Article Type

Case Studies & Applied Research


Current theoretical lenses do not fully explain the motives of those involved in community engagement activities. This article introduces a needed additional lens, functionalism, that emphasizes how underlying personal goals explain involvement in community engagement activities. To illustrate this perspective, an administrator’s and a faculty member’s motives for becoming involved in community engagement activities are presented and analyzed. We conclude by suggesting the functional approach to motivation may be integrated within an organizational behavior framework to better illuminate the interaction between individual goals and organizational practices, policies, and norms.