Volunteers as agents of social change: Evidence from Australian food rescue industry

Amarakoonge Amarakoon, Susan Bird, Xiaoyan Liang, David Pearson

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Abstract

Despite the consensus that volunteers play an increasingly important role in social development, the role volunteers can
play in social change has received limited research attention. Drawing from volunteer management and social innovation
literature, this paper explores if and how volunteers can be agents of social change. Adopting a qualitative case study
approach, we conducted interviews and focus groups, participant observations, and secondary data analysis to capture
volunteer management processes and experience at an Australian food rescue organisation. Thematic analysis of data
revealed four distinct types of volunteers: personal gain, strengthening teams, giving to those in need, and becoming
as advocate. Our findings make significant contributions to theory and practice eliciting how volunteers can create and
sustain effective social change.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event33rd Annual Australian & New Zealand Academy of Management Conference - Pullman Cairns International Hotel, Cairns, Australia
Duration: 3 Dec 20196 Dec 2019
Conference number: 33rd
http://anzamconference.org/

Conference

Conference33rd Annual Australian & New Zealand Academy of Management Conference
Abbreviated titleANZAM
CountryAustralia
CityCairns
Period3/12/196/12/19
Internet address

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