Unpacking non-profit brand heritage : creating more satisfied and committed volunteers
Curran, Ross William Francis Alexander
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This thesis makes a five-fold contribution to knowledge in the areas of theory, context, method, and management practice. It combines brand heritage, communitas, brand image, work engagement, affective commitment and satisfaction with management to develop a new theoretical model showing empirically, the contribution of brand heritage - the history, image, symbols and story an organisation tells about its origins, evolution, and values - and the interplay between these theoretical constructs for the first time. Second, it contributes to context through empirical demonstration of the appropriateness of brand heritage and communitas to the non-profit sector. Third, contributing to method, the research applied a mixed methodology, which included the use of a formative (as opposed to reflective) measurement model for brand heritage. It also contributes through conceptualizing for the first time, brand image and volunteer engagement as higher-order measurement models. Finally, contributing to management practice, this thesis outlines to managers the importance of nurturing, and cultivating a strong brand heritage, and ensuring it is leveraged appropriately to retain and attract satisfied, and committed volunteers. The data was collected in two phases. The first was conducted via questionnaires distributed amongst Scout volunteers to test the newly developed theoretical model, while the second phase enhanced understanding through semi-structured interviews with volunteers, complementing the validated theoretical model. The data demonstrates brand heritage makes a substantial contribution to volunteer management, and can positively impact upon volunteers’ experiences, and a volunteer organisation’s ability to retain them. Furthermore, the data shows the importance of cultivating non-profit brand heritage and suggests heritage custodianship as an important, but previously unidentified area of non-profit management focus. More broadly, this thesis offers guidance to non-profit managers for retaining volunteers, and vindicates further consideration of the contribution traditionally private sector management practices can have within the non-profit sector.