Rammi Hazzaa


Oja, Brent D.

Committee Member

Sung, Yoon Tae

Committee Member

Yu, Han

Committee Member

Larson, Milan


College of Natural and Health Sciences; School of Sport and Exercise Science, Sport Administration


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



164 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been well documented in the mainstream management literature (e.g., Aguinis & Glavas, 2012; Turker, 2009). While CSR has been investigated in the sport management literature, it has been done almost exclusively from the macro-level perspective aiming to address questions about the implications of CSR for organizations and society (Babiak, 2010; Smith & Westerbeek, 2007). However, there has been little CSR-related research undertaken with regards to sport employees and the individual level of analysis (microlevel). As such, this study is guided by the general notion of the psychological foundations of CSR that explain how and why it affects organizational stakeholders such as employees (Aguinis & Glavas, 2013; Rupp & Mallory, 2015). The purpose of this study was to extend the micro-CSR literature to the recreational sport context by proposing and testing a theoretical model to better understand how employees psychologically experience CSR and their subsequent attitudes by adopting a positive organizational behavior framework. The model included psychological capital (PsyCap) as a mediator, as well as gratitude as a first-stage moderator on the association between CSR and PsyCap. This comprehensive model originated from the belief that when organization’s engage in CSR activities directed towards their employees, they perceive it, and their perceptions might affect their psychological development, which ultimately influences their attitudes towards their job and organization, respectively. This dissertation employed a cross-sectional quantitative research design and used an online survey for employees in recreational sport organizations across the United States (N = 705). The overall results indicated that employees’ perceptions of CSR were a strong antecedent in generating positive psychological capacities and positive employee outcomes. Additionally, the indirect effect of PsyCap was found to further explain how employees psychologically experience CSR. Support was found for all of the proposed relationships with one exception, gratitude was not found to have a significant interaction effect on CSR and PsyCap. The findings extend the sport management literature and offer empirical evidence about the powerful effect that favorable perceptions of CSR can have on employee functioning and positive attitudes. It also highlights the potential role that an organization’s socially responsible actions may have on the micro-level of the recreational sport work environment. Lastly, the results provide theoretical and practical contributions that should serve to inform future work in this emerging area of positive organizational behavior and sport employee psychology moving forward.

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