The volunteer stages and transitions model: organizational socialization of volunteers

Debbie Haski-Leventhal*, David Bargal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Citations (Scopus)


In the last two decades knowledge on volunteering has significantly expanded, but a thorough understanding of the organizational socialization of volunteers is still lacking: the process through which one learns the job, internalizes organizational values and goals, and becomes an effective and involved volunteer. By performing an ethnographic study with Israeli volunteers working for at-risk youth, the organizational process was portrayed. The Volunteering Stages and Transitions Model (VSTM) presented in this article indicates five different phases in volunteers' socialization (nominee, newcomer, emotional involvement, established volunteering and retiring). The importance of the model lies in the way it explains transitions between the phases and details the process, experiences, and emotions involved in each phase. The transformation is reflected in different aspects related to volunteer work: activity and training; emotions and perceptions; attitudes and behavior; perceived benefits and costs; and relationships with the organization, peers and recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-102
Number of pages36
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


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