The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role played by corporate social responsibility (CSR) in building relationship quality (RQ) in the context of sports organisations. In turn, the link between RQ and customer loyalty is examined. Acknowledging that customers develop a psychological connection with the sports organisation over time, the study also examines whether the link between CSR and RQ is moderated by the psychological continuum model (PCM) stages (awareness, attraction, attachment and allegiance).
The survey data were drawn from almost 6,000 season ticket holders of a professional sports club. Structural equation modelling and the non-parametric bootstrapping regression technique were used to test the hypotheses.
The results support the direct impact of CSR activities on RQ. RQ, in turn, drives customer loyalty. Importantly, RQ is found to fully mediate the relationship between CSR and customer loyalty. However, as customers move through the psychological connection stages, the effect of CSR on customer loyalty via RQ tends to diminish.
This study provides evidence of a direct impact of CSR activities on RQ, and also attests the role of psychological connection in sports organisations.
The incorporation of a multidimensional RQ construct and the PCM stages allows a deeper understanding of how CSR might be employed to achieve organisational goals.
This research was supported by Australian Research Council Grant No. LP100100222.
Nyadzayo, M.W., Leckie, C. and McDonald, H. (2016), "CSR, relationship quality, loyalty and psychological connection in sports", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 883-898. https://doi.org/10.1108/MIP-08-2015-0148Download as .RIS
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