Sponsorship and the internal audience: examining how corporate sponsorship is related to organization identification and job satisfaction
Hall, Todd Kristopher
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An investigation of the relationship between corporate sponsorship activities and human resource constructs was conducted through an online questionnaire with employees of a southern U.S. energy provider. Specifically, three sponsorship-related constructs, fan identification with a sponsored sport property, employee involvement with the sponsorship, and employee attitude toward the sponsorship were hypothesized to be positively related to employee organization identification and job satisfaction. Social identification theory (SIT) provided the theoretical foundation of this study. Through a series of hypotheses, the three sponsorship-related constructs were hypothesized to exert both direct and indirect effects on employee organizational identification and job satisfaction. Testing the process of missing data for approximately 80 of the total 427 respondents showed that data was missing at random (MAR). Thus, missing data values were imputed using regression techniques available in AMOS 16.0 software. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was employed to evaluate the path of predicted relationships. Assessment of the measurement model fit for the entire model showed that all but one indicator, for involvement with the sponsorship, loaded on latent variables as expected. In addition to comparing the results of the SEM analysis of the imputed data set (n = 427) to the data set with only complete responses (n = 308), a random sample (n = 200) was also analyzed, in order to assess the impact of sample size on fitting the data to the models. A competing models approach to SEM analysis showed that four nested models differed only marginally on a couple goodness-of-fit indices. The principle of parsimony was thus utilized to select and evaluate the fit of the appropriate model. Evaluation of the hypotheses showed that fan identification and involvement with the sponsorship did not exert direct effects on employee organization identification and job satisfaction, but did influence these human resource constructs in an indirect manner. Additionally, an unpredicted, indirect relationship between organization prestige and job satisfaction was also established. Lastly, theoretical and managerial implications are discussed, along with the identification of several recommendations to guide future research relating corporate sponsorship with the internal audience.