Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

EdD Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Barbara V. Strobert, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Monsignor Christopher Hynes, D. Min.

Committee Member

Joseph A. Devine, Ed.D.


narrative study, theme-based, Rotary, servant leadership, volunteer functions inventory, self-determination theory


Rotarians’ Transformative Path from Initiate to Servant Leader: A Narrative Study Examining the Motivation to Volunteer The purpose of this research study was to explore Rotarians transformative path from initiate (follower) to servant leader supporting student programs. Research was conducted using a qualitative narrative design to examine participants’ perceptions of the factors that motivated them to join a volunteer organization with the motto “service above self,” the factors that motivated them to support student programs, and their perceptions of the impact of their volunteer efforts. Sixteen Rotarian participants supporting EarlyAct, InterAct, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, Short-Term Youth Exchange, and Long-Term Youth Exchanges, completed a volunteer history questionnaire and participated in semi-structured interviews. Participant responses generated eight major themes. Themes were examined through the lenses of servant leadership theory, volunteer functions inventory, and self-determination theory. Results of this study speak to the need of volunteer organizations’ obligation to examine the factors that motivate members, to explore members’ antecedent exposure to volunteering in order to craft opportunities for youth participation in their volunteering activities, and to modify policy statements supporting the explication of members’ motivation.