A new model of volunteer leadership: lessons from a local festival

Wilks, Linda (2015). A new model of volunteer leadership: lessons from a local festival. Voluntary Sector Review, 6(2) pp. 193–208.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1332/204080515X14357513647153


This article delivers insights into the leadership of volunteers using a local music festival as a case study. Leadership traits and styles have been discussed in the literature in relation to festivals and events, with authors particularly highlighting servant leadership and transformational leadership styles within this context. The traits of the heroic leader and the entrepreneurial leader, as well as the transactional leadership style and the creativity broker, also discovered within the events literature, are also used here to guide the analysis of the data. Semi-structured interviews with the festival director and festival volunteers were conducted and analysed. An overview of the data is reported under four clusters of leadership characteristics: inspiring, sharing, caring and delivering. The findings are then matched against the various leadership theories and a new volunteer leadership model, termed 'layered leadership', is developed.

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