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Does context matter? Analysing structural and individual factors of member commitment in sport clubs

Autor(en)

Torsten Schlesinger Siegfried Nagel

Abstract

This article addresses factors that influence member commitment in sport clubs. Based on the theory of social action and the economic behaviour theory, it focuses not only on individual characteristics of club members but also on the corresponding structural conditions of sport clubs. Accordingly, a multilevel framework is developed for explaining member commitment in sport clubs. Different multilevel models were estimated in order to analyse the influences of both the individual and corresponding context level in a sample of n = 1,699 members of 42 Swiss and German sport clubs. The multilevel analysis permitted an adequate handling of hierarchically structured data. Results of these multilevel analyses indicated that the commitment of members is not just an outcome of individual characteristics such as strong identifi cation with their club, positively perceived (collective) solidarity, satisfaction with their sport club, or voluntary engagement. It is also determined by club-specific structural conditions: commitment proves to be more probable in rural sport clubs and clubs that explicitly support sociability. Furthermore, cross-level effects in relation to member commitment were also found between the context variable sociability and the individual variable identifi cation.
Keywords: sport clubs, commitment of members, interest organisation, multilevel analysis


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