Well-being creation by senior volunteers in a service provider context

Shirahada, Kunio and Wilson, Alan (2022) Well-being creation by senior volunteers in a service provider context. Journal of Service Theory and Practice. ISSN 2055-6225 (https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-07-2022-0137)

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Purpose: Given the importance of senior volunteers in an ageing society, this study aims to deepen the understanding of how seniors create well-being by volunteering as service providers in terms of motivations for volunteer participation and value co-creation/co-destruction in service provision. Methodology: Focusing on senior volunteers acting as service providers in the tourism sector, this study conducted a programme of qualitative research with fifteen senior volunteer tour guides in Japan and the UK through the purposive sampling method. The data were analysed by the Gioia method to identify data structure and create a conceptual model. Findings: Seniors start with a mixture of different motivations, not only symbolic and health ones. However, after a certain period of training, they become more aware of their volunteer role as service providers and may strive to maximize the benefits to their clients. The overall performance of such a role supports their well-being. They may also experience episodes of value co-destruction, such negative experiences may be overcome by building good relationships with their colleagues in the organisation. Originality: This study contributes to the transformative service research literature by constructing a model to showcase the relationship among expectations of volunteering as a service provider, service delivery, and well-being creation. This paper also discuss the positive and negative effects of volunteer service delivery on senior volunteers’ well-being. Practical implications: The paper identifies organisational support ideas for senior service provider volunteers aimed at overcoming negative experiences and achieving wellbeing, in terms of training and improved communication between organisation members.