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Corporate volunteering in the construction industry: motivations, costs and benefits

Loosemore, Martin and Bridgeman, Jemma 2017. Corporate volunteering in the construction industry: motivations, costs and benefits. Construction Management and Economics 35 (10) , pp. 641-653. 10.1080/01446193.2017.1315150

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Corporate volunteering is a growing global phenomenon. Despite the size and significance of the construction industry, there has been no research into corporate volunteering in this sector which presents special challenges around its highly transitionary, temporary, regulated and project-based culture. To address this gap in knowledge and to answer the need for more scholarship and sector-specific insights in this field, the motives, benefits and costs of corporate volunteering for construction businesses and the volunteers that work for them are explored. Through an in-depth single case study of one of the UK’s largest construction industry corporate volunteering programmes, it is shown that at an individual level, it is not always altruism that motives people to volunteer. Volunteers in construction are also motivated by other factors such as loyalty to their organization, profession and industry, relational/networking opportunities and the reinforcement of technical skills and personal satisfaction derived from helping others which is not normally afforded in work. At a business level the main benefits of volunteering are reputational advantage, recruitment and new skills and access to new knowledge and capabilities. Conceptually, the results indicate that systems theory, empowerment theory, life span theory and social exchange theory would be useful theoretical lenses to take research in this new area of corporate social responsibility forward. It is concluded that further research is needed into different types of volunteering programmes and whether individual benefits experienced by volunteers translate into commercial benefits for the organizations involved.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1466-433X
Date of Acceptance: 24 March 2017
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2022 13:00

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