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A consumerist turn in Dutch voluntary sport associations? (INTERN)

Roest, J.W. van der, Kalmthout, J. van, & Meijs, L. (2016). A consumerist turn in Dutch voluntary sport associations? (INTERN). European journal for sport and society 13 (pp. 1-18)

This article focuses on the changing oranizational arrangements within voluntary sport associations. It has often been suggested that members of sport associations are increasingly adopting consumerist attitudes towards these organizations, in which they might become less emotionally committed to the association and consequently might be less inclined to volunteer. Although it is still contested whether there is actually an increasing consumerist attitude among members, national sport organisations pressure associations to become more flexible and service-oriented. However, it is yet unknown whether these associations are indeed changing their membership arrangements into more customer oriented arrangements in response to this pressure. Using a two-wave dataset from the Survey of Dutch Voluntary Sport Associations (N=337), the researchers researched whether voluntary sport associations are adapting practices to a supposed consumerist attitude among members and what the possible consequences of such a shift are for the involvement and commitment of members in the organisations. Their findings suggest that there is no evidence of an increasing number of voluntary sport associations becoming more flexible and service-oriented in their membership arrangements. Moreover, they did not find support for a negative effect of consumerist forms of membership on formal involvement and emotional commitment in the associations that have adapted their membership arrangements. They therefore conclude that there is yet no evidence for an actual consumerist turn in voluntary sport associations.

Uitgever(s): Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group,


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Jan-Willem van der Roest
Janine van Kalmthout
Lucas Meijs

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sociaal werk