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    When give-back turns to blowback: Employee responses to learning from skills-based volunteering.

    Dempsey-Brench, Kiera and Shantz, Amanda (2023) When give-back turns to blowback: Employee responses to learning from skills-based volunteering. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 34 (8). pp. 1500-1529. ISSN 0958-5192

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    Skills-based volunteering programs are designed by organi-zations to enable their employees to donate their job-related skills and develop new ones, while making a positive dif-ference in the community. Although skills-based volunteering is one of the fastest growing trends in corporate citizenship, we know little about how employees respond to it. Using interview data from a financial institution (volunteering man-agers, n=2; employee volunteers, n=27), we explored this research question: How do employees react when volunteering is framed as an avenue for learning? Our findings show that one-third of volunteers expressed anger or defensiveness and ultimately rejected the notion of learning from volun-teering; two-thirds reacted with curiosity, using the interview process to make sense of what they learned. These two groups of volunteers reported different attributions about why their firm supports volunteering. Whereas the former group was cynical about their firm’s motivations, the latter believed that the firm’s intentions were altruistic. However, not all of the participants fit neatly into this pattern; for a minority, manager support for volunteering altered the rela-tionship between attributions and acknowledgement of learning. The key contribution of this paper is a theoretical model that explains how employees respond when volun-teering is framed as a forum for learning.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Attribution theory; defensive routines; employee volunteering; moral outrage; sensemaking; skills-based volunteering;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Business
    Item ID: 17176
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Kiera Demspey-Brench
    Date Deposited: 12 May 2023 14:16
    Journal or Publication Title: The International Journal of Human Resource Management
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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