Volunteer Administration: Theoretical Dimensions of the Discipline

The focus of this paper is to provide the profession of volunteer administration (VA) a model outlining theoretical dimensions of the discipline. The dimensions provided include the (a) processes, (b) discipline, (c) foundations, and (d) theoretical base. Volunteer administration is the set of associated processes of operating a volunteer program. Included are a compilation of competencies identified by the Association for Volunteer Administration (2001) and 13 professionals that participated in a study conducted by Boyd (2002). The seven processes are Commitment to the Profession, Organizational Leadership, Systems Leadership, Accountability, Management Skills, Personal Skills, and Organizational Culture. The foundational disciplines are Leadership and Management, Community Development, and Teaching and Learning. Psychology and sociology provide the empirical evidence that supports the foundations and processes of VA. Professionals should look deeper into the theoretical base of VA, in order to develop and encourage focused research initiatives and academic curricula for volunteer administrators.