The Multidimensional Benefits of University Student Volunteering: Psychological Contract, Expectations, and Outcomes

Debbie Haski-Leventhal, Megan Paull, Susan Young, Judith MacCallum, Kirsten Holmes, Maryam Omari, Rowena Scott, Irit Alony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Student volunteering has many benefits for students, universities, and nonprofit organizations (NPOs), but research on these from a multistakeholder perspective is scant. Using psychological contract theory, this article compares outcomes to expectations of students, universities, and NPOs, proposing a model of the benefits of volunteering to all three stakeholder groups. Based on a large-scale qualitative research with over 60 interviews in six Australian universities, the article offers an in-depth analysis of student volunteering benefits, surprises (benefits exceeding expectations), and disappointments (unmet expectations) for each stakeholder group. Some of these benefits align with existing literature, while others contribute new knowledge on the outcomes of student volunteering. The results show that training, preparation, and management of expectations have the potential to build positive benefits for all. It concludes with implications for universities and NPOs and directions for future research on student volunteering.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0899764019863108
Number of pages21
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 2019

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