Volunteerism and value in hospitality organizations
Before embarking on the project, a literature review was conducted. It disclosed that the amount of prevailing literature on the specific research topic is very scarce. Overall, we found that the bulk of research within the field of value and volunteerism concerned the economic value that volunteers contributed with.
Our focus however, is to examine the overall value that volunteers bring to: 1) The local DMO’s and tourism operators. 2) The tourist that visit the destination. 3) To the volunteers themselves. In a close collaboration with one of the leading DMO’s in Denmark, Visit Aarhus, we will be interviewing the volunteers at the Rethinker program at Visit Aarhus. This will include both qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys in a mixed methods approach.
Additionally, we will focus on the value created by members from Generation Z. This will also be conducted using both qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys in a mixed methods approach.
Previously conducted research on volunteering
Based on previously conducted research on volunteering by Henrik Pahus (a three year research project with the Danish NGO “Muskelsvindfonden” ending Summer 2020), a number of exploratory meetings with Visit Aarhus was conducted in the Fall of 2019. Visit Aarhus is renowned for their work on creating “legacy” since being the host of the Cultural capital in 2017. Especially their work with volunteers has drawn attention from several European DMO’s. In that regard, they were the obvious partner to continue the research on volunteers previously conducted by the researcher.
Initially, several potential issues were discussed, however, based on the previously mentioned literature review. Together with a strong desire from Visit Aarhus to explore this field further, the overall aim/purpose of the project was set in mutual agreement:
Clarify the value created by volunteers within hospitality organizations.
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