Volunteering as a Source of Conflict or Enrichment for Work: the Role of Employer Support


While numerous studies have explored the relationship between work and family, few have examined the connection between work and community, leaving a gap in our understanding of the work-nonwork relationship. Drawing from ecological systems theory and conservation of resources theory, this study proposes volunteering as a domain that conflicts with and/or enriches the workplace. Using a sample of 95 employed individuals who volunteer with nonprofit organizations, this paper investigated the role of employer support of volunteering (ESV), suggesting ESV impacts key work outcomes (performance, withdrawal, satisfaction) through the mediating roles of volunteer-work conflict and volunteer-work enrichment (similar to family-work conflict and enrichment). The results suggest employer support of volunteering is multidimensional with organization, supervisor, and coworker support each having unique relationships with work outcomes. Support of volunteering has a direct effect on work outcomes, specifically turnover intent, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction. Volunteer-work conflict was linked to increased work withdrawal and emotional exhaustion, as well as lower performance and satisfaction. Volunteer-work enrichment was linked to higher task and contextual performance. Lastly, volunteer engagement moderated the relationship between support of volunteering (overall and supervisor) and enrichment, with support more likely to affect those who are not highly engaged in their volunteering. In sum, the study substantiates the notion that volunteering is a domain that interacts with the work domain and support of volunteering has important consequences for employees.



Volunteering, Organizational support, Nonprofit organization, Work-family conflict, Community engagement