Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Self-determination theory Pages: 14 (3699 words) Published: December 5, 2010
The Course Project – Volunteer Motivation

James Shanbrom

4738 West Avenue J3

Lancaster, CA 93536


GM-591 on Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Kenneth Goldsmith

October 17, 2010

Volunteer Motivation with External and Internal Counter Culture Forces

The California Republican Assembly is a grassroots political organization that was designed and “Chartered in 1934.” “The CRA is the state’s oldest and largest Republican Volunteer Organization,” (http://www.californiarepublicanassembly.com/content/about-us-0), Ronald Reagan even called the Californian Republican Assembly the “Conscience of the Republican Party.”

The CRA has been working to elect Republican candidates who stand unwaveringly for Republican principles and is designed to keep elected officials honest and true to the CRA values. The CRA locates and trains individuals to become potential candidates to be elected into office from the local school boards to the Governor’s position.

The CRA has more than one hundred local chapters from San Diego to Sacramento (California Republic and Assembly Bylaws and Volunteers, 2010) have been the main driving force behind those chapters.

My role in this organization was the position of Chapter President.

Voted Chapter President for the Antelope Valley Chapter of the CRA in 2005, I was re-elected in 2006. As Chapter President my duties consisted of various activities. Some of those activities included (ARTICLE VIII DUTIES OF OFFICERS & DIRECTORS March 7, 2010), but were not limited to: Participation in the State Conventions, presiding over the meetings of the Board of Directors of the local chapter, acting as Chief Executive Officer of the local chapter, plus, direction and determination of Member’s levels of volunteering and commitment.

While I was President of the local CRA Chapter of Antelope Valley, the Antelope Valley Republican Assembly, I learned that the previous President had failed to increase membership. In fact, it turned out that he happened to be a Campaign Manager for one candidate who was running for a local office. The member base of volunteers became outraged when they found out this information and as a result, when I took over, we had less than thirty active members.

In the two years I served as President of the Chapter, I restored the membership base to more than one hundred and fifty active members. This was accomplished by restoring a strong sense of ethics into the larger organization, which the previous president had destroyed by his activities.

Membership cycles fluctuate and frequently establish patterns in most Organizations (Thomas Rotolo. 2000). The cycle of membership growth and decline of the CRA has continuously repeated itself many times over during the thirty year history of the local Chapter.

Specifically noted, after observation of the demise of the group, I have determined that it was caused by a counterculture activity created by the actions of local, powerful politicians. Those local politicians either implant, or, lure in members with a promise of a personal reward or financial benefit, in exchange for access to the volunteers and to the groups’ endorsement.

Once the candidate gets what they want via the counterculture activity, they attempt to again rely on the organization; however, since the group was left to feel undervalued, the group of volunteers disbands – leaving the Organization without a volunteer structure to rely upon.

In the case of my tenure, I was able to rebuild the group of the volunteer’s mass numbers, however, in less than one year after my departure the Organization's membership again dropped.

This time the membership decreased to less than thirty members and personal observation revealed that the needs of the volunteers - based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow, A. 1970) were not met.

Another issue...

Bibliography: Maslow, A. H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation, Psychological Review 50, 370-96.
Maslow, A.H. (1943). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper.
Maslow, A. (1970). Motivation and personality (2nd ed.). New York: Harper & Row.
Wahba, M.A. & Bridwell, L.G. (1976). Maslow reconsidered: A review of research on the need hierarchy theory. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance , 15, 212–240.
Festinger, L. (1957). A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press
Is Your Campaign Really Volunteer-Friendly
Milbourne, Constance, Campaigns & Elections, 01970771, Sep2002, Vol. 23, Issue 9
An Economic Evaluation of Paid, Volunteer, and Mixed Staffing Options for Public Services, By: Brudney, Jeffrey L.; Duncombe, William D.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.
Degli Antoni, G. (2009). Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivations to Volunteer and Social Capital Formation. Kyklos, 62(3), 359-370. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6435.2009.00440.x.
Millette, V., & Gagné, M. (2008). Designing Volunteers ’ tasks to maximize motivation, satisfaction and performance: The impact of job characteristics on volunteer engagement. Motivation & Emotion, 32(1), 11-22. doi:10.1007/s11031-007-9079-4.
Additional Resources
The Career Compass for Women, by Heidi Richards, Author Lepper and Greene, 1978
California Republic and Assembly bylaws ARTICLE VIII DUTIES OF OFFICERS & DIRECTORS March 7, 2010)
Don 't Give Up on Geezers
The glam (sexy too!) world of political Volunteers . By: Joehnk, Victoria L., Cosmopolitan, 00109541, Oct96, Vol. 221, Issue 4
Thomas Rotolo
Transitions on Voluntary Association Membership. Social Forces, 78:1133-61
Titmuss, 1970, Deci, 1971, 1972, 1975, Frey, 1992, 1997 (various publications)
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