and counterproductive behaviors) by increasing employee identification with the employer. Although employer volunteer encouragement did not moderate this effect, e mployer encouragement did exhibit a positive indirect effect on employee job performance by fostering employer identification. Finally, employees who volunteer more frequently benefited personally in terms of increased self esteem and life satisfaction.
10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Volunteering is prevalent in the United States. A recent national survey conducted in conjunction with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau reported that approximately 61.2 million Americans, or 26.7% of the popu lation, donated their time or skills to charitable or volunteer organizations in 2006 (Corporation other forms of work, such as regular employment and domestic work, has o vershadowed the role of volunteering (Musick & Wilson, 2008). However, following a recent trend to rethink the nature of work (Musick & Wilson, 2008) and the rising popularity of volunteering in the United States (Corporation for National & Community Servi ce, 2006), interest in the role of volunteering has been renewed. Over the past two decades, social psychologists have made strides toward understanding who volunteers and why people volunteer (for recent reviews of this literature see Wilson, 2000 and Pe nner, 2002). Despite this progress, very little research has addressed the intersection between volunteering and regular employment. This is not to say that psychological studies on volunteering have avoided the subject of regular employment entirely. Seve ral studies have considered employment status as a demographic characteristic finding that part time employees volunteer more than either full time employees or retired individuals (e.g., Herzog & Morgan, 1993). Additionally, Wilson and Musick (1997b) po stulated that employment conditions may act as a resource that could have positive and negative implications for the amount of time available for volunteering. However, there is no evidence yet to support such assertions because research on volunteering ha s, until now, focused almost exclusively on the
11 relationship between volunteers and volunteer organizations (e.g., Boezeman & Ellemers, 2007, 2008; Carlo, Okun, Knight, de Guzman, 2005; Harrison, 1995). Given the considerable amount of time that adult Ame ricans spend at work (Hulin, 2002), it seems likely that volunteering would have many implications for regular employment and vice versa particularly in a scenario where employers support volunteering behaviors. Furthermore, despite generally positive ef fects of volunteering on volunteers and volunteer organizations (e.g., Boezeman & Ellemers, 2007, 2008; Carlo et al., 2005; Harrison, 1995; Herzog & Morgan, 1993), it seems plausible that the impact of volunteering on regular employment may not be so strai ghtforward. Some aspects of volunteering may be beneficial if they improve employee perceptions of themselves and their employer. At the same time, engaging in volunteer work may be a distraction from regular employment, having a negative impact on importa nt workplace outcomes. Thus, the purpose of this study is to address the intersection of volunteering and regular employment. Drawing from existing work in social psychology, I define and construct a measure of volunteering that is useful for organizationa l behavior research. I then formulate and test a model that examines antecedents of volunteering, such as task meaningfulness, and consequences of it, such as job performance and life satisfaction.
12 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Volunteering Defined The stu dy of the relationship between volunteering and regular employment must begin with a firm understanding of the concept of volunteering, in part because the definition of volunteering is what distinguishes it from regular employment. Over the years, social psychologists have relied on various definitions of volunteering. A few main components repeatedly emerge throughout this work, including: active or prosocial behavior, planfulness, and organizational context (Musick & Wilson, 2008; Omoto & Snyder, 1995; P enner, 2002; Penner, Dovidio, Piliavin, & Schroeder, 2005; Wilson, 2000), and a complete definition of volunteering should incorporate these key components to some degree. I therefore define volunteering as giving time or skills during a planned activity f or a volunteer group or organization (e.g., charitable groups, There are several primary components of this definition that are cause for further elaboration. First, volunteering involves giving lls and not simply more active involvement whereas monetary donations represent a more passive form of support. Second, volunteering is a planned activity and not a sp ontaneous act of helping. In other words, volunteering is a proactive behavior rather than a reactive behavior (Wilson, 2000). Volunteers should arrive at the decision to volunteer after a period of deliberation (see Clary & Snyder, 1999; Omoto & Snyder, 1 995). Third, volunteering takes place in the context of some volunteer or charity organization (Musick & Wilson, 2008; Penner, 2002). Indeed, in order for the act to be planned and
13 non obligatory (two of the previously mentioned components of volunteering) it is practically essential that volunteering occur in a more formal, organizational setting. At the same time, several potential components of the definition of volunteering are often debated among social scientists. The most relevant perhaps are the ro le of intentions or reasons for volunteering (e.g., Penner, 2002, Wilson, 2000) and the longevity of volunteering (e.g., Clary & Snyder, 1999; Omoto & Snyder, 1995; Penner, 2002). The role of intentions or why people volunteer motivations for volunteering. These motivations which can be as varied as an altruistic desire to help others or a self serving interest for recognition are a different issue than the pure act of volunteering itself. So as not to confound the two, the current definition refers explicitly to the behavior of volunteering. This is consistent with the more recent A second debate revolves around the issue of longevity. Adopti ng the volunteer the issue of continued support is an attractive quality of volunteering (e.g., Clary & Snyder, 1999; Omoto & Snyder, 1995; Penner, 2002). However, it should not be a defining characteristic of the act of volunteering itself. If an individual helps build a house with Habitat for Humanity one weekend, but has not volunteered there again, should the act not be considered volunteering? This is particularly relevant when considering the role of employers and employer supported programs, as the employer may have a long standing relationship with a volunteer group while employees may choose to volunteer on a short term, more sporadic basis.
14 Another important i ssue is how volunteering, as defined above, relates to other similar concepts in the organizational behavior literature. The concept of citizenship behavior and, in particular, the behavior of altruism, stands out. Citizenship behavior is idual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, and that in the aggregate promotes the effective behaviors, inclu ding altruism, civic virtue, and sportsmanship. Altruism, which is often referred to as helping, is a specific type of citizenship behavior that refers to organization 1990, p. 115; also see Organ, 1988). Volunteering differs from citizenship behaviors on two dimensions: referent and benefit. First, citizenship behaviors refer to behaviors directed internally toward either hand, is an activity directed toward an external volunteer group or organization. Employees donating time to their employer is not volunteerin g because employees are actively compensated for those behaviors, a quality specifically excluded in the definition of volunteering. Second, citizenship behaviors (in the aggregate) promote organizational efficiency and effectiveness (Organ, 1988). It is s till unclear, on the other hand, if employees engaging in volunteer activities will benefit their employer, not affect their employer, or even harm their employer. Because helping is considered a specific type of citizenship behavior, it also differs from volunteering in terms of referent and benefit. However, volunteering can be further
15 differentiated from helping behavior in another regard. Namely, helping is more casual k & Wilson, 2008). People may agree to help others because of the direct nature of the request as well as a personal history with the person requesting help. Volunteering, on the other hand, is a more organized and planned behavior (Musick & Wilson, 2008). This is important because it means that volunteering is less likely to result from a sense of personal obligation than are helping behaviors (Omoto & Snyder, 1995). In addition, helping behaviors are directed toward another individual most often one wor king for the same employer while volunteering is directed toward an organization. Volunteering Literature In order to understand the relationship between volunteering and regular employment, it is helpful first to review the development of the volunteeri ng literature. Social psychologists began the study of volunteering by adopting the perspective of the volunteer organization. From this point of view, it was important to understand which people volunteer and why they volunteer in order to create a stable volunteer workforce to staff and maintain the volunteer organizations. Initially, researchers focused on creating a sort of volunteer profile, relying mainly on demographic and personal characteristics of volunteers. Next, they turned their attention to b uilding models of why people volunteer drawing on theoretical perspectives such as human capital, motivation, and identity. Through the development and tests of these volunteer models, evidence also accumulated about the consequences of volunteering for both the individual and the volunteer organization.
16 The Volunteer Profile middle aged, white, married women are the most likely volunteers in the United States (Bureau of La bor Statistics, 2008; also see Wilson, 2000 for a review). Individuals with higher levels of income and education are also more likely to volunteer (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008; Wilson & Musick, 1997b). Additionally, social groups play an important ro le in the decision to volunteer, as people are more likely to volunteer if other members of their social groups volunteer. This is particularly evident with family and religious organizations. Married people and people with family members who volunteer are more likely to volunteer themselves (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2008; Piliavin, 2004; Wilson & Musick, 1997a). Similarly, affiliating with a religious organization has been linked with volunteering (Wilson & Musick, 1997a) particularly if the individua l strongly identifies with the religious group (Penner, 2002, Piliavin, 2004). More recently, researchers have addressed dispositional influences on the decision to volunteer. The most commonly studied is the prosocial personality, which is comprised of ot her oriented empathy and helpfulness (Penner, Fritzche, Craiger, & Freifeld, 1995). Volunteers are significantly higher in prosocial personality than are non volunteers (Penner, 2002). Furthermore, volunteers with stronger prosocial personalities volunteer at more organizations and for longer periods of time (Finkelstein, 2009; Penner, 2002; Penner & Finkelstein, 1998). Using a more traditional personality framework, the Big Five, other researchers have found that agreeableness and extraversion are related to volunteering (Carlo et al., 2005). This is consistent with the findings on prosocial personality given that these personality traits are related to empathy and helpfulness, respectively (see Penner et al., 1995).
17 Despite the consistency of these result s across studies, most researchers suggest that these characteristics probably interact to predict volunteer behavior and that differences may vary by culture, number of volunteer hours, and type of volunteer activity (see Musick & Wilson, 2008). Furthermo re, many of the differences in volunteering based on demographic characteristics can be explained by the theoretical perspectives presented below (see Musick & Wilson, 2008; Wilson, 2000). Theoretical Perspectives of Volunteering Over the past two decades, three broad perspectives of why people volunteer have emerged: the human capital approach, the functional approach, and the volunteer role identity approach. These three approaches can be summarized by the assertion that people calling attention to the social roles and contexts that influence volunteering. The human capital approach suggests that the decision to v olunteer is based on a rational consideration of the costs and benefits of engaging in the behavior (Wilson, 2000). From this perspective, volunteering is seen as a productive activity that has something to offer the volunteer, such as prestige and respect (Herzog, Kahn, Morgan, Jackson, & Antonucci, 1989). Individuals with more capital resources such as time and skills are more capable of volunteering. Getting involved costs these individuals less, increasing their benefit to cost ratio. There is some evidence to support the human capital assumption that people weigh the costs and benefits when choosing to volunteer
18 (e.g., Brady et al., 1995; Murnighan, Kim, & Metzger, 1993; Schram & Dunsing, 1981). The costs are evident, for example, in that it is hard er to recruit volunteers for work associated with stigmas (Snyder, Omoto, & Crain, 1999). At the same time, people openly acknowledge many benefits of volunteering, for example when they have a clear l), anticipate that they may need help in return someday, or gain some form of knowledge, skill, or experience through their volunteer work (Wilson, 2000). A downside to the human capital perspective has been the tendency to focus on easily quantified cos ts, such as time and income, at the expense of exploring other less easily quantified resources, such as skills and social interaction (Wilson, 2000). In one notable exception, Wilson and Musick (1997a) predicted and found that capital of several forms h uman capital (education and income), social capital (social interaction and number of children in the household), and cultural capital (religiosity) positively influenced volunteer hours. A year later, Wilson and Musick (1998) also concluded that these f orms of capital worked in conjunction with one another. For example, the effect of social capital on volunteering was stronger for individuals with more human capital (Wilson & Musick, 1998). Despite general support for the human capital perspective, the m ost commonly applied theoretical perspective of volunteering is the functional approach. According to the functional approach, volunteering serves different functions for different people (Clary & Snyder, 1991, 1999; Clary, Snyder, Ridge, Copeland, Stukas, Haugen, & Miene, 1998; Omoto & Snyder, 1995, 2002; Snyder, Clary, & Stukas, 2000). Thus, the best way to understand why people volunteer would be to identify their motives. Initially,
19 Clary and colleagues (Clary et al., 1998, Clary & Snyder, 1999) claimed that motivations could not be neatly classified as either altruistic or self serving, but rather a combination of both to some degree. As such, they created a list of six motivational functions of volunteering, operationalized in the Volunteer Function In ventory (VFI, Clary et al., 1998): values (a desire to express important values), understanding (a desire to gain knowledge or exercise skills), enhancement (a desire to grow psychologically), career (a desire to gain career related experience), social (a desire to strengthen social relationships), and protective (a desire to reduce negative feelings or address personal problems). Although this six factor model was validated (Clary et al., 1998; Okun, Barr, & Herzog, 1998) and the majority of the research o n this perspective has focused on these motivations, researchers are increasingly reclassifying motivations as altruistic (comprised of values and understanding) and self serving (comprised of protection, enhancement, social, and career). Some researchers are even moving further away from this structure to adopt other classifications systems. For example, Finkelstein (2009) studied internal motives (comprised of values, understanding, social, protective, and enhancement) and external motives (comprised of c areer). Regardless of the approach used to operationalize motivations, research generally supports the functionalist idea that motives predict volunteering (Carlo et al., 2005; Finkelstein, 2009; Okun, 1994; Omoto & Snyder, 1995; Penner & Finkelstein, 1998 ). However, the results differ widely on whether volunteering is driven by altruistic motives (Carlo et al., 2005; Penner & Finkelstein, 1998), self interested motives (Omoto & Synder, 1995), or some combination of both (Finkelstein, 2009; Okun, 1994; Okun et al., 1998). Taking the functional approach a step further, some researchers have
20 volunteer, but also by the extent to which the volunteer experience matches the volun 2002). Direct tests of this matching hypothesis provide initial support that volunteers who feel that their experience has fulfilled their needs are more likely to continue to vo lunteer (Clary & Snyder, 1999; Clary et al., 1998). The third and most recent approach to studying volunteering is the model of volunteer role identity (Callero, Howard, & Piliavin, 1987; Grube & Piliavin, 2000; Piliavin & Callero, 1991; Piliavin, Grube, & Callero, 2002). While the functionalist approach focuses within individuals on their motivations to volunteer, the volunteer role identity approach focuses externally on the social context that influences people to volunteer. According to this model, the initial decision to volunteer is driven by the potential (Piliavin & Callero, 1991; Piliavin et al., 2002). The stronger this sort of social pressure, the more likely pe ople are to volunteer (Grube & Piliavin, 2000; Piliavin & Callero, treated when volunteering) and organizational attributes (e.g., reputation of the volunteer organizatio n) facilitate the development of a volunteer role identity (Grube & Piliavin, 2000; Piliavin et al., 2002). Volunteer role identity refers to the extent that a person internalizes the role of a volunteer and incorporates it into their self concept (Grube & Piliavin, 2000; Piliavin et al., 2002). Once developed, this identity drives future volunteer behavior as people strive to behave consistently with their self concept. Thus, volunteer role identity is associated with the amount of volunteering and the int ent to
21 remain a volunteer (Boezeman & Ellemers, 2007; Finkelstein, Penner, & Brannick, 2005; Finkelstein, 2009; Grube & Piliavin, 2000). Recently, researchers have attempted to combine the functional approach with the role identity model (Penner, 2002; Fi nkelstein et al., 2005) and, in a way, these attempts have also incorporated the human capital approach. Penner (2002), for example, outlined a conceptual framework that attributes initial volunteering to volunteer motivations (functional approach), social pressure and organizational attributes (role identity approach), and demographics and personality (human capital approach). Then, volunteer role identity, which dire ctly influences future volunteer behaviors. Taking this combined perspective, volunteer role identity is cultivated through value congruence (see Grube & Piliavin, 2000), reflecting the motivation matching hypotheses from the functional approach. In a part ial test of this combined framework, Finkelstein (2009) concluded that people with internal motives (values, understanding, social, protective, and enhancement) were more likely to establish a volunteer role identity, which went on to predict volunteer act ivity. Consequences of Volunteering In addition to creating models of why people volunteer, researchers have also accumulated evidence of the benefits of volunteering for the volunteer although this work was conducted almost exclusively with either adole scents or older Americans (over 65 years old). Research has shown that older adults who volunteer enjoy better physical (Moen, Dempster McClain, & Williams,1992; Musick, Herzog, & House 1999; Thoits & Hewitt, 2001) and psychological health (Herzog & Morgan 1993; Morrow Howell, Hinterlong, Rozario, & Tang, 2003; Thoits & Hewitt, 2001). This increase in well
22 being may stem from the fact that volunteering allows these older adults to regain a sense of identity and mental health that is lost without previously held work and family roles (Herzog & Morgan, 1993). Along similar lines, other studies have shown that volunteering increases overall life satisfaction (Harlow & Cantor, 1996; Wheeler, Gorey, & Greenblatt, 1998). Focusing on adolescents, results suggest t hat kids who volunteered were less likely to get into trouble (Uggen & Janikula, 1999) and had higher educational aspirations (Johnson, Beebe, Mortimer, & Snyder, 1998), which could translate into future career advancement (Wilson, 2000). There is also ev idence to suggest that volunteering benefits the volunteer organization. Volunteer organizations are largely concerned with maintaining their volunteer work force over the long term. Research has shown that one way to accomplish this is to cultivate commit ment to the volunteer organization (Boezeman & Ellemers, 2007; Jenner, 1981; Miller, Powell, & Seltzer, 1990; Penner & Finkelstein, 1998). Fostering commitment is especially useful to volunteer organizations because it can be done independently of material rewards (see Boezeman & Ellemers, 2007; Ellemers, De Gilder, & Van de Heuvel, 1998). Taking a social identity perspective, Boezeman and Ellemers (2007) found that commitment was fostered by pride in the organization and respect offered by other members of the organization. Another way to increase intentions to continue volunteering is to create a satisfying volunteer experience (Jenner, 1981; Miller et al., 1990; Omoto & Snyder, 1995). Since volunteers are not tied to volunteer organizations with material rewards like they are to their experiences as a volunteer (see Wilson, 2000).
23 Volunteering and Regular Employment The research reviewed above has focused on the relationship between the individual volunteer and volunteer organization. However, most people are also employed, making it important to understand the role of volunteering on regular employment and vice versa. Because each of these roles takes and provides resources t o the individual engaging in them, volunteering should have implications for how regular employment should likewise influence volunteering behaviors. This overlap is part icularly evident when employers sponsor volunteer opportunities for their employees, a trend that is growing in the American workplace. According to one of the most recent counts, up to 35% of Americans work for a company that offers an employee volunteeri ng program (Points of Light, 2004). Furthermore, 60% of Fortune 500 companies and 94% of Fortune 50 companies mentioned their volunteer programs on their websites (Points of Light, 2004). To date, only a handful of researchers have addressed the impact of employee volunteering on regular job relevant outcomes. The majority of this research has been qualitative relying mainly on case analyses and interviews and has highlighted the benefits for employers and employees. In this work, the most commonly cit ed benefit of volunteering is the development of employee skills (including teamwork, managerial skills, and leadership skills), followed by an increase in employee motivation and morale (Austin, 1998; Cauldron, 1994; Geroy, Wright, & Jacboy, 2000; Peloza & Hassay, 2006; Ross 1997; Tuffrey, 1997). Furthermore, Austin (1998) and Ross (1997) refer to reports from Fortune 500 CEOs who claimed that, in addition to personal satisfaction and skill development, they believed volunteering helped create new contacts and improved their
24 (e.g., fun and breaks from work), an appreciation for what they have in life, and the opportunity to be recognized by management (Geroy et al., 2000; P eloza & Hassay, 2006). Although the majority of research on volunteering and regular employment has relied on qualitative methods, there are a few exceptions that have completed quantitative tests. Booth, Won Park, and Glomb (2009) conducted the most direc t test of employer benefits of volunteering to date using a sample of 14,724 volunteers from the 2000 National Survey of Giving, Volunteering, and Participating (NSGVP). In this study, they predicted and found that employee volunteering was positively rela ted to skills acquired (including fundraising, technical/office, managerial, knowledge, communication, and interpersonal skills). Through the acquisition of these skills, volunteering was also associated with employee perceptions of job success and employe r recognition for volunteering. De Gilder, Schuyt, and Breedijk (2005) assessed the impact of volunteering on AMRO employees made up of employee volunteers (employees who volunteered through a company program on company time), community volunteers (employees who volunteered during their free time), and non volunteers (employees who did not volunteer). They found that employee volunteers had significantly better attitudes about their jobs than either community volunteers or non volunteers. Interestingly, there was essentially no difference between employee volunteers, community volunteers, and non volunteers in
25 regard to career oriented commitment, turnover intentions, and organizational citizen ship behavior. Finally, in a study of 310 employee volunteers from Pillsbury, Bartel (2001) found that participation in community outreach programs (e.g., volunteering) organized by the company increased employee identification with their employer. The s trength of employer identification then predicted work behaviors, including interpersonal Taken together, these studies point to the relevance of volunteering to regular employment. Howeve r, there are also several important limitations to the research outlined above. First, research on the effects of regular employment on volunteering has been rather limited. What little research has been conducted has focused exclusively on the human and s ocial capital gained from regular employment, suggesting that people with jobs are more capable of volunteering (Musick & Wilson, 1997a, 1998; see also Wilson, 2000). However, there are still a myriad of unexplored reasons for employees to volunteer. In pa rticular, beyond a simple recognition that volunteering may be used to compensate for factors lacking in regular employment (Gora Nemerowicz, 1985; see also Wilson, 2000), existing research fails to theoretically or empirically address the possibility that individuals choose to volunteer because volunteer work makes up for a deficiency in regular employment. Second, there are relatively few empirical tests of the employer relevant consequences of volunteering. Furthermore, of these examinations, only two (B artel, 2001; De Gilder et al., 2005) addressed the performance implications of volunteering, which are arguably the most pertinent consequences for employers. Perhaps even
26 more importantly, however, the qualitative and quantitative tests of employer conseq uences have, thus far, focused exclusively on the positive effects of volunteering (e.g. Austin, 1998; Bartel, 2001; De Gilder et al., 2005; Geroy et al 2000; Tuffrey, 1997). This overlooks the possibility that volunteering could also have negative impli cations for employer relevant outcomes. Third, although researchers have provided some evidence that volunteering has positive implications for the individual volunteers themselves, the majority of this research has been conducted on either adolescents (ty pically under 18 years of age) or elderly adults (over 65 years of age). Thus, there is still relatively little evidence regarding the effects of volunteering on working adults. This is an important distinction because the existing studies often conceptual ize volunteering as a productive activity that provides what regular employment might otherwise provide (see Herzog et al., 1989). For example, these studies have portrayed volunteer tasks as opportunities for social involvement and the application of skil ls in ways that make people feel competent and positive about themselves (e.g., Harlow & Cantor, 1996; Herzog & Morgan, 1993). Employed adults may encounter these experiences during the course of regular employment. Thus, their well being may not be as tie d to volunteering as it is for individuals without current employment (either adolescent or elderly).
27 CHAPTER 3 THEORY AND HYPOTHESE S Given the various gaps in prior volunteering research, this dissertation seeks to make the following contributions to the volunteering literature. First, I offer a new compensates for deficiencies in their regular employment. To do this, I rely on the concept of meaningfulness an assessment of the value of a task relative to regular jobs and volunteering. In particular, the model suggests that, to the extent to ess, their decision to volunteer may be driven by the potential meaningfulness inherent in volunteer tasks. Second, through a combination of social identity and work family perspectives (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Greenhaus & Powell, 2006; Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1985), I explore the potential for volunteering to have mixed consequences for employers, while maintaining positive consequences for employees. Employees who volunteer belong to two groups their employer and their volunteer group and most likel y identify with both groups to some degree. According to social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1985), identifying or psychologically connecting to a group fosters attitudes about oneself and the group that can have positive behavioral implications In this model, I rely on this social identity perspective to explain the mechanisms through which volunteering affects job performance (an employer relevant outcome) and life satisfaction (an individual relevant outcome) in particular. Furthermore, as sh own in the work family literature, belonging to two domains or groups for example regular employment and volunteering can have both positive and negative implications for the other domain
28 (Edwards & Rothbard, 2000; Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Greenhaus & Powell, 2006). This theorizing provides the foundation for volunteering to have mixed effects on job performance. The model in Figure 3 1 presents the combination of these predictions. Before proceeding, I should note that, for the purposes of this docum ent, when I use the term job I am referring to work in regular employment (as opposed to volunteer work). Antecedents of Volunteering The search for the meaning of work and, at a broader level, the meaning of life is acknowledged in many research stre ams in organizational behavior (e.g., Hackman & Oldham, 1980; Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1985; Thomas & Velthouse, 1990; Wrzesniewski, 2003). At a very basic level, people want to know that their daily actions are meaningful and have a significant impact on th e world around them. Indeed, people tend to seek out such activities because associating oneself with them improves the way people view themselves (Hogg & Abrams, 1990; Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1985). Similarly, research in organizational behavior suggests t hat people are drawn to certain work environments that create positive psychological states, such as meaningfulness (Hackman & Oldham, 1980). The desire for these kinds of experiences may represent a fundamental reason why volunteering is on the rise in th e United States (Corporation for National & Community Service, 2006). One of the more recent and popular ways to conceptualize and study meaningful experiences is with a psychological empowerment framework. Initially, Conger and Kanungo (1988) used the ter m empowerment to describe the process of enabling employees to believe that they could perform their work more competently. In particular, they built a model that detailed organizational conditions (e.g. supervision or reward systems), managerial strategie s (e.g., goal setting, feedback, job enrichment), and
29 types of information (e.g., vicarious experience or verbal persuasion) that would create an empowering experience. Those empowering experiences would strengthen d result in performance, motivating them to continue working towards their task objectives (Conger & Kanungo, 1988). argued that it is not simply the objective situations or conditions of a task that influence employee toward the task that determines their commitment to the task itself (Thomas & Velthouse, 1990). More specifically, Thomas and Velthouse (1990) suggested that individuals conduct a sort of task assessment to determine if they perceive that a task is a positive and valued experience. To the extent that they do, individuals should be more intrinsically committed to the task objectives. In this way, psychological empowerment is more broadly defined as the ability of a task to energize or motivate employees and encompasses several cognitive and motivational components, includin g meaningfulness (Thomas & Velthouse, 1990). Meaningfulness definition of meaningfulness is derived fr om, and thus consistent with, the psychological (Hackman & Oldham, 1980). These scholars defined the psychological state of meaningfulness as the degree to which employees v iewed their jobs as valuable and important, an evaluation that emerged from specific job traits and characteristics
30 suggested that these feelings of psychological meaningfulness shoul d increase certain behaviors such as concentration and resiliency that have implications for the continuation of and commitment to the task itself. Indeed, in previous research, the dimensions of psychological empowerment including meaningfulness h ave been linked to commitment and performance relevant behaviors (e.g., Avolio, Zhu, Koh, & Bhatia, 2004; Chen, Kirkman, Kanfer, Allen, & Rosen, 2007; Spreitzer, 1995). Although prior research on meaningfulness focuses on regular employment, the same type of task assessments and theoretical reasoning should apply to volunteering. As defined above, volunteering involves participating in an activity that benefits a volunteer group or organization. Volunteers should be able to evaluate whether their volunteer tasks are valuable and important (meaningful) in the same manner that model, the stronger these feelings of meaningfulness, the more volunteers should perceive volunteerin g as a positive experience and thus be drawn to engage in these activities. Although research on volunteering has not yet adopted this lens, a few studies can be interpreted as indirect evidence that volunteer meaningfulness increases the occurrence of vo lunteering. In particular, Clary and colleagues (Clary & Snyder, 1999; Clary et al., 1998) conducted a series of studies on the extent to which volunteer that these indi (1990) terms. Individuals who felt that their volunteer experiences matched their
31 personal motivations reported higher future intentions to volunteer (Clary & Snyder, 1999; Clary et al., 1 998). Hypothesis 1 : Volunteer meaningfulness is positively related to volunteering. In the United States, individuals spend a lot of time in regular employment (Hulin, 2002), another activity that has the potential to provide meaning for employees. Prior r esearch attests to the task relevant outcomes of meaningful and empowering experiences in regular employment (e.g., Avolio et al., 2004; Chen et al., 2007; Spreitzer, 1995). For example, Spreitzer (1995) found that psychological empowerment which included a task assessment of meaningfulness had a positive influence on managerial effectiveness and innovative behaviors. As another example, Avolio et al. (2004) showed that employees with empowering and thus, meaningful jobs were more com mitted to their employers. However, in the current model, I am an activity outside of their regular employment, volunteering. As outlined above, I argue that volunteer a ctivities can be meaningful (volunteer meaningfulness) and the extent of jobs to b e meaningful (job meaningfulness), it seems likely that the relationship between meaningfulness. In a review of the many ways in which multiple activities can influence one ano ther, Edwards and Rothbard (2000) outlined a compensatory explanation. According to this view, dissatisfaction in one aspect of life prompts individuals to either seek or
32 increase involvement conceptualized as time, attention, and importance in other a reas of life that have the potential to make up for these feelings of dissatisfaction (Burke & Greenglass, 1987; Champoux, 1978). This explanation also implies that individuals who are satisfied or fulfilled by their current activities would have less ince ntive to increase involvement in another activity in search of satisfaction (Edwards & Rothbard, 2000). desire for such experiences (Conger & Kanungo, 1988) is fulfilled. Thei r job tasks provide them with positive information (e.g., that they are conducting meaningful work) that makes them feel good about themselves (Thomas & Velthouse, 1990; Tajfel & Turner, 1985; Dutton, Dukerich, & Harquail, 1994). Taking a compensatory appr oach suggests that there is no need for these individuals to actively seek out activities to fill their desire for meaningfulness. The decision to volunteer should thus be less influenced by the potential meaningfulness of volunteer activities. In other wo rds, when job meaningfulness is high, the relationship between volunteer meaningfulness and volunteering should be less positive. meaningful experiences (Conger & Kanungo, 1988) is not fulfilled. In this case, the compensatory approach suggests that these individuals would seek involvement in activities that provide the opportunity for the missing feelings of meaning (see Edwards and Rothbard, 2000). In accordance with this perspecti ve, some volunteer researchers have suggested that people use their leisure activities, such as volunteering, to make up for what they lack in their regular employment (Gora & Nemerowicz, 1985; also see
33 Wilson, 2000). Despite these claims, no one has empir ically addressed this possibility. The majority of research on this topic regards regular employment as simply a physical Wilson & Musick, 1997a, 1997b), ignoring the possibility that regular employment may lack something of value for people. A compensation argument directly addresses this oversight by suggesting that individuals who do not find meaning in their jobs should be more likely to volunteer to the extent that they consider volunteering tasks meaningful. That is, when job meaningfulness is low, the relationship between volunteer meaningfulness and volunteering should be more positive. Hypothesis 2 : Job meaningfulness moderates the relationship between volunteer meaningfulness and volunteering such that the relationship is more positive when job meaningfulness is low than when job meaningfulness is high. Employer Consequences of Volunteering As reviewed in the previous chapter, there are only a handful of studie s on the employer implications of volunteering (e.g., Booth et al., 2009, Cauldron, 1994; DeGilder et al., 2005; Geroy et al., 2000; Peloza & Hazzay, 2006, Tuffrey, 1997). Furthermore, the majority of these studies were not quantitiative and considered onl y the positive impact of volunteering on employer relevant outcomes. Thus, there is still no clear picture of the overall effect of volunteering on regular employment. As shown in Figure 3 1, I argue that volunteering has the potential for mixed effects on regular employment despite generally positive effects on the individual volunteers themselves. Drawing from the work family literature, I suggest that volunteering is a non work activity that can both enrich and detract from regular employment attitudes a nd behaviors simultaneously (see Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Greenhaus & Powell, 2006). Pairing
34 psychological responses to volunteering that impact employer outcomes, as well as the individual relevant outcomes discussed in a later section. Positive Employer Consequences Work and non work activities are inextricably linked and have important implications for each other. Although work family researchers initially focused almost exclusively on the conflicting nature of work and non work activities (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Greenhaus & Parasuraman, 1999; Parasuraman & Greenhaus, 1997), they quickly noted the possibility that work and non work activities could also be mutu ally beneficial (e.g., Crouter, 1984; Greenhaus & Powell, 2006; Parasuraman & Greenhaus, 2002). Since then, researchers have found evidence that work nonwork relationships can be simultaneously beneficial and detrimental (e.g., Boyar & Mosley, 2007; Popple ton, Briner, & Kiefer, 2008). Furthermore, in a review of studies that included positive and negative work nonwork effects, Greenhaus and Powell (2006) reported that the average benefits were at least as strong as the detriments, highlighting the importanc e of addressing the positive aspects of work nonwork relationships. the other role as enrichment one role improve th addressed this positive interdependency have used different labels, such as enhancement, facilitation, and positive spillover (e.g., Boyar & Mosley, 2007; Crouter, 1984; Edwards & Rot hbard, 2000; Ruderman, Ohlott, Panzer, & King, 2002). transfers between roles is grounded in the role accumulation perspective (Marks, 1977; Sieber 1974). Role accumulat ion argues that there are benefits to holding multiple roles.
35 By participating in one role, people gain energy and acquire a variety of resources that may benefit participation in another role (Marks, 1977; Sieber, 1974). In a sense, this suggests that peo ple are not limited by a fixed amount of resources such as time and energy but rather that these resources could be shared and integrated across roles. Another way of looking at this is through the concept of demands. People who hold multiple roles exp erience demands from each role. The role accumulation perspective suggests that instead of simply depleting an individual, demands in one role expand the resources individuals have available to cope with the demands presented in their other roles (Marks, 1 977; Sieber, 1974). In building a model of work family enrichment, Greenhaus and Powell (2006) identified five types of resources skills and perspectives, psychological and physical resources, social capital, flexibility, and material resources that, w hen generated in one role, can transfer to the benefit of another. Although they consider work family enrichment to be bidirectional, I focus solely on the non work benefits for work in this discussion because it is directly applicable to the current model Evidence of the enrichment process through the transfer of resources can be found in prior research in the work family literature. For example, in a series of interviews, female managers reported that they learned a variety of skills (e.g., multitasking, leadership, and interpersonal skills) through non work roles such as motherhood and community involvement that enhanced their managerial effectiveness (Ruderman et al., 2002). As another example, individuals may use personal contacts or information gained through their personal social networks, such as family members and friends, to get a job interview or advance their current career (Friedman & Greenhaus, 2000).
36 Although prior research on volunteering did not use this enrichment framework (Greenhaus & Pow ell, 2006), the handful of studies that have addressed the impact of volunteering on regular employment can be seen as demonstrating the enhancing effects of two resources in particular: skills and social capital. First, the majority of volunteering regula r employment studies provided qualitative evidence that individuals developed skills, such as teamwork and leadership skills, through volunteering that would ultimately benefit their employer (Cauldron, 1994; Geroy et al., 2000; Tuffrey, 1997). Booth et al (2009) even empirically demonstrated that volunteering was positively related to acquiring skills that were beneficial for the workplace. Second, through a series of interview questions, Fortune 500 CEOs reported that volunteering helped create new socia l contacts that would benefit their regular employment (Austin, 1998; Ross 1997). Despite this initial evidence, some of the more interesting effects of volunteering on regular employment have yet to be explored. Two of the most cited reasons for volunteer ing a desire to grow psychologically and express important values (Carlo et al., 2005; Clary et al., 1998; Clary & Snyder, 1999; Penner & Finkelstein, 1998) suggest psychological responses to volunteering that may benefit regular employment. Adopting a social identity perspective may offer insight into specific psychological The social identity perspective, developed primarily by Tajfel (1978, 1982; Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1985) and Turner (1975, 1984, 1985), is concerned with the concept. According to this perspective, people psychologically link themselves to the groups and organizations to
37 which they belong (Ashfor th & Mael, 1989; Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1985). Most people belong to multiple groups and identify with each group to some extent, suggesting that employees who volunteer may identify with both their employer and their volunteer organization. Social identif ication refers to the process through which information about view themselves as representatives of the groups to which they belong and thus perceive the characteristics of those groups to be relevant to themselves (Turner, 1984, 1985). There is also an evaluative component of social identity. The formation of a social identity rests largely on social comparisons to confirm or establish a favorable up compared to others (Turner, 1975). Put differently, social identity (Abrams & Hogg, 1988; see also Hogg & Terry, 2000). This stems from the fact that people wan t to maintain a positive social identity (Tajfel & Turner, 1985). Because of this desire, they tend to identify with organizations with high social status or socially desirable features, which enhance the way individuals view themselves (Dutton et al., 199 4; Hogg & Abrams, 1990; Tajfel 1974). This line of reasoning suggests that individuals may identify with volunteer organizations to the extent that these organizations are judged favorably in comparison to other types of organizations. A generalized purpo se of volunteer organizations is to help society and individuals, which can be considered a socially desirable characteristic (Fisher & Ackerman, 1998; Harris, 2001). Due to this social desirability, identifying with volunteer organizations should enhance concept (see Dutton et al.,
38 1994; Hogg & Abrams, 1990; Tajfel 1974). Grube and Piliavin (2000) provided evidence that people do, indeed, identify with their role as a volunteer. From an identity perspective, it follows that these volun teers should adopt the characteristics they associate with volunteering and volunteer organizations. Given that volunteering is a non obligatory act with the purpose of benefiting others, volunteers may see themselves as prosocial, benevolent, and compassi onate. Grant, Dutton, and Russo (2008) provided initial support of this view by showing that through voluntary participation in an employee support program (monetary donations intended to help coworkers in need), individuals came to view themselves as more caring and prosocial. Despite the value that affiliating with volunteer organizations may hold for an individual, there is no reason to believe that this will translate into positive evaluations of t is, there is nothing to indicate that employees would value their affiliation with their employer either more or less because of their identification with their volunteer organizations. That being said, it may be possible for employers to benefit from em ployee volunteering to the extent that they endorse volunteering. For the purposes of this document, I refer to employer support and encouragement of employee volunteer efforts as employer volunteer encouragement. Employer volunteer encouragement can range from raising awareness about local volunteer opportunities to organizing employer sanctioned volunteer days and recognizing employee volunteering through the formal reward system (see Peterson, 2004). Increasingly, companies in the United States are becom ing more involved in these forms of volunteer encouragement. As of 2004, approximately 35% of American employers supported a formal volunteer program for their employees (Points
39 of Light, 2004). The Points of Light Foundation has even begun acknowledging e mployers for excellence in their workplace volunteer programs each year. Recent honorees include many well known companies, such as Accenture, Microsoft, Timberland, Starbucks, Walt Disney, UPS, and Xerox (Points of Light Foundation, 2006). By encouraging volunteering, employers can signal to employees that volunteering is an organizational activity (Bartel, 2001). Once endorsed by the employer, it is possible for volunteering to influence employee perceptions and, more importantly, evaluations of their em ployer. In the same way that individuals can positively alter perceptions of themselves due to their affiliation with volunteer organizations (Dutton et al., 1994; Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1985) for example, by considering oneself more caring and prosocial (Grant et al., 2008) they should also be able to alter their perceptions of their employer for affiliating with volunteering. For example, Grant et al. (2008) showed that employees viewed their employers as more rt and involvement in a charitable giving program. This suggests that employee volunteering can increase identification with their employer to the extent that the employer encourages volunteering. Hypothesis 3 : Employer volunteer encouragement moderates th e relationship between positive when employer volunteer encouragement is high than when employer volunteer encouragement is low. The social identity perspective furthe r suggests that people who identify with a group not only associate themselves with the characteristics of the group and place value on their association with that group (i.e., pride) but also internalize the interests of the group making them equivalent t
40 1979, 1985). Because their group is integrated with their self concept, individuals are utton et al., 1994; Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1985) Adopting and failures (Dutton et al., 1994). To maintain the positive self concept that individuals draw from their as sociation with the group, they are likely to act in ways that benefit that group. In this way, the more strongly that individuals identify with their employer (based ways that benefit their employer. The most important behaviors for an employer are performance related. There are arguably three behavioral dimensions with performance implications: task performance, citizenship behaviors, and counterproductive behaviors. Task perf ormance captures in role behaviors that are involved in the accomplishment of Citizenship and counterproductive behaviors, on the other hand, are often termed discretionary behaviors because they are not formally included in the job description. Citizenship behaviors refer to discretionary behaviors, such as helping, civic virtue, and sportsman ship, that promote the effective functioning of an organization (Organ, 1988). Counterproductive behaviors refer to discretionary behaviors, such as withdrawal or theft, that ultimately harm the organization (Robinson & Bennett, 1995). An assessment of the se three behaviors provides a relatively comprehensive picture of the impact of volunteering on overall job performance.
41 Theorizing on social identity links most directly to task performance. It suggests that because people connect themselves to their empl outcomes, they will exhibit more cooperation, effort, and focus in regard to job related tasks (Ashforth & Mael, 1989; Dutton et al., 1994). Tyler et al. (1996) found that pride in a concept the y use to capture the evaluative component of identification positively influenced compliance with group rules in several settings: family, work, university, and political. Similarly, Bartel (2001) on with their employer which was determined by the value they associated with group membership directly influenced work related effort. Employing the most comprehensive definition of task employer was associated with in role behaviors, conceptualized as fulfilling job responsibilities, performing expected tasks, and exerting full effort. Citizenship behaviors extend beyond task performance in that they are not required, but they indirectly contribute to organizational functioning (Organ, 1988). Blader and Tyler (2009; Tyler & Blader, 2001) suggested that because of their discretionary nature, citizenship behaviors were even more likely than task performance to be influenced by intrinsic moti vations, such as identity. Similarly, Dutton et al. (1994) concept with their concept of their employer In general, research supports these propositions by showing that employee association with and positive evaluation of their employer leads to citizenship behaviors (e.g., Bartel, 2001; Blader & Tyler, 2009; Tyler & Blader, 2001;
42 Tyler et al., 1996). Blad er and Tyler (2009) found that, controlling for justice and economic outcomes, social identity was strongly related to supervisor ratings of citizenship behaviors. Additionally, Bartel (2001) modeled the value that employees attached to their employer as a determinant of identification strength, which increased the likelihood that employees would help each other. The argument that individuals would want to take actions that support and 1994) either through task performance or citizenship behaviors should also have implications for counterproductive behaviors. The social identity perspective suggests that individuals integrate their perceptions of themselves with perceptions of their employer (Ashforth & Mael, 1989; Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1985), thus seeing the outcomes of their employer as a reflection of themselves. In this way, employees can enjoy the successes of their employer, interpreting this success as personal accomplishment s that improve their self concept. At the same time, however, this implies that individuals should also internalize the failures of their employer. Thus, people should be motivated not only to do everything they can to benefit their employer but also to re duce or cease behaviors that are harmful to their employer. Most of the research on identity based reasons for workplace behaviors has focused on positive outcomes, however a few related studies can provide indirect evidence that individuals who strongly associate with their employer should be less likely to engage in negative behaviors. First, in a meta analysis, Karau and Williams (1993) argued that identifying with a group reduced social loafing (i.e., a reduction in effort) because the success of the g
43 self identity were associated with antisocial behavior, such as purposely harming or starting arguments with coworkers. F urthermore, Tyler and Blader (2002) found that pride in though the behaviors could p otentially benefit the individual. In summary, individuals who value their association with their employer seek to which should include an increase in task and citize nship behavior and decrease in counterproductive behavior. Pairing this with the previous hypothesis suggests the following: (a) that volunteering can have a positive impact on job performance through fect will be especially apparent when employers encourage volunteering. Hypothesis 4 : The positive indirect effect of volunteering on job performance through such that th e indirect effect is more positive when employer volunteer encouragement is high than when employer volunteer encouragement is low. Negative Employer Consequences Despite the hypothesized positive indirect effect of volunteering on job performance, it is possible to conceive of negative indirect effects by adopting the work nonwork conflict perspective. As noted above, research on work nonwork relationships began with a focus on conflict (Parasuraman & Greenhaus, 2002). Although researchers now incorporate the possibility that work nonwork relationships can be mutually beneficial (e.g., Edwards & Rothbard, 2000; Greenhaus & Powell, 2006; Rothbard, 2001), the fact remains that work and non work activities remain a significant
44 source of conflict for each othe r as well (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Greenhaus & Powell, 2006; Poppleton et al., 2008). Work nonwork conflict is a specific form of interrole conflict where the responsibilities and demands of two roles typically work and family are incompatible, maki ng it difficult to meet the demands of both roles (Greenhaus & Beutall, 1985; Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek, & Rosenthal, 1964). Therefore, people who participate in more than one role inevitably experience conflict. Another way to conceptualize this conflict is with the idea of resource limitations. The conflict perspective assumes that individuals have a fixed amount of resources, typically referring to time and energy. Because both work and non work activities require these resources, the two roles are inher ently in competition (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Greenhaus & Parasuraman, 1999; Parasuraman & Greenhaus, 1997). People who invest more time and energy into their non work activities will have less time and energy available for work, and vice versa. Prior r esearch has called attention to many demands or resources that act as a source of conflict between work and non work activities, including time involvement, overload, time pressures, role ambiguity, strain, and psychological involvement (see Edwards & Roth bard, 2000; Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Parasuraman & Greenhaus, 2002). At the most basic level, individuals can physically exist in only one place at a time. Time devoted to one role or activity simply cannot be given to another. In much the same way, psyc hological involvement and energy depleted in one activity are not competition for such resources. Edwards and Rothbard (2000) referred to this as resource drain bec ause certain resources such as time, attention, and energy are
45 limited and once drained in one activity cannot be given to another activity. Incompatibility between two activities is also evident in the conflicting behavioral demands for each role (Edw ards & Rothbard, 2000; Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985). For example Greenhaus and Beutell (1985) discussed the competing behaviors or personas expected in the work versus family roles; specifically, an employer may expect individuals to be secretive while their families expect them to be open and warm. The question is then, what is the basis for conflict between volunteering and regular employment? In particular, in what ways does volunteering interfere with Individuals, who are both employed and volunteer, identify with both their employer and their volunteer organizations (see Ashforth & Mael, 1989; Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1985). Because they identify with both groups, these individuals are, at the very least physically engaged in and devoting time to, both activities (Ashforth & Mael, 1989; Rothbard, 2001). Greenhaus and Beutell (1985) discussed two time related issues: the physical amount of time devoted to an activity and the psychological devotion or atte ntion given to an activity. Considering the volitional nature of volunteering, the physical time constraints of volunteer activities schedules. However, the amount and scheduling of psychological devotion such as attention and thought to volunteering is clearly more discretionary. Relatedly, Greenhaus and Beutell (1985) also noted that pressures in one role might create a preoccupation with that activity even when an individual is physically trying to meet the demands of another role. This suggests that individuals who volunteer can become preoccupied with that role that is, devote psychological attention to it when they are
46 physically at their place of regular em ployment or attempting to complete job related activities. to a task. Absorption refers to an intense concentration or focus on an activity (Schaufeli, Salanova, Gonzalez Roma, & Bakkar, 2002). It conveys a type of or thoughts, referring to a state where time passes quickly and it is difficult to detach 2002). The concept of absorption is included in a variety of engagement models (e.g., Kahn, 1990, 1992; Rich, LePine, & Crawford, in press; Rothbard, 2001; Schaufeli et al 2002), though several researchers refer to it as either cognitive engagement (e.g ., Kahn, 1990, 1992; Rich et al., in press) or psychological state engagement (e.g., Macey & Schneider, 2008). Regardless of the specific term used, based on its definition, absorption captures the psychological devotion or preoccupation with an activity d iscussed in the work nonwork conflict literature (see Greenhaus and Beutell, 1985). As noted by Greenhaus and Beutell (1985) psychological devotion operationalized here as absorption is a limited resource (see also Greenhaus & Parasuraman, 1999; Paras uraman & Greenhaus, 1997). The attention and thought concentration that these individuals can no longer devote to job related tasks. Furthermore, preoccupation with volun teering during the regular workday represents a Parasuraman, 1999). Indeed, Kahn (1990) similarly suggested that outside activities
47 such as volunteering could psych ologically remove people from their job tasks, reducing their mental availability to become absorbed in job related activities. Taken together, the above lines of theorizing suggest that employees who volunteer will be devoted to both volunteering and reg ular employment (Ashforth & Mael, 1989; Rothbard, 2001). Their involvement and devotion to volunteering may create a distraction from regular employment when these individuals devote psychological time to volunteer issues while physically at their regular jobs (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985). This psychological attention to volunteering inevitably interrupts an related tasks (Kahn, 1990). More specifically, an individual distracted by volunteer issues should be less capable of forming the type of psychological connection or intensity of focus on their job tasks that is required for absorption. Hypothesis 5 By forming a barrier to achieving a stat discussed above, job performance is best understood through an assessment of task performance, citizenship behaviors, and counterproduc tive behaviors. Of these three types of job performance, the relationship between absorption and task performance is most evident given prior theorizing and empirical testing (Kahn, 1990, 1992; Rich et al., in press; Schaufeli et al., 2002). Individuals wh o are absorbed in their jobs focus their attention and efforts toward their tasks (Kahn, 1990; Schaufeli et al., 2002), indicating that they should be better performers. Individuals who are not absorbed in their jobs perhaps because distracted by the dem ands of volunteering are not dedicating
48 themselves to their job duties (see Kahn, 1990), indicating that they should be worse performers. Although this theorizing suggests a positive relationship between absorption in dence regarding the absorption task performance relationship is somewhat mixed. In one of the only studies to provide results for this individual component of engagement, Salanova, Agut, and Peiro (2005) reported that absorption was not significantly relat ed to task performance, the measure of which emphasized emotional components of performance (e.g., employees could put (in press) found that overall levels of engag ement were positively linked to task performance, even when controlling for job involvement, job satisfaction, and intrinsic motivation. Because absorption represents an intense devotion to an activity (Schaufeli et al., 2002), it implies that a high level of effort is exerted, and prior research suggests that effort is related to task performance (e.g., Harkins, 2006; McFall, Jamison, & Harkins, 2009). Although not yet addressed explicitly, absorption should also have implications for citizenship and count erproductive behaviors (see Kahn, 1990, 1992; Schaufeli et al., 2002). To the extent that absorbed individuals are more fully invested in their work, they discretionary in n functioning by facilitating a positive work environment (Organ, 1988). In describing the process of engagement, Kahn (1992) suggested that individuals absorbed in their jobs will collabor ate with coworkers on shared tasks, offering help, suggestions, and advice
49 behaviors that could be classified as examples of citizenship. In support of this relationship, Rich et al. (in press) found that engagement was positively related to citizenship behaviors, controlling for job involvement, job satisfaction, and intrinsic motivation. In the current context where individuals are less absorbed in their jobs due to volunteer distractions, this suggests that individuals will be less likely to perform ci tizenship behaviors. There is less theorizing and evidence applicable to the impact of absorption on counterproductive behaviors. Given the dedication, focus, and engrossment that is characteristic of individuals absorbed in their jobs, these individuals s hould be less likely to participate in counterproductive behaviors that would take them away from the tasks they were engaged in, for example by daydreaming, ignoring their work, and taking long breaks. Although there is no direct evidence of this relation ship in the literature, indirect evidence can be gleaned from research on a topic that reflects the absence of absorption boredom. Klein, Leong, and Silva (1996) proposed that, in the absence of work related activities to keep employees engaged, they bec ome bored and more likely to engage in the counterproductive behavior of sabotage. Similarly, Spector, Fox, Penney, Bruursema, Goh, & Kessler (2006) expected that employees would use counterproductive behaviors to cope with boredom at work. They found that boredom was related to organizationally directed counterproductive behavior, particularly because boredom induced withdrawal type reactions from employees. This finding is consistent with prior research that showed that employees were more likely to take breaks from their work when they deemed the work tasks uninteresting (Roy, 1960). Applied to the current context, this suggests that individuals who are less absorbed in
50 their jobs because of volunteering should be more likely to exhibit withdrawal type co unterproductive behaviors. Coupling the expectation that low levels of absorption will negatively influence job performance (by decreasing task performance and citizenship behaviors, and increasing counterproductive behaviors) with the previous hypothesis have an indirect negative effect on job performance through absorption. Hypothesis 6 : Volunteering has a negative indirect effect on job performance through absorption in on Individual Consequences of Volunteering Now that I have reviewed the mixed performance implications of volunteering for regular employment, I turn to the positive outcomes of volunteering for individuals. The volunteering literature provides supp ort for the fact that volunteering benefits the volunteer in terms of both physical and psychological well being (e.g., Harlow & Cantor, 1996; Herzog & Morgan, 1993; Musick et al., 1999; Wheeler et al., 1998). However, these results were based almost entir ely on data from retired adults who no longer engaged in other activities, such as regular employment, that could also be a source of personal well being. Furthermore, there has not yet been a theoretical discussion of the process through which these benef its occur and the ultimate impact of such benefits on The social identity perspective, with a focus on associating with volunteer organizations, provides a theoretically grounded explanation for some of the individual benefi ts of volunteering. At its core, social identity and the related concept of organizational identity proposes that individuals tend to identify and engage in activities with organizations with high social status in an effort to elevate their self
51 concep t (Ashforth & Mael, 1989; Hogg & Abrams, 1990; Tajfel, 1974). As discussed previously in more detail, individuals adopt the characteristics of the organizations with which they associate and judge favorably (Dutton et al., 1994; Tajfel & Turner, 1979, 1985 interests, and they see themselves as reflecting the image of the organization. Throug h transforms how individuals view themselves (Dutton et al., 1994; Tajfel & Turner, 1985). One indicator of high status for an organization is to have socially d esirable features (Dutton et al., 1994). Volunteer organizations can be viewed as socially desirable because their mission of helping others is perceived as positive and attractive to society (Fisher & Ackerman, 1998; Harris, 2001). Because of this image, individuals who choose to associate themselves with these volunteer organizations see themselves in a more positive light. As an example, individuals who participate in voluntary, charitable acts have been shown to adopt the characteristics of being prosoc ial, kind, concept, which can be described as self esteem. Self esteem is a fundamental appra thought of an indicator of the overall value that individuals place on themselves as people (Harter, 1990). Individuals with high self esteem tend to evaluate themselves
52 respect themselves and consider themselves worthy (Rosenberg, 1979). In regard to the social identity process, then, int ernalizing the positive characteristics gained from self esteem. Thus, through this internalization process, volunteering should positively esteem. Because the volunteers in the current context are also employees, research on multiple role occupation is also relevant to this proposed relationship. According to a role accumulation perspective, engagement in a variety of roles provides multiple opportunities for enrichment and satisfaction, which should positively influence overall psychological functioning (Marks, 1977; Sieber, 1974). Evidence from this stream of research suggests that individuals who occupy multiple roles such as employee and volunteer enjoy better health and mental well being (Baruch & Barnett, 1986). Hypothesis 7 : Volunteering is positively related to self esteem. Through the impact on self esteem, volunteering should also increase overall life satisfaction. Life satisfac tion refers to a global assessment of the quality of life (Diener, Emmons, Larson, & Griffin, 1985; Shin & Johnson, 1978). This judgment is thought to what constitut es an ideal life situation (Diener et al., 1985). In this way, life satisfaction is not in direct comparison with other individuals who may place different values on d ifferent standards (Diener, 1984). Self esteem should have a direct impact on life satisfaction. First, self esteem includes an affective component (Pelham & Swann, 1989) through which people
53 evaluate whether or not they feel positively toward themselves. When positive, this feeling may permeate how people with high self esteem interpret their situations. Indeed, research has shown that people rely on the relative balance of their positive to negative emotions when making judgments about life satisfaction ( Kuppens, Realo, & Diener, 2008; Schimmack, Radhakirshnan, Oishi, Dzokoto, & Ahadi, 2002; Suh, Diener, Oishi, & Triandis, 1998). Second, because they see themselves as competent and worthy (Rosenberg, 1979), individuals with high self esteem should make mor e positive decisions to engage in activities they enjoy, to build healthy relationships, and so on that will enrich their lives. itive self regard and life satisfaction. That is, individuals with a positive self regard tend to be more satisfied with their lives (Judge, Bono, Erez, & Locke, 2005; Judge, Locke, Durham, & Kluger, 1998). Offering a goal based explanation for this relati onship, Judge et al. (2005) demonstrated that individuals with high self regard (measured by core self evaluations a combination of self esteem, generalized self efficacy, locus of control, and neuroticism) were more likely to set goals that were consist ent with personal values and desires. As a result, these individuals exerted more effort toward achieving those goals, which translated into feelings of satisfaction. Pairing this expected self esteem life satisfaction link with the previous hypothesis sug gests that volunteering should positively influence life satisfaction by increasing self esteem. Hypothesis 8 : Volunteering has a positive indirect effect on life satisfaction through self esteem.
54 Figure 3 1. Model of hypothesized relationships
55 CHAPTER 4 METHODS Sample and Procedure Participants for this study were recruited through two umbrella volunteer organizations, the United Way and the Junior League, from one county in the southeast United States. Members of the United Way were approached during an annual volunteering day and asked to participate in the study. Members of the Junior League were approached during their monthly meeting. Potential participants were told about the general purpose of the study to gain a better understanding of the relationship between volunteer work and regular job related behaviors and given an overview of participation requirements. In terms of study requirements, participants were asked to (a) complete a survey, (b) provide names and email addresses for two coworkers who could complete a survey on their behalf, and (c) provide the name and email address of complete a survey on their behalf. The participant survey assessed volunteering, organizational identification, absorption, self esteem, life satisfaction, and prosocial identity. The coworker survey assessed job meaningfulness, employer volunteer sk performance, citizenship behaviors, and counterproductive behaviors). Finally, the volunteer peer survey assessed volunteer meaningfulness. Of the 250 United Way members that attended the volunteering day, 177 agreed to participate in this study. Of the 50 Junior League members that attended the monthly meeting, 37 agreed to participate. These responses represent a 70.8% and 74% response rate, respectively. It is important to note that although members of these
56 organizations were volunteers by nature of their group membership, they were not necessarily employed. In order to test the hypothesized model, participants needed to be both volunteers and regularly employed. Therefore, some group members were naturally excluded and self selected out of participat ing based on this criteria. Participants were only included in the analyses if they had a full set of self responses, responses from at least one coworker, and responses from a volunteer peer. Of the 214 individuals who completed the self report survey, at least one coworker completed a survey for 177 of the participants and a volunteer peer completed a survey for 146 of the participants. Matching responses from different sources resulted in a final sample size of 125 employed volunteers, which represents a final response rate of 58.4%. On average, participants were 44 years old ( SD = 12.14). Sixty eight percent of the participants were female. Eighty eight percent of the participants were Caucasian, 2.4% were Hispanic, 4.0% were African American, 1.6% was N ative American, and 0.8% was Asian (the remaining 3.2% chose not to report this information). In terms of regular employment, participants worked an average of 44.8 hours a week ( SD = 8.56) and had an average tenure of 10.23 years ( SD = 9.98). In terms of volunteering, participants volunteered between 1 and 30 hours a week, with an average of 5.20 hours ( SD = 5.51). They volunteered for a variety of non profit organizations including Meals on Wheels, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Humane Society, Habitat f or Humanity, Homeless Shelters as well as in other volunteer activities, such as one time events (e.g., Relay for Life).
57 Measures Participant Measures Volunteering The volunteering measure used in this study was created in ) suggestions and the content validity of the items researchers should create items that reflect the definition of their construct and rely on of the items to make the inclusion determination (Hinkin, 1998; Hinkin & Tracey, 1999). In particular, participants should be provided with the definition and items and asked to rate each of the items on the extent to which it reflects the definition prov ided. Then, the decision of which items, if any, to exclude from the scale can be made based on the average ratings of the participants. Following this method, twelve volunteering items (provided in Table 4 1) were created to reflect the definition of vol unteering provided in the literature review above: students (N = 531) were recruited from a large southeastern university to complete an online survey that provided this definition, followed by the twelve volunteering items. Participants were asked to rate each of the items on the extent to which they believed the item corresponded with th e definition provided, using the following scale: 1 (the item is a very poor match to the concept defined above), 2 (the item is a poor match to the concept defined above), 3 (the item is an adequate match to the concept defined above), 4 (the item is a go od match to the concept defined above), and 5 (the item is a very good match to the concept defined above). All of the items were rated at or above average (with a mean rating of 3.66) and were retained in the study. The specific ratings
58 for each volunteer ing item are provided in Table 4 1. Further, an exploratory factor analysis revealed that the twelve volunteering items loaded on a single factor that explained 88.9% of the variance. The average factor loading was .94 (item level factor loadings are prese nted in Table 4 1). Additionally, the twelve item measure demonstrated good reliability (the coefficient alpha was .98). When administered to the following items ask ab out the time or skills that you give to volunteer groups (e.g., frequency of their behaviors using the following response scale: 1 = Almost Never, 2 = Rarely, 3 = Sometime s, 4 = Often, 5 = Very Often. Hinkin (1998) suggested several additional steps to establish construct validity of a measure. Although construct validity is not directly assessable, evidence for construct validity is commonly gathered through examinations of convergent validity, discriminant assessments, 81 working undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory management course were recruited to participate in a study. Participation was limited to broader research agenda. Fifty five percent of the participants were female. Sixty percent of participants were Caucasian, 8.6% were His panic, 12.3% were African American, and 1.2% were Asian (the remaining 17.2% did not report this information). On average, participants were 22.3 years old ( SD = 4.2) worked 31 ( SD = 9.3) hours a week. As demonstrated in Table 4 2, the mean of the voluntee ring variable for these working students was 2.51, indicating a slightly below average level of volunteering. It is
59 also important to note that there was sufficient variation ( SD = 1.08) for the purposes of predicting nomological validity. Convergent valid ity exists when the measure of interest (here, volunteering) corresponds with other measures of either the same or a closely related construct (see Schwab, 1980; Kerlinger & Lee, 2000). To assess this in the current study, I included two additional measure s of volunteering. First, I included one of the only existing scale measures of volunteering in the social psychology literature, Gillath, Shaver, Mikulincer, measure provide s participants with a list of 26 possible volunteer activities and asks participants to rate the frequency with which they engage in the particular activity. cleanups, beach clean Second, I included the following one the amount of time participants volunteered. Correlations among these variables are presented in Table 4 2. As expected, the developed measure of volunteerism was positively and strongly correlated with both of the alternative measures of volunteering ( r = .66 and r = .64, respectively), thus demonstrating evidence of convergent validity. Discrimi nant validity exists when scores on the measure of interest differ from scores on different constructs (Schwab, 1980; Kerlinger & Lee, 2000). That is, a
60 measure exhibits discriminant validity when it is empirically distinct from other constructs. To assess discriminant validity in the current study, I included measures of two constructs that should be similar, but distinct from volunteering: altruism and civic virtue. Altruism is a discretionary behavior when one employee helps another with a work related t ask (Podsakoff et al., 1990). It was measured with the following five items work relate Civic virtue, another discretionary behavior, is when employees make an effort to show that they are concerned about the image and well being of their company (Podsakoff et al., 1990) Civic virtue was measured with the following four items from not required but help and civic virtue, are conceptually similar to volunteering in that they are all discretionary, other focused beha viors. Altruism and civic virtue, however, differ from volunteering in with alt ruism and civic virtue. As shown in Table 4 2, volunteerism was moderately correlated with altruism ( r = .21) and was not significantly correlated with civic virtue ( r = .09). These correlations indicate that volunteering is a distinct concept from these m ore organizationally focused discretionary behaviors.
61 A third, and related, method of establishing construct validity is to examine the nomological network of the measure of interest. Finding the conceptually expected pattern of relationships for a measure provides additional evidence that the measure accurately captures the construct of interest. In the case of volunteering, prior theorizing has suggested that people who donate to a charitable cause (a concept similar to volunteering) see themselves as mor e caring and benevolent, a sentiment referred to as prosocial identity (Grant et al., 2009). Similarly, existing studies have determined that volunteers are more prosocial in personality than are non volunteers (Penner et al., d expect volunteering to be moderately positively related to prosocial identity. Prosocial identity was assessed with a three item measure Table 4 2, volunteering significantly correlates with prosocial identity ( r = .35). Taken together, the results regarding content validity, convergent validity, discriminant validity, and volunteerin Employer Identification. a six criticizes my employ praises my employer, it f
62 ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree The coefficient alpha was .87. Absorption in job. Ab item scale ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree. The coefficient alpha was .80 Self esteem. Self este em was measured with a ten item scale developed by inclined to feel that could ha (reverse worded). All items used a response scale ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree The c oefficient alpha was .84. Life Satisfaction. Life satisfaction was measured with a five item scale
63 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree. The coefficient alpha was .84. Prosocial Identity. Although not a subject of formal hypothesis, prosocial identity was included as a control in the hypothesized model. Prosocial identity reflects the extent to which individuals see themselves as caring and benevolent. As discussed above, prior research on volunteering shows that volunteers are more prosocial than non volunteers (e.g., Penner et al., 1995; Penner, 2002). Prosocial identity was measured with a three mysel 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree The coefficient alpha was .83. Coworker Measures Participants were asked to recommend two coworkers who could complete a survey about their work environment and work related behaviors. In order to get the most accurate responses possible, participants were specifically asked to choose coworkers who were in the best position to and behaviors (and not simply the coworker who likes them the best). Of the 125 participants included in the analyses, 92 had complete responses from both coworkers, the remaining 33 had complete responses from one coworker. To determine the level of consistency between coworker ratings, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated (see Bliese, 2000). Overall, the ICC values in this sample indicate that there was agreement between responses from th e coworkers. Specifically, the ICC(1) values were as follows: job meaningfulness (.19), employer volunteer encouragement (.51), task performance (.20), citizenship behaviors (.47), and counterproductive behaviors
64 (.12). James (1982) reviewed typical ICC(1) values, noting a median of .12. More recently Bliese (2000) suggested that typical values for ICC(1) range from .05 to .20. The ICC(1) values in the current sample fall at or above the median of .12, with a mean of .30. Job meaningfulness. volunteer peers were asked to evaluate the item scale 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree The coefficient alpha was .91. Employer volunteer encouragement. Coworkers rated employer volun teer encouragement with a five item scale adapted from Zhou and George (2001). The items vo scale ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree The coefficient alpha was .90. Job Performance. Coworkers were also asked to rate three components of job performance: task performance, citizenship behavior, and counterproductive behavior. Task performance was measured with a five item scale adapted from MacKenzie, Podsakoff, an
65 job a response scale ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree The coefficient alpha was .84. Citizenship behavior directed toward the organization was measured with an eight empl coworker takes acti response scale ranging from 1 = Never to 7 = Always The coefficient alpha was .94. Counterproductive behavior dir ected toward the organization was measured with
66 ranging from 1 = Never to 7 = Always The coefficient alpha was .86. Volunteer Peer Measures Volunteer meaningfuln ess. Their volunteer activities are personally meaningful to scale ranging from 1 = Strongly Disagree to 5 = Strongly Agree The coefficient alpha was .96.
67 Table 4 1. Volun teering items assessed for content validity Construct Item Mean Factor Loading Volunteering I give my time to help a volunteer group 4.09 .96 I employ my talent to aid a volunteer group 3.83 .95 I apply my skills in ways that benefit a volunteer group 3.83 .96 I devote my energy toward a volunteer group 3.76 .96 I engage in activities to support a volunteer group 3.74 .94 I exert effort toward a volunteer group 3.63 .97 I use my strengths to contribute to a volunteer group 3.62 .94 I dra w on my knowledge to assist a volunteer group 3.54 .96 I participate in ways that better a volunteer group 3.52 .96 I contribute resources to serve a volunteer group 3.46 .85 I rely on my expertise to help a volunteer group 3.35 .94 I direct attent ion to a volunteer group 3.03 .93 Table 4 2. Means, standard deviations, and zero order correlations for construct validity Variable Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 1. Volunteering 2.51 1.08 (.99) 2. Volunteer activities 1.74 0.76 .66* (.93) 3. Volunteer hours 2.98 6.34 .64* .38* -4. Altruism 3.91 0.60 .21 .31* .05 (.86) 5. Civic virtue 3.46 0.72 .09 .09 .13 .19* (.76) 6. Prosocial identity 4.11 0.68 .35* .34* .25* .37* .02 (.78) Note. n = 79 81. Coefficient alphas are present ed along the diagonal. p < .05, p < .10, two tailed.
68 CHAPTER 5 RESULTS Descriptive Statistics The means, standard deviations, and zero order correlations are presented in Table 5 1. As shown in the table, the mean level of volunteering among partic ipants was 4.01, indicating a higher level of volunteering than in the scale development sample. This is to be expected given the nature of the sampling strategy, which specifically targeted individuals who volunteered. However, there should still not be a n issue of range restriction given the variance in responses. In fact, there was more variance in responses to the volunteering scale than the other scales in the sample. The correlations listed in Table 5 1 provide some indication of the nature of volunte ering. First, volunteering is positively related to both volunteer meaningfulness ( r = .33) as well as regular job meaningfulness ( r = .19). These correlations provide initial support that volunteering is related to experiences in both the volunteer and jo b domains. These results are particularly meaningful considering that both relationships were measured by different sources: the volunteer meaningfulness volunteering relationship was measured by volunteer peers and self report respectively, and the regula r job meaningfulness volunteering relationship was measured by coworkers and self report respectively. Second, at this zero order level, volunteering appears to have little to no relationship with job performance. Volunteering exhibited a moderate, but sig nificant, relationship with citizenship behaviors ( r = .18), but was not significantly related to either task performance ( r = .14) or counterproductive behaviors ( r = .17). Again, it is important to note that these relationships are not same source linka ges. Rather, they
69 performance. Also relevant to the work domain, volunteering was only moderately related to employer identification ( r = .18) and not significantly related to absorption in r = .11). At the same time, volunteering was not significantly related to employer volunteer encouragement ( r = .02). This seems to suggest that, at least on the surface, employee levels of volunteering are not associa ted with the extent to which their employer encourages the behavior. Finally, turning to the non work domain, volunteering was significantly related to self esteem ( r = .30) and life satisfaction ( r = .28). These results suggest that volunteering has impli cations for employees not only in the workplace but also outside the workplace. Tests of Hypotheses The hypotheses were tested using structural equation modeling in LISREL Version 8.52. Given the sample size, I tested the proposed relationships in Figure 3 1 using a partially latent model in which scale scores were used as single indicators of latent variables with error variances set to (1 alpha)*variance (Kline, 2005). Moderation hypotheses were tested within structural equation modeling following past r ecommendations (Cortina, Chen, & Dunlap, 2001; Mathiew, Tannenbaum, & Salas, 1992). First, independent variables were centered in order to reduce nonessential multicollinearity and product terms were created (Cohen, Cohen, West, & Aiken, 2003; Cortina et a l 2001). These product terms were set in LISREL as single indicators of the latent variables. As with the other variables, the error variances were set to (1 alpha)*variance. The product term alphas were created using formula 14 from Cortina et al. (2001 ): [(reliability X *reliability Z ) + r 2 XZ ]/(1 + r 2 XZ ), where X is the independent variable, Z is the moderator, and r XZ is the correlation between these two latent variables. In order to accurately interpret these moderation effects, direct effects were model ed from
70 the moderators to the respective dependent variable even though these paths were not formally hypothesized. Specifically, a direct effect was modeled from job meaningfulness to volunteering and from employer volunteering encouragement to employer i dentification. In addition, disturbance terms among the endogenous workplace behaviors job performance, citizenship behaviors, and counterproductive behaviors were allowed to covary to capture any unmeasured common causes. In particular, this accounts for the performance (see Rotundo & Sackett, 2002). Also, as noted above, I controlled for prosocial identity in the tests of all of the hypotheses. To do this, paths were specif ied from prosocial identity to all endogenous variables in the model (the four mediators and four dependent variables). A comprehensive model of the tested paths is depicted in Figure 5 1. Fit statistics for this model were as follows: 2 (49, N = 125) = 1 10.09; 2 / df = 2.25; CFI = .84; IFI = .85; SRMR = .10. According to the conventions outlined by Kline (2005), good fit can be inferred when 2 / df falls below 3.00 and when SRMR falls below .10. It is important to note that although prior research attests t o a strong relationship between job empowerment an umbrella concept that subsumes job meaningfulness and engagement May, Gilson, & Harter, 2004), this path was not included in the hypot hesized model. In model described above to the fit of a model including a path between job meaningfulness and absorption. Fit statistics for this alternative model were as follows: 2 (48, N = 125) = 109.33; 2 / df = 2.28; CFI = .85; IFI = .85; SRMR = .10. A chi square
71 difference test confirmed that it did not fit statistically differently than the original model ( 2 1 = 0.76, ns). Furthermore, the pattern of results (an d essentially all path coefficient estimates) remained unchanged by this addition and the estimated path coefficient for the job meaningfulness absorption relationship (b = .10) was not significant. Therefore, I proceeded to test the hypotheses with the or iginally described model (presented in Figure 5 1). Antecedents of Volunteering Hypotheses 1 and 2 made predictions about the impact of volunteering meaningfulness and job meaningfulness on the act of volunteering. The portion of the structural equation mo del relevant to these predictions is summarized in Table 5 2. First, with respect to the control, prosocial identity was positively related to volunteering (b = .31). Hypothesis 1 predicted that volunteer meaningfulness would be positively related to volun teering. As seen in the table, volunteer meaningfulness was significantly related to volunteering, (b = .26) even when controlling for prosocial identity. Thus, Hypothesis 1 was supported. Hypothesis 2 predicted that job meaningfulness would moderate the r elationship between volunteer meaningfulness and volunteering. As shown in Table 5 2, the Volunteer Meaningfulness X Job Meaningfulness product term was not statistically significant. Therefore, Hypothesis 2 was not supported. Employer Consequences of Volu nteering Hypotheses 3 through 6 made predictions about the effects of volunteering on workplace attitudes and behaviors. The portions of the structural equation model relevant to these predictions are summarized in Tables 5 3, 5 4, and 5 5. Hypothesis 3 pr edicted that employer volunteer encouragement would moderate the relationship between volunteering and employer identification. As shown in Table 5 3, the
72 Volunteering X Employer Volunteer Encouragement product term was not significant. Thus, Hypothesis 3 was not supported. Hypothesis 4 predicted that the indirect effect of volunteering on job performance would be moderated by employer volunteer encouragement. Following Edwards and ents a first stage moderation model. A significant interaction between the independent variable and the moderator when predicting the mediator is a necessary condition to supporting this hypothesis. Since Hypotheses 3 (that employer volunteer encouragement would moderate the volunteering employer identification path) was not supported, Hypothesis 4 (moderated mediation) is subsequently also not supported. That being said, there was a significant main effect of volunteering on employer identification (b = .1 8) and significant effects of employer identification on the three components of job satisfaction (task performance, b = .26; citizenship behaviors b = .47; counterproductive behaviors, b = .40), leaving open the possibility for a (non moderated) indirect effect of volunteering on job performance. Therefore, I then tested for indirect effects of volunteering on job performance using the product of coefficients approach advocated by McKinnon, Lockwood, Hoffman, West, and Sheets (2002). Following this approa ch, mediation is shown when an independent variable has a significant indirect effect on the dependent variable when a direct effect is also modeled. Table 5 5 contains the effect decomposition statistics from LISREL that can be used to assess mediation. A s seen in the table, the indirect effect of volunteering to task performance was not significant (.04). However, the indirect effects of volunteering on citizenship behaviors and counterproductive
73 behaviors were significant (.08 and .07, respectively). Fu rthermore, the lack of significant direct effects of volunteering on either citizenship behaviors (b = .11) or counterproductive behaviors (b = .13) suggests full mediation. It is important to note, however, that the LISREL test of indirect effects lumps together the two modeled mediators job. These effects can be disentangled by manually calculating the indirect effects (the product of the main effect of the independent variable on the mediator with the m ain effect of the mediator on the dependent variable) for each mediator. These results can then be subjected to a Sobel (1982) test to ascertain their significance. The relevant main effects necessary to create the indirect effects can be found in Tables 5 3 and 5 4. The indirect effect of volunteering on task performance through employer identification, .05 (created by multiplying .18 by .26), was not significant. However, the indirect effect of volunteering on citizenship behaviors through employer identi fication (.18*.47 = .08) and the indirect effect of volunteering on counterproductive behaviors through employer identification (.18* .40 = .07) were both significant. Hypothesis 5 predicted that volunteering would be negatively related to absorption in o predictions is summarized in Tables 5 3. As shown in the table, volunteering was not significantly related to absorption (b = .01), when controlling for prosocial identity (b = .27). Hypothesis 6 predicted that volunteering would have a negative indirect effect on job performance through volunteering. Again, this prediction was tested using test to as certain significance. The indirect effects of volunteering, through absorption in
74 .001), citizenship behaviors (.000), and counterproductive behaviors (.001), were not significant. Thus, neither Hypothesis 5 nor Hypothesis 6 was supported. Individual Consequences of Volunteering Hypothesis 7 and 8 made predictions about the effects of volunteering on an being. The portions of the structural equation model relevant to these predictions are summarized in Tabl es 5 3 and 5 5. Hypothesis 7 predicted that volunteering would be positively related to self esteem. As shown in Table 5 3, volunteering was positively related to self esteem (b = .21), even when controlling for prosocial identity (b = .32). Hypothesis 8 predicted that volunteering would have a positive indirect effect on life satisfaction through self esteem. Again, this prediction was Table 5 5, the indirect effect of vo lunteering on life satisfaction (.07) was significant, supporting mediation. The remaining significant direct effect of volunteering on life satisfaction indicates that the total effect was partially mediated by self esteem. Combined, these results support Hypothesis 7 and 8.
75 Table 5 1. Mean, standard deviations, and zero order correlations for hypothesis testing Variable Mean SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1. Volunteering 4.01 0.84 (.98) 2. Volunteer meaningfulness 3.92 0.44 .33* (.96) 3. Job meaningfulness 3.60 0.56 .19* .14 (.91) 4. Employer identification 4.17 0.70 .18* .13 .40* (.87) 5. Absorption in job 3.80 0.67 .11 .10 .10 .17 (.80) 6. Self esteem 4.40 0.48 .30* .08 .20* .18* .06 (.84) 7. Employer volunteer encouragement 4.30 0.60 .02 .17 .37* .36* .01 .10 (.93) 8. Task performance 4.53 0.47 .14 .06 .52* .23* .03 .12 .14 (.94) 9. Citizenship behaviors 5.85 0.81 .18* .17 .59* .43* .07 .24* .35* .59* 10. Counterproductive behaviors 1.32 0.46 .14 .08 .50* .34* .01 .12 .23* .60* 11. Life satisfaction 3.76 0.63 .28* .07 .04 .29* .15 .33* .20* .13 12. Prosocial identity 4.35 0.60 .33* .19* .06 .12 .23* .34* .03 .04 Note. n = 125. Coefficient alphas are presented along the diagonal. p < .05, p < .10
76 Table 5 1. Continued Variable 9 10 11 12 1. Volunteering 2. Volunteer meaningfulness 3. Job meaningfulness 4. Employer identification 5. Absorption in job 6. Self esteem 7. Employer volunteer encouragemen t 8. Task performance 9. Citizenship behaviors (.94) 10. Counterproductive behaviors .55* (.89) 11. Life satisfaction .10 .08 (.84) 12. Prosocial identity .05 .06 .16 (.83) Note. n = 125. Coefficient alphas are presented along the di agonal. p < .05, p < .10
77 Table 5 2. Structural equation modeling results for volunteering Variable Volunteering Volunteer meaningfulness .26* Job meaningfulness .13 Volunteer meaningfulness Job meaningfulness .05 Prosocial identity .31* R 2 .23* Note. n = 125. p < .05, one tailed Table 5 3. Structural equation modeling results for employer identification, absorption, and self esteem Variable Employer Identification Absorption in Job Self Esteem Volunteering .18* .02 .21* Em ployer volunteer encouragement .41* --Volunteering*Employer volunteer encouragement .07 --Prosocial identity .06 .27* .32* R 2 .23* .08* .20* Note. n = 125. p < .05, one tailed Table 5 4. Structural equation modeling results for j ob performance Variable Task Performance Citizenship Behaviors Counterproductive Behaviors Volunteering .14 .11 .13 Employer identification .26* .47* .40* Absorption in job .07 .01 .05 Prosocial identity .11 .05 .16 R 2 .10* .26* .20* Note. n = 125. p < .05, one tailed
78 Table 5 5. Total, direct, and indirect effects of volunteering on job performance and life satisfaction Relationship Total effect Direct effect Indirect effect Volunteering Task performance .19* .14 .04 Volunt eering Citizenship behaviors .20* .11 .08* Volunteering Counterproductive behaviors .20* .13 .07* Volunteering Life satisfaction .27* .20* .07* Note. n = 125. p < .05, one tailed Table 5 6. Structural equation modeling results for life satisfact ion Variable Life Satisfaction Volunteering .20* Self esteem .32* Prosocial identity .01 R 2 .19* Note. n = 125. p < .05, one tailed
79 Figure 5 1. Summary of the tested model
80 CHAPTER 6 DISCUSSION Despite the growing trend of volunteering in the United States (Corporation for National and Community Service, 2006) and the general increase in corporate interest and support of employee volunteering (Points of Light, 2004), there is very little research on the intersection of volunteering and regular employment. Given that both roles that of an employee and that of a volunteer give and take individual resources, and vice versa. Therefore, in this disse rtation, I sought to address three primary workplace factors that influence employee volunteer involvement? Second, what is the impact of employee volunteering on wor kplace attitudes and behaviors? In particular, I suggested that it is possible for volunteering to have simultaneous beneficial and detrimental effects on employer relevant attitudes and behaviors. Third, and finally, what is the impact of employee volunte ering on the individuals themselves? In the following sections, I summarize the results that are relevant to these research questions, and then discuss the theoretical implications, practical implications, and limitations of this research. Summary of Resul ts Antecedents of Volunteering In the first section of this dissertation, I sought to explain why employees volunteer. What little research has been conducted on this topic has focused almost exclusively on the effects of human and social capital gained th rough regular
81 Here, I took a different perspective, proposing that the specific characteristics of the volunteer work in particular, the meaningfulness derived from such t asks (Spreitzer, 1995; Thomas & Velthouse, 1990) play a key role in driving volunteer involvement. As expected, the results showed that evaluations of volunteer meaningfulness (rated by an s, individuals volunteered more frequently when the volunteer work was viewed as more meaningful. This main effect is especially noteworthy considering that this relationship was not same source: individuals reported their own levels of volunteering and th eir volunteer peers reported the meaningfulness of volunteering. I also expected that volunteering would be influenced, in part, by the researchers have previously suggested that individuals may use volunteering as a method to compensate for something that is missing from their regular employment (Gora & Nemerowicz, 1985; also see Wilson, 2000). Applied to meaningfulness, I thus expected that individuals might volunteer more frequ ently when their volunteer work provided meaningfulness that was missing from their regular job. Unfortunately, as id not moderate the relationship between volunteer meaningfulness and volunteering, nor did it directly relate to levels of volunteering. The combination of this and the prior result suggests that it is the nature of volunteer experiences that pulls indivi duals towards the experience, and not the nature of their regular jobs pushing them toward another activity.
82 Considering the lack of an interaction effect, it is possible that meaningfulness is simply not the appropriate work characteristic to exemplify a compensatory relationship between the regular job and volunteering domains. Perhaps a different common better demonstrate this interaction. For example, existing volunteer wo rk hints at the (e.g., Geroy et al., 2000; Peloza & Hassay, 2006). It could be that individuals who are not getting the form of social involvement they crave from the ir regular jobs might turn to volunteering as a different source. It may also be that the relationships between regular job and volunteer domains are not compensatory in nature. Drawing from the rich literature on the various types of relationships between work and non work activities (see Edwards and Rothbard, 2000), perhaps another form of relationship such as spill over or resource drain exists between these two domains. For example, regular job moods and behaviors might spill over to affect voluntee ring and vice versa. Although not hypothesized, it is worth noting that prosocial identity was positively related to volunteering. Individuals who saw themselves as caring and benevolent volunteered more frequently. This relationship is consistent with pr ior research on prosocial personality traits and either volunteering (e.g., Penner et al., 1995; Penner, 2002) or other similar behaviors, such as charitable giving (e.g., Grant et al., 2008). It also highlights the importance, moving forward, of controlli ng for these types of dispositions when exploring other potential antecedents of volunteering and investigating the role of other personality traits that may be associated with volunteering.
83 Employer Consequences of Volunteering To address the second resea rch question, I explored the potential for volunteering to have mixed consequences for employers. Although there is some existing empirical evidence of the regular employment related outcomes of volunteering (e.g., Bartel, 2001; Booth et al 2009; DeGilde r et al., 2005), the focus to date has been almost exclusively on the positive impact of volunteering and has yet to explore bottom line consequences for employers, such as task performance. Relying on a combination of social identity and work family persp ectives (Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985; Greenhaus & Powell, 2006; Tajfel & Turnver, 1979, 1985), I anticipated that volunteering would, performance, citizenship behaviors, and cou nterproductive behaviors) by fostering employer identification and a negative influence on job performance by reducing employee absorption in work related tasks. Overall, the pattern of results seemed to suggest that volunteering has a slight positive impa ct on job performance through In particular, I expected that a relationship between volunteering and employer ecifically supported employee volunteerism (i.e., employer volunteer encouragement would act as a moderator of the volunteering employer identification relationship). An employee would appreciate that the employer was endorsing a behavior they engaged in a nd would respond by feeling a stronger psychological link to the employer. Indeed, prior research has indicated that employee volunteers (employees volunteering through a company program) had more positive attitudes toward their employer (De Gilder et al., 2005). Similarly, Bartel (2001) showed that participating in a company community outreach
84 program (essentially, employer sponsored volunteering) strengthened employer identity. However, the interaction between volunteering and employer volunteer encourage ment did not have a significant effect on employer identification. Instead, the results revealed that volunteering was directly and positively related to employer identification. That is, employees who volunteered more frequently felt more psychologically linked to their employer, identifying with and internalizing their through its impact on employer identification, volunteering indirectly improved job performance (increasi ng citizenship behaviors and decreasing counterproductive behaviors). Although I did not initially expect this relationship to emerge unless the employer encouraged volunteering, this relationship is not entirely surprising. Perhaps the mere exposure to ot her organizations particularly charitable and non profit organizations that are often run differently than for profit organizations makes the role organizations are ma naged (which is typically with less resources, benefits, and perks) and gain a sense of perspective about how they feel about their employer. Although it was not predicted, another important main effect emerged in regard to this aspect of the model. Name ly, employer volunteer encouragement (which was rated rated employer identification. This suggests that employers retain some influence over employee attitudes toward the employer through the level of corporate volunteer encouragement. when their employer outwardly encourages employee volunteer involvement. In line with
85 other research in the area, this f inding could suggest that employees regardless of their volunteering levels are simply responding positively to the prosocial implications of this action. In describing the prosocial sensemaking process, Grant et al. (2008) proposed and found evidence that employees grew to see their employer more positively when the employer was actively involved in a charitable giving program. This relationship is especially important for employers because, by increasing employee identification, employer volunteer enc ouragement also indirectly improves performance (increasing task performance and citizenship behaviors, and decreasing counterproductive behaviors). As discussed above, I anticipated that volunteering would have the potential to both positively and negati vely influence workplace attitudes and behaviors. In terms of the possible downside of employee volunteer involvement, I expected that volunteering might represent a non work activity that could distract employees from their job duties, reducing levels of employee absorption in their jobs (see Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985 and Kahn, 1990). This decrease in absorption would go on to negatively impact job performance, reducing task performance and citizenship behaviors and increasing counterproductive behaviors ( Rich et al., in press; Schaufeli et al., 2002). Unfortunately, neither of these effects emerged in the current sample. One potential reason for not finding this relationship may be that absorption does rom work duties driven by their task (Schaufeli et al., 2002) and the items used to measure absorption focus on the tasks (Salanova et al., 2005). The
86 vast majority of prior research has focused on specific job demands that increase this type of focus (e.g., Bakker, Hakanen, Demerouti, & Xanthopoulou, 2007; Bakker, van Emmerik, & Euwema, 2006; Mauno, Kinnunen, & Ruokola inen, 2007), and not on alternative domain demands (like family demands or volunteering demands) that could decrease absorption (for an exception, see Rothbard, 2001). It could be that, even when employees spend some of their work time or attention on volu nteering related tasks, actually paying attention to them. Perhaps a more accurate way to tap into volunteering as a work distraction would be to measure the amount of e ffort employees put into their work on a daily basis or to directly measure the amount of work time that employees spend on volunteering related issues. Indeed, the work family literature often conceptualizes time in one domain as a resource drain that cou ld negatively impact another domain (Edwards & Rothbard, 2000; Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985). It could also be that absorption would be best measured and understood as a component of engagement rather than as a stand the their work roles. According to this view, employee engagement is a simultaneous le and engrossment in work tasks, absorption taps into the cognitive component of this state o f being (Schaufeli et al., 2002). There is little research on the performance implications of absorption independently from the other facets of engagement (for an
87 exception, see Salanova et al., 2005). However, in concordance with the present results, rese arch on a related concept, flow a state of immersion and enjoyment in an activity, has similarly failed to exhibit performance effects (Bakker, 2005; Bakker, 2008). Meta analytic results on the overall concept of engagement, on the other hand, have shown that engagement positively influences job performance, particularly increasing task performance and citizenship behaviors (Rich et al., in press). Perhaps the volunteer distractions at work would be better captured with this broader engagement construct. Yet another possibility is that other workplace attitudes and behaviors (instead of job performance) are better able to capture the potential downside of volunteering. Perhaps the experience of volunteering and being involved with other organizations open or even career possibilities. Many volunteer opportunities involve helping people that are down on their luck, are considered less fortunate in life, or have experienced some enormous hardship in life (see Gillath et al., 2005). Being exposed to such scenarios may provide individuals with some sort of new perspective on their current life situation. It may be that during interactions with these volunteer organizations, individuals begin to evaluate their career alternatives They could see the inherent positive characteristics such as meaningfulness in the types of jobs available at non profit and charitable organizations, and be subsequently less satisfied with their current job. This relationship is consistent with res earch on available
88 & Hachiya, 1985). An increase in alternatives could negative ly influence job satisfaction, which could ultimately affect turnover rates of employees (Hulin et al., 1985). Individual Consequences of Volunteering In regard to the third research question, I assessed the potential for volunteering to have positive indi vidual consequences for employees who volunteered. In particular, I esteem and the ultimate impact on life satisfaction. Existing work on volunteering has emphasized the pay off of such activities in regard to general well being (e.g., Harlow & Cantor, 1996; Herzog & Morgan, 1993; Musick et al., 1999; Wheeler et al., 1998). However, these conclusions were based on samples of non working individuals and the reasons provided for the r elationships rested on the ability of volunteering experiences to compensate for what these individuals were missing (e.g., social interaction, skill development and use) because they were not employed. In the current sample of working individuals, I expe cted that volunteering would continue to exert the same pattern of positive effects. Drawing on social identity perspective, these individuals should identify with being a member of their volunteer groups and adopt the positive image and characteristics th at they associate with these organizations (Fisher & Ackerman, 1998; Harris, 2001), which manifests in a more positive self image. In the work family literature, there is also some indication that involvement in multiple roles increases the opportunity for life enrichment and satisfaction (Marks, 1997; Sieber, 1974). As expected, the results confirmed that volunteering was related to self esteem and, through self esteem, volunteering positively influenced life satisfaction. The fact that these relationships hold for employed individuals seems to imply that volunteering does not simply improve general well being
89 because it provides what people are lacking when not employed. Instead, volunteering offers a boost in self esteem and life satisfaction regardless o f what people might gain from their regular employment. Theoretical Implications The results of this dissertation have important theoretical implications. First, the results begin to establish the nomological network of a volunteering construct and, in par ticular, its relevance to employees and employers. Before now, research on volunteering most commonly measured either the various motivations for volunteering or the different types of volunteer activities (see Clary & Snyder, 1999; Gillath et al., 2005). Otherwise, comparisons in prior research were made directly from groups of volunteers to groups of non volunteers. Either way, the frequency or extent of the behavior itself was rarely assessed. Therefore, creating a measure of the actual behavior of volun teering and beginning to validate this measure contributes to the theoretical development of the construct. Along those lines, this study also represents one of the first attempts to empirically link volunteering to work related antecedents and consequence s for individuals who are both employed and volunteers. Hopefully, the current measure of volunteering and the initial evidence for its relationship with specific workplace attitudes and behaviors can serve as a foundation for future exploration of the rol Second, the current research contributes to the healthy debate that exists in the work family literature about the relative synergies and conflict between work and non work experiences (see Greenhaus & Beutell, 1985 a nd Greenhaus & Powell, 2006). This stream of literature suggests that every activity is accompanied by a set of demands which can detract from activities in other domains and resources which
90 can contribute to activities in other domains. The present finding that volunteering enhances some aspects of job performance provides further evidence of the potential synergies between work and non work domains. the scope of the work nonwork discussion. In the current study, I considered volunteering as a non work activity that could demonstrate synergies and conflict with the work domain. From this perspective, volunteering expands the conceptualization of the non work domain. However the actual tasks involved in most volunteer work mimic workplace tasks and the act of volunteering could also be conceptualized as a form of domain synergy or conflict. From this perspective, volunteering could also expand the conceptualization of the work domain. Third, the results have implications for the application of theories that focus on job characteristics such as psychological empowerment (Spreitzer, 1995; Thomas & Velt house, 1990) and the job characteristics model (Hackman & Oldham, 1980) outside of the traditional work context. Traditionally, these frameworks have been used to describe employee psychological and behavioral reactions to work design. The results of thi s study indicate that these theories should also extend beyond the workplace and act as a valuable tool for assessing the characteristics and designs of non work activities, such as volunteering. That is, it is likely that people are just as concerned with the value and fulfillment of activities outside the workplace as they are with their specific tasks within the workplace. Assessing the task characteristics of non work activities with traditional job characteristics frameworks may open the possibility to
91 explore various attitudinal responses, such as satisfaction with the experience and motivation to continue with the activity, in these domains. Practical Implications The above results also offer a number of practical implications. Perhaps the most straig htforward is that companies benefit from employee involvement in volunteer activities. In all likelihood, this is probably partially due to the increase in employer identification as shown in this study and partially to other factors, such as skill develop ment and networking, that have been demonstrated in prior research (e.g., Austin, 1998; Booth et al., 2009; Ross, 1997). One avenue through which this information could benefit employers is in the selection process. Although companies may be inclined to sh y away from hiring employees who are involved in their community for fear it will distract them from their work, the results here suggest that active volunteers are better performers. This may be particularly relevant in jobs that favor agreeable and extra verted employees since these personality traits are associated with volunteering (Carlo et al., 2005). On a related note, it is also important for employers to recognize that they have some form of control over the benefits they receive in regard to employ ee volunteering through the level of encouragement they provide for the activity. Although employer volunteer encouragement did not moderate the relationship between volunteering and job performance, the results revealed that such encouragement significant ly improved employee performance (specifically, increased task performance and citizenship behaviors and reduced counterproductive behavior) by fostering employer identification. In the end, this information may be just as useful for employers. It tells th em that offering support for volunteering activities is beneficial in a bottom line sense,
92 regardless of whether the employees take advantage of the activities. According to the most recent count, up to 35% of U.S. employers support some form of formal vol unteer program for their employees (Points of Light Foundation, 2004). As suggested by be on the rise. The results of this study indicate that these decisions should benefit the companies. Furthermore, more companies should consider following in their footsteps because, to whatever level they choose, simply supporting the idea of employee voluntee rism has positive implications for employee performance. Taking a different perspective, the impact of volunteering on employee life satisfaction has practical implications for both employees and employers. Perhaps most significantly, life satisfaction is strongly related to job satisfaction. People who are satisfied with their lives tend to be satisfied with their jobs (Judge & Hulin, 1993; Judge et al., 1998; Tait, Padgett, & Baldwin, 1989). Job satisfaction can have implications for the organization in terms of increased job performance and retention. Employees who are satisfied tend to be better performers and are more likely to remain an employee of their organization (Judge, Thoresen, Bono, & Patton, 2001; also see Hulin & Judge, 2003 for a review). F urthermore, life satisfaction is positively related to self reported and objective indicators of physical health, such as headaches, backaches, and stiff joints (e.g., Diener, 1984; Uchida, Kitayama, Mesquita, Reyes, & Morling, 2008). Thus, it seems that i ndividuals who are happier tend to be healthier. Limitations As with any study, this dissertation was subject to several limitations that should be noted. One limitation was that I did not have access to supervisor ratings of
93 employee job performance (task performance, citizenship behaviors, and counterproductive behaviors). Although it is often considered preferable to have objective reports or supervisor reports of these sorts of behaviors, it is common that access to this type of data is simply not avail able in field research. Self reported assessments do not stand as a viable substitute because employees may distort their responses on such measures (e.g., Rosse, Stecher, Miller, & Levin, 1998). Therefore, instead of relying on self reported levels of per formance, I requested that employees nominate two coworkers to supply this data. Recent research has suggested that coworkers may be as, if not more, reliable sources of performance ratings than self reports (e.g., Stewart et al., 2009). To help insure the accuracy of these reports, I emphasized the importance that participants pick coworkers who were in the best by collecting data from two coworkers, I was able to asse ss the level of agreement ICC values indicated that coworker agreement was adequate. Another limitation is that some of the measures were assessed at the same time by the same source. These practices can increase common method variance, potentially inflating the correlations (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, & Podsakoff, 2003). The fact that the data were cross sectional raises questions about the causal direction of some of the relationships. Although it is not possible to completely rule out the possibility of reverse causality, there was theoretical reasoning to presume that the hypothesized causal order is correct. It is also worth noting that, although some of the relationshi ps were based on assessments provided by the same source, I collected data
94 from multiple sources wherever possible. This minimized the number of same source relationships predicted and tested in the model. Further, the hypotheses regarding indirect effects were based on separate sources and significant effects were found. A third potential limitation worth noting is that the sample was predominantly female. This pattern is generally consistent with the overall volunteer population, particularly for the Unit ed States (see Penner, 2002 and Wilson, 2000). However, to ensure that this did not influence the results, a subsequent test of the model was conducted controlling for participant gender. The results of this test showed that controlling for gender did not significantly alter the pattern of results. Finally, the sample size was somewhat small considering the use of structural equation modeling and the incorporation of interaction effects. In part, this is a common cost of collecting data from four sources ( the participant, two coworkers, and a volunteer peer), as it is difficult to collect responses from every source for each participant. Although the unsupported interaction hypotheses may, in fact, be a function of low statistical power, some of the other e ffects (in particular, the relationships with absorption) simply exhibited low effect sizes. It is more likely that the failure to support those main effects has to do with construct theorizing and measurement than with the small sample size. It is also im portant to note that the study possessed enough statistical power to support many of the hypotheses.
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110 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jessica B. Rodell was a doctoral student in the Department of Management at tion. She received a BA in sociology from Furman University in May 2002. After working in the non profit industry for two years, she went on to receive her MBA from the University of Florida in 2006. She began the Ph.D. program in August 2005. Upon complet ion of the program, Jessica joined the faculty at the University of Georgia as an Assistant Professor in Management. Her research interests include volunteerism, organizational justice, and mood and emotions.