Networks of volunteers and paid staff: A mixed method analysis on network positions, context and effectiveness.

Project Details


Public and nonprofit organizations are increasingly relying on social networks of volunteers and paid staff for social service delivery. That means that volunteers and paid staff collaborate on a daily basis to provide public services. For these collaborations, they rely on personal connections with other volunteers and paid staff. The combinations of all these personal connections form a social network between all collaborators involved. This social network is relevant to reach more effective public services. In this project, we analyze how different types of networks and different positions in those networks are relevant in steering the effectiveness of the public services.
We rely on social network analysis to advance theoretical and practical knowledge on (1) the structure of networks as well as the positions in networks of volunteers and paid staff, and (2) how volunteers and paid staff use their social networks to reach more effective social services. Our project has a strong empirical component. Given the nature of our research questions, we apply quantitative and qualitative research methods, including interviews, social network analysis, Q-sorting interviews, and conjoint experiments. The planned research will contribute –through the interdisciplinary collaboration of scholars involved in this project– to the literature on social networks, social work, and volunteer management.
Short titleNetworks of volunteers and paid staff
Effective start/end date15/05/2314/05/27