Commitment with or without a stick of paid work: comparison of paid and unpaid workers in a non-profit organization

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The aim of this study is to investigate whether nonpaid volunteers have other reasons to be a member of an organization than paid workers. Volunteers are assumed to be hard to manage, because there is no “stick of a paid contract” to keep them in line. Therefore, we studied different dimensions (i.e., affective, normative, and continuance) of organizational commitment of volunteers and paid workers in a nonprofit organization. Further, we assessed whether the predictive power of the congruence between organizational and individual values for commitment differs between paid and unpaid workers. As expected, volunteers showed a significantly higher level of affective commitment to the organization, and lower levels of continuance commitment. Surprisingly, volunteers also showed a higher level of normative commitment than paid workers. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)315-326
JournalEuropean journal of work and organizational psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Volunteers
  • Person-organization fit
  • Organizational commitment
  • METIS-252277
  • IR-61598
  • Life-span
  • Non-profit

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