A Longitudinal Study of Sustainability Attitudes, Intentions, and Behaviors: An Abstract
Sport organizations are attempting to reduce their environmental impact but have difficulty in managing stakeholders’ behaviors. To combat this challenge, sport organizations have increased the sophistication of their environmental sustainability initiatives to include stakeholder engagement campaigns. Until recently, no guidelines have been provided to sport organizations on how to evaluate the effectiveness of current communication strategies to convey the organization’s prioritization of sustainability initiatives. This research extends and evaluates the sport sustainability campaign evaluation model (SSCEM; Trail and McCullough 2019), using a sport organization’s (the Games’) sustainability initiative across multiple campaigns (waste diversion, transportation, energy conservation, and water conservation) and across time. The SSCEM depicts that needs and values influence attitudes toward sustainability campaigns. Furthermore, internal constraints have a negative effect on attitudes, while points of attachment have a positive one. An increase in positive attitudes toward the sustainability campaign increases intentions to act in a sustainable way; however, the intentions may be negatively impacted by external constraints. Trail and McCullough (2019) tested the SSCEM and found some support for the hypothesized relationships. We are extending the SSCEM to test sustainable behaviors and post-behavior evaluations and reactions to the sustainability initiative. From the SSCEM, we propose that needs, values, and internal constraints influence attitudes about the campaigns and intentions to modify behavior to actively participate in the campaigns. We extend the SSCEM by proposing that sustainability intentions prior to the event will predict actual sustainable behaviors during the event. These sustainable behaviors will be reduced by external and internal constraints. These constraints and the behaviors themselves will impact satisfaction with the organization’s communications and campaigns. Furthermore, satisfaction level will influence post-event change in attitude toward sustainability, which in turn influences advocacy of sustainability and the intention of taking sustainability behaviors back to the stakeholders’ hometowns. Data was gathered (both pre- and post-Games) from caregivers (N = 182) of intellectually disabled athletes who attended the Games. The structural model fit adequately well (RMSEA = 0.071; χ2/df = 1.79). Personal needs and values, along with internal constraints (lack of knowledge and lack of worth) explained 51.3% of the variance in pre-Games attitudes toward sustainability, which in turn explained 48.1% of the variance in intentions to act sustainably during the games. Intentions, combined with external constraints during the games, predicted 38.3% of actual behaviors. Behaviors and constraints predicted 47.9% of post-Games’ satisfaction with communications from the organization. Behaviors and constraints also predicted post-Games’ satisfaction with the campaigns (71.1%). Satisfaction with communications and with the campaigns explained 48.4% of the variance in improved sustainability attitudes, which in turn explained 52.7% of advocacy behavior and 97.3% of intentions to improve sustainable behaviors in their hometown.