Quotation Bittschi, Benjamin, Pennerstorfer, Astrid, Schneider, Ulrike. 2019. The Effect of Volunteers on Paid Workers' Excess Turnover in Nonprofit and Public Organizations. Review of Public Personnel Administration. 39 (2), 256-275.




Volunteers in nonprofit and public organizations can provide additional resources and exert positive influence on organizations, staff, and clients. However, the relationship between paid staff and volunteers is complex and may lead to tension, employee dissatisfaction, and, ultimately, workers leaving the organization. This article focuses on excessive worker turnover as a signal of delicate organizational health and analyzes whether volunteers are an important variable in explaining differences in excess turnover rates between organizations. Using Austrian survey data and applying Tobit regressions, we show that more volunteers in management tasks compared with volunteers employed in other tasks increase both the probability of experiencing excess worker turnover and the amount of excess turnover. This result is interpreted as a possible sign for volunteer–staff tension. Understanding the consequences of using volunteer labor for paid workers is important to prevent volunteering from backfiring on service capacity and quality in public and nonprofit organizations.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Review of Public Personnel Administration
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title The Effect of Volunteers on Paid Workers' Excess Turnover in Nonprofit and Public Organizations
Volume 39
Number 2
Year 2019
Page from 256
Page to 275
Reviewed? Y
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0734371X17715503
Open Access N


Pennerstorfer, Astrid (Details)
Schneider, Ulrike (Details)
Bittschi, Benjamin (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany)
Institute for Social Policy IN (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5300 Economics (Details)
5324 Organizational research (Details)
5351 Public economy (Details)
5352 Human resource management, personnel management (Details)
5363 Non-profit-sector research (NPO, NPI) (Details)
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