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Sensemaking and the management of older volunteers

Paull, M.ORCID: 0000-0001-8613-2159 (2009) Sensemaking and the management of older volunteers. Australian Journal on Volunteering, 14 (1). pp. 1-10.

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Many organisations across the sector are increasingly finding that the ageing population also means an increase in the number of older volunteers in their organisations. This paper will present the findings of a recently completed doctoral study which investigated what happens when the manager of volunteers believes that a volunteer's performance is declining and that this decline may be associated with ageing. The mixed method approach employed sensemaking as a diagnostic tool, and the findings bring to light the perspectives of both the manager and the volunteers. Key elements of the findings include the different responses of managers and volunteers to the same evidence of changing capabilities and the desire of volunteers to be involved in decisions about what action should be taken. The managers' decisions about action draw on their experience, knowledge, skills, and the organisational support which they have available. The context in which this takes place includes their confidence in their own abilities, the status of volunteering and the social construction of age. This paper suggests that some of these areas need to be addressed in offering managers further support in their work.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Murdoch Business School
Publisher: Volunteering Australia
Copyright: © Volunteering Australia
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