• Anders Nybo
4. term, Public Administration and Social Science (Master Programme)
This dissertation takes an explorative approach as it examines the theoretically based expectation that public and private sector employment influences people’s actions, specifically pertaining to voluntary work. American research suggests that socialization towards prosocial values is tied to public sector employment, which has been operationalized under the term Public Service Motiva-tion. This relation is the foundation of this dissertation in which employment in the public sector is the primary independent variable. The primary dependent variable is voluntary welfare-based work – including the social sector, the healthcare sector and the educational sector. This perspective compliments the prevailing structural explanation of the paradox that the growth of a significant public sector seemingly has not stunted the level of voluntary involvement in Denmark.
Research question:
”What is the significance of employment in the government sector and socialization to prosocial motives for participation in and attitudes towards volunteering?
Methodologically, this study utilizes triangulation in order to analyze the influence that employment and prosocial values have on actions related to voluntary work. In the first part of the analysis, cross sectional data from the Danish voluntariness study 2012 is discussed. Specifically, data is analyzed using descriptive statistics and logistic regression. The descriptive analysis indicates that sector-based employment, if at all, only slightly influences whether Danish volunteers are active in welfare-based voluntariness rather than activity-based voluntariness or voluntariness in the area of politics and local community. This is further supported by the logistic regression. This statistical analysis reveals only marginal variation between employees in the public and in the private sector, but public sector employees are generally active in more areas while private sector employees working voluntarily in the field of welfare generally are more loyal as they contemplate quitting voluntary work to a lesser degree.
The second part of the analysis examines six qualitative interviews with volunteers who are also otherwise employed. The six volunteers have been selected by means of a Snow Ball design, and a common trait of all six is that they are active in welfare-based voluntariness. The qualitative analysis suggests that prosocial values such as compassion and commitment carry some significance for volunteers who identify themselves with a certain organization or a basic set of values while self-sacrifice carries less significance. Based on the qualitative analysis, four ideal types are proposed that connects prosocial motives, identification as well as actions and opinions of the volunteer. The four ideal types are: The conscientious, the idealistic, the pragmatic idealist and the selective. Finally, the public sector’s adaptation of management principles from the private sector is emphasized as the primary explanation of the counterintuitive find that public sector employees seemingly are no more voluntarily involved in the welfare sector than private sector employees.

Publication date24 Aug 2013
ID: 80348196