Volunteering for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games: visions, policies and capitals
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AbstractThis research examines the use of volunteering at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games for the creation of human, social and political capital at individual, organisational and societal levels. Despite a long tradition of Olympic volunteering, this has not been investigated so far. The concept of volunteerism at Beijing 2008, in fact, was constructed upon multiple contexts including the Olympic Movement, Chinese society and an international understanding of the ternl (BOCOG, 2005). Hence, volunteerism as an under-investigated concept is firstly studied individually in each of these contexts. The frameworks underpinning this research include Getz's (2005) human resource planning process which explains how specific policies for managing event volunteers are formulated for fulfilling its vision(s); and theories of social, human and political capital as developed by Putnam (2000), Bourdieu (1986; 1991) and Coleman (1988) respectively. Multiple qualitative case study strategy is adopted for this investigation, following a constructivist paradigm. The subjective and interactive epistemology is constructed upon the knowledge and experiences of a total of fifty-seven infoIDlants, most of whom were directly involved in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Volunteer Programme. The research findings illustrate that the Chinese state and BOCOG's interpretation of the concept of volunteerisrn was manifested in organisational visions for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Volunteer Programme. These visions were accomplished through a range of management policies, which in fact placed volunteerism at Beijing 2008 in line with the maturity stage of volunteerism in the Olympic Movement. During the course of the management practices, social, human and political capital were created in varying degrees at all of the three levels. It was also evident that participation and training were the critical processes in the creation of different forms of capital. Moreover, the findings suggest that the created social, human and political capital have both positive and negative effects on those involved, while full possible long-term effects are yet to become apparent. This research makes distinctive contributions to the body of knowledge. It adds six-dimensional conceptual frameworks for both volunteerism in general and Olympic volunteerism in specific. Investigation into how volunteering for the Beijing Games has been used for the creation of social, human and political capital at individual, organisational and societal levels is deemed to be original. Research findings will contribute to the development of volunteerism in the Olympic Movement and future Olympic volunteer programmes. Suggestions for future research are also proposed to investigate on further issues of issue of the use of volunteering for the creation of social, human and political capital at future Olympic Games as well as other mega events.
CitationZhuang, J. (2011) 'Volunteering for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games: visions, policies and capitals'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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