Quotation Vantilborgh, Tim, Bidee, Jemima, Pepermans, Roland, Willems, Jurgen, Huybrechts, Gert, Jegers, Marc. 2011. Volunteers' psychological contracts: Extending traditional views. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. 41 (6), 1072-1091.




There is a growing interest in applying the psychological contract concept to the relationship between volunteers and nonprofit organizations. However, previous studies overlook certain elements of volunteers’ psychological contracts as they build on theory established with reference to paid employees. We argue that the inclusion of a value-based psychological contract type, next to transactional and relational types, enables a more thorough understanding of perceived mutual obligations between volunteers and nonprofit organizations. We use the critical incidents technique to map volunteers’ perceived (un)fulfilled obligations and find that volunteers perceive both fulfilled and unfulfilled value-based obligations. Moreover, we describe specific terms related to the mission and values of the organization reported by volunteers. We conclude that future psychological contract research needs to take this value-based dimension into account, especially in volunteerism.


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  • psychological contract
  • ideological psychological contract
  • values
  • volunteers
  • nonprofit

Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation External
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new INF-A, MAN-A, STRAT-B, VW-C, WH-B
Language English
Title Volunteers' psychological contracts: Extending traditional views
Volume 41
Number 6
Year 2011
Page from 1072
Page to 1091
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.researchgate.net/publication/234162967_Volunteers'_Psychological_Contracts_Extending_Traditional_Views
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0899764011427598
Open Access N


Willems, Jurgen (Details)
Bidee, Jemima (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Huybrechts, Gert (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Jegers, Marc (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Pepermans, Roland (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Vantilborgh, Tim (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5234 Administrative science (Details)
5308 Management sciences (Details)
5363 Non-profit-sector research (NPO, NPI) (Details)
6906 Public research (Details)
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