Preferred Name

Theresa L. Koepfler Reimbold

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Strategic Leadership Studies


Margaret F. Sloan

Karen A. Ford

Lisa E. McGuire


Lack of an integrated and commonly accepted theory to explain volunteerism is a function of the multi-dimensional nature of the construct, which is positively correlated to multiple behavioral, cultural, and political attributes in myriad studies. Likely, there is a combination of social determinants that best predict levels of volunteerism better than others. The issue of overarching theory development to explain volunteerism becomes further convoluted when approaching the construct from a global perspective as commonly held definitions become eroded due to language barriers and cultural nuances. Despite these challenges, the importance of studying volunteerism and its determinants is essential for the further proliferation of the third sector, especially in underserved countries in critical need of humanitarian services.

This paper posits that cross-cultural volunteerism studies are best viewed through the lens of Moral Foundations Theory. Utilizing data derived from the World Values Survey, Wave 6 questionnaire, and the Polity IV Project Regime Spectrum, the relationships between conjoined social determinants of volunteerism, namely religiosity and national political leadership, are evaluated through the use of logistic regression techniques. An index for religiosity is derived based on results of confirmatory factor analysis. Data analyses indicate the existence of significant, positive relationships between the key study variables. Results reaffirm support for the use of a multi-level model of volunteerism grounded in the framework of Moral Foundations Theory. Implications for nonprofit and INGO leaders are provided for practicality.

Available for download on Wednesday, August 10, 2022