Hintere Außenansicht des D2 Gebäudes

Prosocial and societal behavior

The governance of prosocial and societal behavior

In this research cluster, we deal with questions on prosocial and societal behavior of citizens, volunteers, and employees in the public sector, but also in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. We are interested in understanding the individual and societal benefits of prosocial and societal behavior. We mainly focus on how prosocial and societal behavior is effectively managed and governed on individual, organizational, network, and society levels.

Relevant publications

  • Willems, J. 2023. Civil Courage. In: Encyclopedia of Heroism Studies. Springer, Cham. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-17125-3_192-1

  • Vogel, D., & Willems, J. 2020. The effects of making public service employees aware of their prosocial and societal impact: A microintervention. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. DOI: 10.1093/jopart/muz044

  • Willems, J., & Dury, S. 2017. Reasons for not volunteering: Overcoming boundaries to attract volunteers. Service Industries Journal. 37 (11–12): 726–745 (Special issue: Nonprofit Services - Part 1) DOI: 10.1080/02642069.2017.1318381

  • Willems, J. & Walk, M. 2013. Assigning volunteer tasks: The relation between task preferences and functional motives of youth volunteers. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(6): 1030–1040. DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2013.03.010

  • Willems, J., Huybrechts, G., Jegers, M., Vantilborgh, T., Bidee, J., & Pepermans, R. 2012. Volunteer decisions (not) to leave: Reasons to quit versus functional motives to stay. Human Relations. 65(7): 883–900. DOI: 10.1177/0018726712442554


The institute for Public Management & Governance was granted funding from the Vienna Science and Technology Fund in April 2020 on “Citizens’ prosocial behavior in times of crisis” (Wiener Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Technologiefonds – WWTF; Project number: COV20-039). In this data collection project, we focus on prosocial and societal behavior during the COVID19 pandemic. Find more information here.