In search of strategy: Universalistic, contingent, and configurational adoption of volunteer management practices

Mark Hager, Jeffrey L. Brudney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

The canon of volunteer administration contends that adoption of specified practices separates effective from ineffective programs. Alternatively, structural contingency and strategic human resource management theories suggest that managers make adoption decisions based on how organizational circumstances dictate the applicability or efficacy of particular practices. We test propositions that universalistic adoption of "best practices," contingent adoption of practices, and configurational adoption of bundles of practices are associated with program outcomes of recruitment ease, retention of volunteers, and the net benefits that volunteers bring to organizational operations. With all sets of tests garnering limited empirical support, we conclude that human resource practice in volunteer administration is loosely coupled with outcomes, but that some organizations do-and many more should-manage according to the singular context of their institutional and external environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-254
Number of pages20
JournalNonprofit Management and Leadership
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Keywords

  • Contingency
  • Strategy
  • Volunteer management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management

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