Fastholdelse af frivillige i et kritisk realistisk perspektiv: Et casestudie af Spisehuset Rub & Stub

Jens Juul Hedegaard

Student thesis: Master thesis


In this dissertation my goal is to get an understanding of retention of volunteers, in voluntary organizations. I use a critical realist perspective, to uncover this knowledge. The organization is a complex social entity, and understanding retention requires a deep understanding of the organization and its agents. My goal is then to get in-depth knowledge, by employing a case study. I choose the case Spisehuset Rub & Stub. I use semi-structured interviews, where I try to create a space for reflexivity. My relation to many of the interviewees makes it possible to get in depth into my subjects. I divide my interviews between the serving- and kitchen team. In this way I can compare the two teams, which is needed to analyze my research problem. Through my analysis I found that there are some fundamental differences between the two teams. They are both professionalized through bureaucratization, but the kitchen-team feels more professional. I try to get an understanding of this structure by theorizing on the volunteers’ motivation and reasons for staying in the organization. I use self-determination theory. I found that the volunteers’ motivational orientation is best describes by autonomy. This orientation can be argued to be a structural condition in creating the structure of the two teams. The structure can be argued to support the volunteers’ needs. I find that leadership of the two teams is important to support this structure. Underlying the leadership is the ability to show empathy. Through retroduction I find underlying structures and causal powers. I find that positional power; organizational justice and trust together create a basis for understanding how the volunteers and employees together create an organization in which there is a high level of retention. I summarize my findings in a model; I call it the model of retention. This model shows that understanding retention of volunteers through a critical realistic perspective gives a complex and integrated knowledge of retention, volunteers and the voluntary organization.

EducationsMSc in Psychology, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages367