Organisational commitment: Implications for voluntary sport organisations

Although there is a body of research on individuals’ motivations for deciding to volunteer, little is known about volunteers’ attitudes and behaviour once they have joined their organisations. Such issues are crucial to an understanding of declining numbers of volunteers and increased concerns over performance. Organisational commitment has been recognised as crucial to effective organisational functioning. Committed individuals are believed to be more likely to remain in their organisations and to expend more effort on their behalf. Most research, however, has concentrated on the commitment of traditional, paid workers. This paper reviews the literature on definitions, theories, and the development of organisational commitment in both paid and volunteer settings noting their commonalities and differences. Areas needing further research are identified and the practical implications of research in organisational commitment are discussed.