University Identification: A Conceptual Framework
Journal of Contemporary Athletics, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2013
13 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2013
Date Written: 2012
With legislative budgets tightening and state funding for public education decreasing, colleges and universities should consistently being looking for ways to increase revenue. One major revenue stream for colleges and universities is alumni donations. However, a comprehensive model to better understand the factors that influence alumni to support their graduating university has not been developed. Additionally, the role that athletics plays in attracting alumni contributions to the general university fund has not been fully explored. It is proposed in this chapter that support for the university is influenced by how identified alumni are with their university. Identification with an organization, such as a university, has previously been defined as “the perception of oneness with or belongingness to an organization, where the individual defines him or herself in terms of the organization(s) in which he or she is a member” (Mael and Ashforth, 1992, p. 103). It is proposed in this chapter that identification with a university is influenced by three distinct categories of antecedents. Academic program variables, athletic program variables, and individual variables are all posited to increase university identification. In turn, university identification is proposed to increase the amount of support an alumnus provides to the university. The chapter finishes with a discussion of the potential implications of increased university identification and future research opportunities.
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