Organizational commitment and perceived relatedness as correlates of the intention to continue officiating in track and field
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The objectives of the present study were to explore three components of organizational commitment (affective [AC], normative [NC] and continuance [CC] commitment; Allen & Meyer, 1991), perceived relatedness (Oeci & Ryan, 1985; 2002), and behavioural intention (Ajzen, 2002) within the context of volunteer track and field officiating. The objectives were examined in a 2-phase study. Ouring phase 1, experts (N = 10) with domain familiarity assessed the item content relevance and representation of modified organizational commitment (OC; Meyer, Allen & Smith, 1993) and perceived relatedness (La Guardia, Oeci, Ryan & Couchman, 2000) items. Fourteen of 26 (p < .05) items were relevant (Aiken's coefficient V) and NC (M = 3.88, SO = .64), CC (M = 3.63, SD = .52), and relatedness (M = 4.00, SD = .93) items had mean item content-representation ratings of either "good" or "very good" while AC (M = 2.50, SD = 0.58) was rated "fair". Participants in phase 2 (N = 80) responded to items measuring demographic variables, perceptions of OC to Athletics Canada, perceived relatedness to other track and field officials, and a measure of intention (yiu, Au & Tang, 2001) to continue officiating. Internal consistency reliability estimates (Cronbach's (1951) coefficient alpha) were as follows: (a) AC = .78, (b) CC = .85, (c) NC = .80 (d) perceived relatedness = .70 and, (e) intention = .92 in the present sample. Results suggest that the track and field officials felt only minimally committed to Athletics Canada (AC M = 3.90, SD = 1.23; NC M = 2.47, SD = 1.25; CC M = 3.32; SD = 1.34) and that their relationships with other track and field officials were strongly endorsed (M = 5.86, SD = 0.74). Bivariate correlations (Pearson r) indicated that perceived relatedness to other track and field officials demonstrated the strongest relationship with intention to continue officiating (r = .346, p < .05), while dimensions of OC were not significantly related to intention (all p's > .05). Together perceived relatedness (j3 = .339, p = .004), affective commitment (j3 = -.1 53, p = .308), normative commitment (j3 = -.024, p = .864) and continuance commitment (j3 = .186, P = .287) contribute to the prediction of intention to continued officiating (K = .139). These relationships remained unaffected by the inclusion of demographic (j3age = -.02; P years with Athletics Canada = -.13; bothp's > .05) or alternative commitment (j3sport = -.19; P role = .15; Pathletes = .20; all p' s > .05) considerations. Three open-ended questions elicited qualitative responses regarding participants' reasons for officiating. Responses reflecting initial reasons for officiating formed these higher order themes: convenience, helping reasons, extension of role, and intrinsic reasons. Responses reflecting reasons for continuing to officiate formed these higher order themes: track and field, to help, and personal benefits. Responses reflecting changes that would influence continued involvement were: political, organizational/structural, and personal. These results corroborate the findings of previous investigations which state that the reasons underpinning volunteer motivations change over time (Cuskelly et al., 2002). Overall, the results of this study suggest that track and field officials feel minimal commitment to the organization of Athletics Canada but a stronger bond with their fellow officials. Moreover, the degree to which track and field officials feel meaningfully connected to one another appears to exert a positive influence on their intentions to continue officiating. As such, it is suggested that in order to promote continued involvement, Athletics Canada increases its focus on fostering environments promoting positive interactions among officials.