Date of Graduation
Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Harry N. Boone, Jr.
Community organizations play a vital role in a community's quality of life. Many organizations must count on volunteers to provide core services (Clary, Snyder & Ridge, 1992). Over the years, the volunteer rate has declined in West Virginia (Volunteering in America, 2010). The purpose of this study was to identify the factors that influence individuals holding volunteer leadership roles in communities. The population for the study was 577 members of the West Virginia Regional Planning and Development Council and the West Virginia Economic Development Council. The participants received a mailed survey that included 89 questions. Seventy of the 89 questions were directly related to research conducted by Reiss (2000) regarding his theory on human motivation and included 14 of the 16 motivational desires that were identified through years of research. The final set of useable surveys numbered 285 (49.4%). Findings revealed respondents top two motivational desires were honor and idealism. The key incentives to volunteer were flexible meeting schedules and networking opportunities. Findings include predictions that can be made regarding the many factors that influence individuals seeking volunteer community leadership roles. Based on two of the 14 motivational desires, idealism and status, the researcher can predict with 62.9% accuracy if individuals in the community development field would volunteer in order to uphold exercising important values such as helping the less fortunate. Based on honor and curiosity, two of the 14 motivational desires, the researcher can predict with 59.4% accuracy if individuals in the community development field will volunteer in order to grow and develop psychologically. Based on the motivational desire, idealism, the researcher can predict with 53.5% accuracy if individuals in the community development field will volunteer in order to gain career-related experience. Based on the desire, social contact, the researcher can predict with 60.5% accuracy if individuals in the community development field will volunteer in order to strengthen their social relationships. The study also revealed a relationship between amount of hours community leaders volunteer for the purpose of gaining career related experience and strengthening social relationships. The information from the study provides empirical data that can be used for volunteer recruitment practices and guide programming designed to improve job satisfaction of community volunteer leaders.
Nix, Kelly, "Community Leadership Motivation: Factors that Influence Individuals Holding Leadership Roles in West Virginia Communities" (2011). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 3479.