Self-congruity and volunteering: a multi-organisation comparison

Randle, Melanie and Dolnicar, Sara (2011) Self-congruity and volunteering: a multi-organisation comparison. European Journal of Marketing, 45 5: 739-758. doi:10.1108/03090561111120019

Author Randle, Melanie
Dolnicar, Sara
Title Self-congruity and volunteering: a multi-organisation comparison
Journal name European Journal of Marketing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0309-0566
Publication date 2011-01-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1108/03090561111120019
Open Access Status
Volume 45
Issue 5
Start page 739
End page 758
Total pages 20
Place of publication Bingley, W Yorks, United Kingdom
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine whether individuals who prefer different volunteering organisations have different self-concepts, whether individuals perceive their preferred volunteering organisation as more similar to their self-concept than other volunteering organisations, and whether self-congruity theory correctly predicts consumer (volunteer) behaviour differences across organisations and organisational missions.

Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected on people's preferred volunteering organisation, their self-concept and their perceived image from eight volunteering organisations using an online self-completion survey. Chi-square tests and paired-sample t-tests were then used to identify significant differences between groups.

Findings: Individuals who prefer different volunteering organisations differ significantly in their self-concept. For the three volunteering organisations with high levels of awareness and distinct images, self-congruity theory held; that is, people who volunteer for them perceive those organisations as being more similar to their self-concept than other volunteering organisations. For the four organisations with lower awareness and less distinct images, the authors found a tendency towards self-congruity, but results were not significant. In one case, self-congruity theory did not hold, possibly due to the more "obligatory" nature of the volunteering task.

Research limitations/implications: This research extends the application of self-congruity theory to the volunteering context. It identifies three key dimensions that affect the extent to which self-congruity holds for volunteering organisations: brand awareness; image distinctiveness; and whether the involvement is actually "voluntary".

Practical implications: Self-congruity theory has the potential to be a valuable tool in helping volunteering organisations increase their productivity through better targeted marketing strategies.

Originality/value: This study is the first to apply self-congruity theory to the volunteering sector at the organisation brand level, and gives practitioners an additional tool to improve the effectiveness of their marketing
Keyword Voluntary organizations
Non profit organizations
Market segmentation
Brand Personality
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: UQ Business School Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 8 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 05 Apr 2013, 01:37:44 EST by Dr Kayleen Campbell on behalf of School of Tourism