Year of Graduation
"Organizational Specifics of the Volunteer Movement: Comparing the Experience of Russia and France"
Faculty of Sociology
The presented work is about a comparative study of internal structure and organizational principles of formal voluntary organizations in Russia and in France within organizational sociology’s framework. Such a comparative study of voluntary organization’s characteristics between those two countries has high scientific interest as it might enrich the understanding of the rules and fundamental logics of volunteering in different countries, and reveal the strengths and weaknesses of both Russian and French volunteering.In the presented work is led an analysis of two distinct groups of formal volunteer organizations: French organizations and Russian organizations. We tried to implement a sociological comparison of both empirical results and formal theories of organizational structures in sociological literature. It allowed us to define several hypotheses in French and Russian organizations: in France, volunteer organizations apply more and more sociological theories of neoinstitutionalization in organization, while in Russia they correspond better to organizational innovation theory (networks approach trough organizational analysis).The goal of the study is a comparison of internal structure and organizational principles of formal volunteer organizations in France and Russia. The goal will be realized by performing a number of research tasks aimed at consistent comparison of the principles of internal organization, principles interaction with the environment, and at identification of the main problems facing modern volunteer organizations in Russia and France.So, the goal of the study implies several steps of investigation. The presented work includes a detailed study of organizational sociology, develops the conceptual framework of the research, the definitions of historical, cultural and political aspects of volunteers’ movements in each of the countries in which the study took place, and interviews of volunteer organizations’ leaders through the qualitative methods of data collection. Qualitative methods imply an expert survey with 14 representatives of French and Russian formal volunteer organizations.During the first part of the empirical analysis, it was concluded that French volunteer organizations operate in a highly institutionalized and relatively stable environment, while similar organizations in Russia are based on the weakly institutionalized environments with a high degree of uncertainty, ambiguity and variability. The second part of the empirical research has confirmed that there is a difference in logic operation in formal volunteer organizations in Russia and France. It was found that network approach has greater explanatory power in relation to the logic of Russian functioning of voluntary organizations, while the organization of French volunteer association is more consistent with the new institutional theory in organizational analysis.Among the possible recommendations for the Russian voluntary organizations It should be mentioned the perspective of using mechanisms of cooperation with other actors in external environment. The most promising of these mechanisms is, in our opinion, the instrument establishing collective structures for joint action.