Sport team culture: investigating how vertical and horizontal communication influence citizenship behaviors via organizational commitment

Seungmo Kim *, Marshall Magnusen ** and Damon Andrew ***

(*) Department of Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
(**) Department of Educational Leadership, Baylor University, Waco, TX, USA
(***) College of Human Sciences and Education, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, USA

The effects of vertical (coach-athlete) and horizontal (teammate-teammate) communication on athletes’ affective commitment and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) were examined in this study. A total of 340 intercollegiate student- athletes in Hong Kong, China participated in the survey. The structural equation modeling (SEM) results supported partial mediating effects of team commitment between vertical communication and OCB. Horizontal communication was measured using four subscales: acceptance, distinctiveness, positive conflict, and negative conflict. Acceptance had direct and indirect effects on OCB via commitment whereas negative conflict had negative indirect effects on OCB via commitment. The positive conflict and distinctiveness subscales were not significant.

Keywords: Interpersonal Communication, Student-athletes, Social Exchange Theory