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Gray, Dianna P.

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The management of many events may involve the need for a number of people to staff various positions within an organization in order for the event to come to a productive conclusion. Many of these positions cannot be filled with paid employees as this would be too costly for the administration. Organizations may need to acquire volunteers to help run the events. Some of these positions may require a person to take on the role of manager and to supervise and train other volunteers. The sport event volunteer manager takes on the responsibility to coordinate and lead a sport event to a successful completion. The purpose of this ethnographic case study was to examine what influences a person’s choice to volunteer for a management role at a regional sport event. Taking on the role of observer-as-participant, the researcher volunteered at three sport events in order to observe the coordinators in their sport event environment. This study included one-on-one interviews with 14 sport event coordinators and 2 officials in order to gather information on the coordinators’ and officials’ choice to volunteer in a management role. Each coordinator and official had experience supervising volunteers within the regional sport event. The study investigated the impetus behind a person’s choice to volunteer as a manager or official and included the volunteer managers’ satisfaction with the organization within which they volunteer, with their interactions with subordinate volunteers, and with their satisfaction with the management experience. Five themes emerged from the participants’ interviews which served as the data for this study. An overview of the findings showed that sport commitment was very high among most volunteer managers and that organizational commitment was not necessarily a reason to return. Also, the relationship with the program coordinator was of importance to the volunteers and their choice to return to their role each year. Recommendations for future research is provided and the results may inform organizations when acquiring volunteers for their events.


Commitment, Event, Management, Qualitative, Sport, Volunteerism


157 pages

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