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  • Nicolaas Ainsworth

Scarcity, Participation and Motivation to Join a School Organization: A Literature Review


Purpose of Review.. 3

Literature Review.. 4

PSO Participation Motivations. 4

Research Objective. 4

Contribution. 4

Methodology. 4

Findings. 5

Limitations and Suggested Future Research. 6

Student Volunteering Motivations. 6

Research Objective. 6

Contribution. 6

Methodology. 7

Findings. 8

Limitations and suggested Future Research. 9

Intramural Participation Motivations. 9

Research Objective. 9

Contribution. 9

Methodology. 9

Findings. 10

Limitations and Suggested Future Research. 11

Marketing, the principles of Influence, and Student Organizations. 11

Research Objective. 11

Contribution. 11

Methodology. 11

Findings. 12

Limitations and Suggested Further Research. 12

Scarcity and Behaviour 13

Research Objective. 13

Contribution. 13

Methodology. 13

Findings. 17

Limitations and Suggested Future Research. 17

References. 18

Appendix. 19

Purpose of Review

The following paper is preliminary review into current research regarding the marketing of student organization memberships to students, (student organizations are considered synonymous with student clubs, societies, and student-lead groups, in the context of this review). While much has been written about the benefits of joining student organizations, there is little research into how these clubs can strategically be marketed toward students (Clark & Kemp, 2008). Evidently, almost all sources reviewed relating to student organizations indicated difficulties motivating, and retaining student club members (Clark & Kemp, 2008; Cooper, Schuett, Phillips, 2012; Gage, Thapa, 2012; Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). The purpose of this review is to help develop understanding and direction for the development of a research question relevant to this topic.

The research interest is What is the student perception on the effect scarcity marketing practices would have on their motivations for participating in student organizations? How would scarcity marketing practices influence student participation rates in student organizations? To clarify, consider the following question. If a student is motivated to join a student organization to improve career perspectives, would they perceive a club that implements rigorous joining criteria, or a club that extensively promotes inclusion, as more promising to meet that goal? Would the student see their membership in an exclusive club as a strong addition to their resume, or would they find the club with little barriers to entry improves networking opportunities? Would scarcity tactics increase/decrease this student’s participation despite their perspective?

The indicated research interest was chosen because of the notable gap in current research on the use of relationship marketing tactics toward student organizations (Clark & Kemp, 2008). Scarcity marketing was specifically chosen because of my personal assessment of current prevailing perceptions on scarcity marketing tactics within student organizations. Scarcity marketing has an association to power and exclusivity (Clark & Kemp, 2008). Personal experience has dictated that university student clubs often frown on promotions that may imply exclusive access. While reasoning's are often honorable by intention, the actions maybe harming student motivations, and thus, participation rates. Such was considered in the previous scenario; a lack of criteria in membership joining may have reduced the student’s opportunity to competitively improve their resume.

This literature reviewed five articles. These articles were considered as the most valuable, and recent studies regarding the research of interest. How each article will contribute to a final dissertation is indicated within contribution. How the articles fall short is indicated in limitations. Table 1 displays a summary of the methodologies, and category of Habermas’ scientific approach, used in the reviewed articles.

Literature Review

PSO Participation Motivations

Munoz, L., Miller, R., & Poole, S. M. (2016). Professional student organizations and experiential learning activities: What drives student intentions to participate?. Journal of Education for Business, 91(1), 45-51.

Research Objective

In “professional student organizations and experiential learning activities: What drives student intentions to participate”, Munoz, Miller, & Poole (2016) explore the impact experiential learning activities have on undergraduate’s intentions to participate in professional student organizations (PSO). The object of the study is to empirically determine how to build and sustain collegiate PSO chapters through experiential learning activities (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). The objective is tested through the following four hypotheses:

H1: Contact with professional activities will positively influence the intention to participate in PSO (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016; Para. 12).

H2: Interpersonal skill activities will positively influence the intention to participate in PSO (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016; Para. 12).

H3: Professional activities will positively influence the intention to participate in PSO (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016; Para. 12).

H4: Networking activities will positively influence the intention to participate in PSO (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016; Para. 12).

H5: entrepreneurial activities will positively influence the intention to participate in PSO (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016; Para. 12).


The study provides the variables of motivation through experiential learning theory in the lens of PSO’s. While the research discovered only two of these variables had an influence on student participation, all five variables will be considered because of the limitation in multicollinearity. The variables will be redesigned so that they are easily differentiated.


Research Design

The research is designed to develop empirical evidence through quantitative analysis of survey data. The study begins with a review of experiential learning theory, and expectancy theory literature. The literature review is used to develop a conceptual framework for the research moving forward. Following, a survey is produced, and undergraduate participants are acquired. Students complete the survey, return it, and their answers were analysed. The results are then discussed.

Reviewed Literature

Experiential Learning theory

Munoz, Miller, & Poole (2016) review experiential learning theory to develop a conceptual framework for the study. Experiential theory is identified as the development of knowledge through experience in this paper (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). Using the tools provided by experiential theory, the authors identify potential experiential activities that PSO’s can utilize to motivate students (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). The motives are used as independent variables within the study.

Expectancy Theory

Expectancy theory states that individuals will allocate their limited resources toward the actions they expect will produce a positive outcome (Vroom, 1964). Of all outcomes, the one with the highest motivational force will be chosen (Vroom, 1964). The amount of motivational force an option has is determined by expectancy, instrumentality, and valence (Vroom, 1964). Expectancy theory was used by Munoz, Miller, & Poole (2016) to assess their findings.

Unit of Analysis

· University Students.


242 participants were chosen across various business disciplines including accounting, marketing, management, and finance (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). The sampling method was not identified. The participants were 51% male; 48.3% Caucasian, 43% Hispanic, 4.2 African American, 2.9 % Asian, and 1.7% other; 50.2% worked part-time, 27.2% worked full-time; 93.8% were between the ages of 18-29, and 6.2% between the age of 30-34; and 30.9% were first generation college students (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016).


· Dependent Variable: Student intention to participate in PSO (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016).

· Independent Variables: Interpersonal skill development, professional development activities, networking activities, entrepreneurial activities (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016).

· Control variables: PSO membership, ethnicity, Major type, 1st generation student, and age (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016).

The variables are measured using a 1-5 Likert scale (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016).

Analysis Techniques

The variables are analysed using linear regression analysis, and a multicollinearity analysis (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016).


The analysis determined that previously being a PSO member, and economic and marketing majors have a significantly higher likelihood of participating in PSO activities (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). Age was a negative indicator: older students were less likely to participate (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). The authors suggest the negative indication maybe due to older individuals having additional responsibilities (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). No other control variable had a significant influence (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016).

Contact with professionals and PSO development activities were significant indicators toward a student’s likelihood to participate (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). Contact with professionals was the leading variable (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). The other three independent variables did not show a significant association toward participation (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016).

The results imply that students are motivated to join PSO’s if they provide regular scheduled business speakers, access to mentors and job shadowing opportunities, and professional Q&A sessions (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). The second leading factor, (the last of influence), is professional development (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). The implication is that students have a strong preference to join clubs that offer opportunities to interact with faculty members, career exploration, and training activities; to which, they can put on their resume (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016).

Limitations and Suggested Future Research

There was high multicollinearity between variables despite CFA confirmation of scale structures of questions (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016). It is, therefore, necessary to better distinguish each activity from one another to students. The authors recommend qualitative inquiry through interviews or focus groups to magnify the understanding of student motivations (Munoz, Miller, & Poole, 2016).

Student Volunteering Motivations

Gage III, R. L., & Thapa, B. (2012). Volunteer motivations and constraints among college students: Analysis of the volunteer function inventory and leisure constraints models. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 41(3), 405-430.

Research Objective

The studies research objective is to determine what factors motivate undergraduate students to volunteer, and in what capacity (Gage, Thapa, 2012). The authors hope is that the implications of their research can be used by volunteer managers to devise effective strategies for recruiting and retaining volunteers (Gage, Thapa, 2012). The research objective was investigated through four questions: “What are the volunteering characteristics of college students?... What motivates college students to volunteer?... What constrains volunteerism among college students?... What is the association between volunteer motivations and constraints?”, (Gage, Thapa, 2012; Pg. 412).


The study provides evidence to what variables influence student participation in volunteering. All five variables of motivation contributed were identified as being a significant reason for student participation. They will, therefore, all be considered in the dissertation. Interestingly, the study determined value and understanding (the highest motivation) to be negatively correlated to structural and interpersonal constraints, while career motivation (the second highest) was unaffected (Gage, Thapa, 2012). The finding provides a similar insight to the findings of scarcity, were, individuals may pursue seemingly generous behaviors for their own benefit when they are presented with resource scarcity (Bonezzi, Goldsmith, & Roux, 2015). Scarcity, in this context, being employment.


Design Strategy

The study develops empirical evidence through quantitative analysis techniques. The study begins with the development of a conceptual framework through the review of literature on the Motivation Model and the constraints of leisure (Gage, Thapa, 2012). A survey was then developed, and participants acquired. Participants filled out the survey and returned it to the researchers (Gage, Thapa, 2012). Participant responses were analysed, and conclusions made.

Conceptual Framework

The authors reviewed motivation models and its four components