Revealing Drivers of a Volunteer Organisation for Sustainable Innovation

Kristina Chereshneva

Student thesis: Master thesis


Volunteer organisations represent an efficient structure for affecting environment despite lack of established structures for sustainable action. The volunteering concept also contains an idea of providing a reward for the volunteer while at the same time fulfilling its purpose. This makes the volunteering concept ideal for implementation of sustainable action into the multi-faceted everyday lives.
Therefore this research aims to uncover the factors that need to be in place for an accessible sustainable activity through a single case study research of a ten-year-old organisation in Copenhagen Area, Københavns Fødevarefællesskab. This research is exploratively built and aims to explain the coordination of the organisationthrough the viewpoint of its emerged leaders.This research is empirically driven and the foundation for the interview with the leaders is based on a 6 month long participant observation. The aim of the observation approach is to obtain an extensive understanding of the organisation, processes and its language in order to have a shared understanding of the aspects of organisation that the leaders are reviewing.
The main findings of the research are informed by 4 semi-structured interviews with emerged key persons in Københavns Fødevarefællesskab. The findings support the theoretical framework of self-determination theory by Deci and Ryan (2000) that shows the positive correlation between integration of extrinsic motivation and fulfilment of the psychological needs of competence, relatedness and autonomy. However, research also shows that the active volunteers perceive their level of engagement as unsustainable in the long run, therefore they propose two approach towards creating a sustainable structure. On one hand, a flexible structure with an enhanced focus on volunteer fulfilment is promoted, while on the other hand simplification of structure along with moderated is encouraged.
The research shows that structural considerations a perceived as an important moderator for the sustainability of the organisation with regard to resource-sharing.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages149