The role of organizational capacity in explaining individual behavior in nonprofit sports clubs

Publication: Book/ReportDissertations

166 Downloads (Pure)


Individual behavior depends on individual characteristics. From a theoretical perspec- tive, individual behavior also depends on contextual factors as it occurs within a cer- tain surrounding. To nonprofit sports clubs, this means that individual behavior in terms of voluntary engagement and the payment of a membership fee are connected to organizational factors. As an increasing number of nonprofit sports clubs suffers from a declining number of volunteers and members, understanding the relationship be- tween individual and contextual factors is essential to their existence.
Consequently, it is valuable to nonprofit sports clubs, and eventually to the societies in which they operate, to identify the organizational factors related to volunteering and the willingness to pay for a membership. Empirical research on the relationship be- tween individual behavior of sports club members and attributes of nonprofit sports club is limited. Studies either fail to include organizational factors with theoretical reasoning, to ground their management implications on sufficient data, or to analyze these by taking the dependence between individual- and organizational-level factors into account.
The present work sheds light on the relationship between individual behavior of nonprofit sports club members and its organizational context by including data on both levels. Three studies demonstrate the usefulness of multi-level modeling by merging survey data from German sports clubs and their members. Based on the concept of organizational capacity of nonprofit and voluntary organizations, results suggest that human resources, financial, and structural capacities of nonprofit sports clubs are sig- nificantly related to decisions of adult members and parents of underage members: the decision to volunteer, the amount of time devoted to voluntary work, and the specific voluntary role. Also, differences between formal and informal volunteering are iden- tified.
Using contingent valuation method to elicit willingness-to-pay, results further show that the organizational capacity of nonprofit sports clubs is significantly connected to the willingness-to-pay for a club membership. Overall, this work supports the notion that the organizational context is relevant to individual behavior. Multi-level models identify the specific contextual factors related to it and allow the formulation of impli- cations that could guide management in securing the future existence of their sports club.
Original languageGerman
Place of PublicationKöln
PublisherDeutsche Sporthochschule Köln
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 2019