Volunteer Retention in Prosocial Venturing: The Role of Emotional Connectivity

Steffen Farny, Ewald Kibler, Solange Hai, Paolo Landoni

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This study develops an understanding of the role of emotional connectivity for volunteer retention in prosocial business venturing. By embedding it in organizational ambivalence theory, our analysis of four volunteer-dependent community ventures reveals two mechanisms through which entrepreneurs strengthen volunteers’ emotional connectivity. We first identify emotion-focused practices that form volunteers’ emotional attachment to the venture, and then demonstrate how duality-focused practices, in the form of managing inherent organizational duality, complement emotion-focused practices to foster volunteers’ emotional loyalty to the venture. Theorizing from our findings, we introduce a model of managing volunteers’ emotional connectivity, and conclude by discussing its implications for prosocial venture research on volunteerism and affective commitment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1094-1123
Number of pages30
JournalEntrepreneurship Theory & Practice
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Emotions
  • Entrepreneurship
  • prosocial venturing
  • ambivalence
  • volunteer retention
  • mangement practices


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