Triangular Perspective on Working in a Voluntary Organisation: Volunteers, Paid Workforce, and Supervisors’ Perspective

By Nasir Butrous and Ellen McBarron.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Not-for-profit organisations struggle to work with a high percentage of unpaid volunteer workforces. Literature shows that voluntary work not only contributes to national life but also meets the needs within the community; and helps to develop and reinforce cohesion in social networks. With an aging population the need for volunteers will increase. It is imperative that leaders are able to attract and retain volunteer groups through strong leadership practices. This diversity in the workforce of not-for-profit organisations, adds complexity to the traditional diversity of gender, race, religion, and ethnicity. This paper analyses the results of face-to-face interviews with paid supervisors, volunteers and paid employees who all work for the same organisation. This pilot project provides specific insights on working in a national not-for profit organisation from a triangular perspective: volunteers, paid employees, and supervisors. Examining how supervisors, paid employees and volunteers interact with one another will assist not-for-profit organisations to manage diversity of its workforce in a more effective and efficient manner.

Keywords: Not-for-profit Organisation, Diversity, Volunteers, Decision Making, Employee Supervisor Relationship, Corporate Culture

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp.149-158. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 676.449KB).

Dr. Nasir Butrous

Associate Professor, School of Business, Australian Catholic University, VIRGINIA, QLD, Australia

Associate Professor Butrous is the foundation Head of the School of Business and Informatics (Qld) 1999-2004. Nasir has been the Course Coordinator for the Bachelor of Business (1993-1998), staff representative on the McAuley chapter (1996-1997), and between (1999-2004) a member of the Arts and Sciences Faculty Board, the Business and Informatics Sub-Faculty Board, and the Management Advisory Committee on the Brisbane Campus. In May 2004, Nasir was privileged to be elected to the ACU Senate for two years. In 2005, Nasir was appointed to the role of McAuley Campus Community Engagement Coordinator actively building linkages with the wider community in addition to his position as Associate Professor in Management, School of Business (Brisbane). Nasir is on the Executive Board of the Australian University Community Engagement Alliance and the Regional Development Australia Moreton Bay-Qld since 2009. A/P Butrous was acting Pro-Vice Chancellor (Quality and Outreach) in December 2003 and have acted as PVC while the incumbent was on leave (2004-2008). A/P Butrous’s research and special interest areas include Management and Leadership, Organisational Behaviour and Strategic Decision-Making. He has published in these areas and his interests are further enhanced by both voluntary and consultancy activities in the wider community.

Ellen McBarron

Lecturer, School of Business, Australian Catholic University, VIRGINIA, QLD, Australia

Ellen worked in the corporate sector for thirty years before moving to academia. She is currently a lecturer in the Faculty of Business at the Brisbane Campus (Banyo) of the Australian Catholic University. She teaches in Burma, Thailand, Beijing, Hong Kong and Brisbane in the areas of Management, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Small Business, SHRM and International Business at undergraduate and post graduate levels. Her current research is in the area of international HRM and is currently developing a pedagogically sound tertiary curriculum for refugees in the camps. Ellen has been a Board Member of Bayside Community Options and All About Living since August 2009.

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