How to succeed with volunteers on the basis of commitment and ownership

What are the key factors to gain commitment and ownership from members in student organisations?


  • Andreas Wæhle University of Agder
  • Nora Rogne
  • Stian Westbye
  • Jørgen Nilsen
  • Sigurd Tollevik
  • Kjell G. Robbersmyr



Organising a multidisciplinary student organisation face challenges in regards to student engagement,
ownership and commitment. This article will discuss key factors to create commitment
and ownership in volunteer organisations. The identified factors are 1) an engaged core group of
ambassadors who spread motivation, passion and drive, 2) build relations across departments and
level of responsibility to lower the threshold to share ideas, give feedback and ask for advice, 3)
expedient and communicated organisational structure that divides responsibility and ensures collaboration,
and 4) clear individual and personal incentive to participate. These factors will increase
your likelihood of success with motivating your members to be committed and take ownership.
Align Racing UiA, the case of this study, is a student organisation with over 60 students engaged
in multidisciplinary tasks. The team goal is to produce one race car per year and compete in Formula
Student. The core visions for the team was establishment of community spirit, ownership and
commonly established success factors. This vision, and continuous progress, was enacted throughout
the year of the competition with a focus on dependable communication across the departments
and fast paced problem solving. The team achievements were impressive, compared with other
Formula Student teams.


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