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An Investigation of Factors Influencing Environmental Volunteering Leadership and Participation Behaviors

, Kelly S. Fielding, Winnifred R. Louis

Abstract: Volunteers play critical roles in leading the activities of environmental organizations seeking to address the environmental crisis. Despite their importance, we know little about the factors that motivate individuals to engage in different environmental volunteer behaviors. Drawing on an extended Theory of Planned Behavior model, this study surveyed 259 experienced environmental volunteers who had participated in a range of environmental volunteer “leadership” and “participation” (i.e., nonleadership) behaviors to identify factors associated with these behaviors. Findings indicate that higher self-efficacy beliefs about specific leadership tasks, and higher past participation in participation behaviors, were significant predictors of engaging in more leadership behaviors. Higher self-efficacy and stronger identification as an environmental volunteer also predicted increased participation behaviors, as well as a younger age. Qualitative analysis of open-ended responses highlighted the importance of organizational factors such as training opportunities and receiving support and appreciation from the group in building leaders’ self-efficacy.
Keywords: efficacy / environmental volunteer / leadership / participation behaviors / building / surveyed / model / engaging

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