Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

Abstract

Within the nonprofit sector, specifically higher education, volunteer work is critical to organizational success. Institutions of higher education benefit from an understanding of volunteer management practice and principles, specifically the relationships that develop between paid professional advancement staff members and volunteers. There are multiple factors that contribute to the leader/volunteer follower relationship and enhance the skills of both the leader and the volunteer, thereby increasing opportunities for successful organizational outcomes. Using leader-member exchange and transformational leadership theory as the foundation for this exploration, I will present a model based on Path-Goal Theory (House, 1971) that illustrates the interrelationship between leader behavior and volunteer behavior, speaks to the significance of that behavior over time related to the formation of an exemplar volunteer, and identifies how the volunteer leader/ exemplar relationship may contribute positively to organizational outcomes. This paper will add to the body of knowledge in the field of nonprofit volunteer management, suggest opportunities for future research, and support the professionalism of the volunteer manager.

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