Volunteer Retention in Prosocial Venturing: The Role of Emotional Connectivity

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This study develops an understanding of the role of emotional connectivity for volunteer retention in prosocial business venturing. By embedding it in organizational ambivalence theory, our analysis of four volunteer-dependent community ventures reveals two mechanisms through which entrepreneurs strengthen volunteers’ emotional connectivity. We first identify emotion-focused practices that form volunteers’ emotional attachment to the venture, and then demonstrate how duality-focused practices, in the form of managing inherent organizational duality, complement emotion-focused practices to foster volunteers’ emotional loyalty to the venture. Theorizing from our findings, we introduce a model of managing volunteers’ emotional connectivity, and conclude by discussing its implications for prosocial venture research on volunteerism and affective commitment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEntrepreneurship: Theory and Practice
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1094-1123
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Tim Barnett and two anonymous reviewers for their support and developmental comments. We would also like to thank Frank-Martin Belz, Julia Binder, Marianne Kreissig, Arne Kröger, and Elena Perondi for their valuable assistance and comments. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research has received funding from the European Union's 7th Framework Programme under grant agreement number 613194: “Sustainable Lifestyles 2.0: End User Integration, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (EU-InnovatE)”.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.