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Title: Gaining insights into why professionals continue or abandon pro bono service
Authors: Paul G. Patterson
Janet R. McColl-Kennedy
Jenny (Jiyeon) Lee
Michael K. Brady
Keywords: Business, Management and Accounting
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2020
Abstract: © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to empirically examine the personal/situational and business factors that encourage or discourage pro bono service of professionals based on the theory of institutional logics framework and the extended purchase behavior model. Design/methodology/approach: This paper collected the data using a mixed-method approach: 30 qualitative interviews and 443 cross-sectional surveys from professional service providers across industries. The constructs of interest were measured with the scales compiled from the literature, industry reports and the preliminary interviews. Findings: The results highlight emotional value derived from personal/situational factors (intrinsic motivation, personal recognition, philanthropic disposition and lack of appreciation) drove professionals’ intentions to continue to undertake pro bono work. While employer encouragement motivated professionals to engage in pro bono service, the prospect of gaining business opportunities and time constraints discouraged this important practice. Research limitations/implications: While there has been considerable empirical study undertaken on charitable behavior, little attention has been given to this form of giving (pro bono work by service professionals). Overall, the results show that personal satisfaction with and feeling good about the study undertaken are required for continuation. Professionals who are intrinsically motivated, philanthropic-natured and properly-acknowledged through positive feedback and recognition tend to experience positive feelings that engender their good intentions to help the underprivileged, those in need and society more generally. The findings thus complement and extend the academic and industry literature on charitable giving. Practical implications: This research identifies the drivers of service professionals’ continuation of pro bono work that the third sector relies heavily on its sustainability. As the study findings suggesting the importance of personal recognition, nonprofit organizations should demonstrate genuine gratitude and recognition of these professionals so that they continue to give their services pro bono. Originality/value: The research is the first empirical study to develop a conceptual model that delineates the drivers and/or barriers to professionals continuing pro bono service. Unlike the previous study lacking a theoretical basis, this paper proposed and tested the conceptual model derived from the institutional logics framework and the extended purchase behavior model.
ISSN: 03090566
Appears in Collections:CMUL: Journal Articles

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