Recruitment by storytelling

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Pernille Dernburg Petersen
4. term, Learning and Innovative Change, Master (Master Programme)
Recruitment of volunteers is a task that every voluntary organization are facing. In this thesis, there are some recommendation on how to recruit young volunteers through narrative construction of reality. This thesis describes the paradox that young Danish volunteers in general do a lot of voluntary work, but most of the work is done in non-athletic associations. Young Danish volunteers below the age of twenty is the group of volunteers that are least engaged in athletic voluntary work, and therefore it is essential to investigate how an athletic voluntary organization can recruit young volunteers. One way of recruiting is through narrative construction of reality. This thesis therefore asks the question:

How can an athletic voluntary organization use narrative construction of reality to recruit volunteers in the age 13 – 19 years?

To answer the research question The Danish YMCA is used as a case. In this thesis I follow two interventions that are used by the Danish YMCA in their recruitment of participants to their own courses. The first intervention is when an employed consultant from the Danish YMCA tries to recruit participants by meeting with the manager of the athletic voluntary associations. The second intervention is when a corps of volunteers (called ‘ambassadors’) tries to recruit new participants by making a presentation for future potential participants and their parents. The thesis consists of six observations and five interviews. I am self a part of the Danish YMCA, and therefore I use hermeneutic tool as a way of questioning my understanding of the sphere, an answer as adequately as possible.

The thesis uses theory written by Jerome Bruner and Michael White and their thought on narrative construction of reality. By analyzing and combining the informants’ interviews and my own observations through the ‘classes’ of Jerome Bruner and Michael Whites theory the thesis uncover the ‘dominant story’, and how the employed consultant and the corps of volunteers have different ‘dominant stories’. In spite the fact that there are different ‘dominants stories’ the thesis indicate that it is possible to make one joint ‘dominant story’ when a voluntary organization recruits volunteers. In the thesis, there are some recommendation that are useful when recruiting volunteers – not only for The Danish YMCA but also for most athletic voluntary organization in Denmark.
Publication date31 May 2018
Number of pages71
External collaboratorKFUMs Idrætsforbund
Konsulent Erik Lorentzen
ID: 280191288