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Matching expectations for successful university student volunteering

Paull, M., Omari, M., MacCallum, J., Young, S., Walker, G., Holmes, K., Haski-Leventhal, D. and Scott, R. (2017) Matching expectations for successful university student volunteering. Education + Training, 59 (2). pp. 122-134.

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The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of expectation formation and matching for university student volunteers and their hosts.

This research involved a multi-stage data collection process including interviews with student volunteers, and university and host representatives from six Australian universities. The project team undertook an iterative process of coding and interpretation to identify themes and develop understanding of the phenomenon.

University student volunteering has the potential to fail to meet the expectations of at least one of the parties to the relationship when the expectations of the parties are not clearly articulated. Universities operating volunteer programmes have an important role in facilitating expectation formation and matching, minimising the chances of mismatched expectations.

Research limitations/implications
The study confirms the operation of a psychological contract for university student volunteers and organisations who host them which is consistent with other research in volunteering demonstrating the importance of matching expectations.

Practical implications
The paper identifies the importance of expectation formation and matching for hosts and students, and highlights the role of universities in facilitating matchmaking.

This paper contributes to the growing body of research on the role of the psychological contract in volunteering, in particular in university student volunteering and host organisations.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Education
School Of Business and Governance
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright: © Copyright 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited
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