The Unified Volunteer Group

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Volunteer resource management adapts and complements classical human resource management. Volunteer resource management models have been effective at improving understanding of the volunteer recruitment and retention process. They have, however, not fully explored the mechanisms through which volunteers can be integrated into a workforce context to become effective insiders. This is especially challenging in workplaces in which there is a combination of paid and volunteer roles. There are three key theories that describe the process through which individuals are integrated into workplaces to become effective insiders (all applied in human rather than volunteer resource management contexts). These are socialization, institutionalization, and assimilation. These theories have been tested in contexts in which employees are paid. They provide the theoretical framework for this project, as they have not been tested thoroughly for volunteers. This study explores the process of volunteer integration within a workplace environment that combines paid and volunteer labor and that engages volunteers in menial service sector tasks. The study will look at the definition of “effective insider” for volunteers and how to create these as the backbone of the organization. The study was designed as a qualitative case study approach using document analysis, semi-structured interviews, and shadowing at a food service charity operating within hospitals.