Understanding the management of volunteers through a three way psychological contract: Manchester Event Volunteers
Ralston, Rita; Nichols, Geoff (2009)


by Geoff Nichols and Rita Ralston

Manchester Event Volunteers (MEV) was set up following the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester (Ralston, et al. 2004). It acts as a broker between volunteers and event managers. It presently maintains a data base of 1,700 volunteers and assists 150 events per year. The events range from national sporting events to small community based ones. This research explores the relationship between MEV, the volunteers and the event managers; understanding this within the theoretical framework of the psychological contract – a set of shared expectations (Rousseau, 1995; Rousseau & Tijoriwala, 1998). The research used focus group interviews with volunteers, a questionnaire survey of over 250 volunteers, interviews with the MEV manager and with eight event managers. It builds on previous exploratory work with a similar programme, Newham Volunteers (Nichols, 2009; Nichols & Ojala, 2009). Organisations such as MEV allow volunteers to select both the events they volunteer for, and the number of events – this flexibility being highly valued by the volunteers. For event managers, MEV provides a very easy way of contacting a large number of volunteers, who bring particular contributions to the events.

The presentation is available here (Powerpoint).


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