Document Type

Article

Publication Date

7-2009

Publication Title

Advances in Health Care Management

Volume

8

First Page

21

Last Page

47

DOI

10.1108/S1474-8231(2009)0000008006

Keywords

self-concept theory, volunteer leader potential, healthcare

Abstract

Resource constraints in the Canadian publicly funded healthcare system have created a need for more volunteer leaders to effectively manage other volunteers. Self-concept theory has been conceptualized and applied within a volunteer context, and the views of healthcare stakeholders, such as volunteers, volunteer leaders, and supervisors, triangulated to form an understanding of the attitudes and behaviors of volunteer leaders. We propose that leaders are differentiated from others by how they view their roles in the organization and their ability to make a difference in these roles. This interpretation can be informed by self-concept theory because each individual's notion of self-concept influences how employees see themselves, how they react to experiences, and how they allow these experiences to shape their motivation. A small case study profiles a volunteer leader self-concept that includes a proactive, learning-oriented attitude, capitalizing on significant prior work experience to fulfill a sense of obligation to the institution and its patients, and demands a high level of respect from paid employees.

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