The Stingy Hour: How Accounting for Time Affects Volunteering

47 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2009

See all articles by Jeffrey Pfeffer

Jeffrey Pfeffer

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Sanford E. Devoe

University of Toronto - Joseph L. Rotman School of Management

Date Written: August 19, 2009

Abstract

We examine how the practice of accounting for one’s time - so that work can be billed or charged to specific clients or projects - affects the decision to allocate time to volunteer activities. Using longitudinal data collected from law students transitioning to their first jobs, Study 1 showed that exposure to billing time diminished individuals’ willingness to volunteer, even after controlling for attitudes about volunteering held prior to entering the workforce as well as the individual’s specific opportunity costs of volunteering time. Studies 2-5 experimentally manipulated billing time and confirmed its causal effect on individuals’ willingness to volunteer and actual volunteering behavior. Study 5 showed that the effect of exposure to billing time on volunteering occurred above and beyond any effects on general self-efficacy or self-determination. Individual differences moderated the effects of billing, such that people who did not value money as much were less affected.

Keywords: human resources management

Suggested Citation

Pfeffer, Jeffrey and Devoe, Sanford E., The Stingy Hour: How Accounting for Time Affects Volunteering (August 19, 2009). Stanford University Graduate School of Business Research Paper No. 2035, Rotman School of Management Working Paper No. 1470426, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1470426 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1470426

Jeffrey Pfeffer (Contact Author)

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Sanford E. Devoe

University of Toronto - Joseph L. Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

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