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Will They Stay or Will They Go? A Study of Volunteer Retention at Film/Music Festivals in the Southwest United States

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Events, such as festivals, which often provide significant economic benefits to local communities, generally require the efforts of both new and experienced volunteers to operate successfully. The purpose of this research was to develop a theoretical model of intent to continue to volunteer building upon a study done with festival volunteers in Europe and expanded to include additional theories of volunteer commitment. This study was carried out using survey results from 261 volunteers at film and music festivals in the Southwest US. Results supported some findings from the prior study of factors related to both motivations to volunteer and how the experience of being a volunteer explained volunteer continuance commitment. However, results of this study showed that fulfillment of the volunteer psychological contract and role identity as a volunteer were also significant but not years as a volunteer, the most significant influence on volunteer continuance commitment in the prior study. Close to 40% of volunteers are shown to have considered quitting and reasons for possibly quitting are provided.
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Keywords: FESTIVAL VOLUNTEERS; FUNCTIONAL MOTIVATION; ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT; PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTRACT; ROLE IDENTITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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