C. Kouthouris, E. Kontogianni

University of Thessaly (GREECE)
Consumers are becoming more sensitive in their environmental attitudes, preferences and purchases with the majority of them realizing that their purchasing behavior has a direct impact on many environmental problems. The purpose of the present study was to develop and test the psychometric integrity of four scales assessing environmental friendly services in sport centers: environmental policy beliefs, compliance to environmental friendly services, disposition for personal sacrifices and customer word of mouth. The investigation was developed in four stages. In the first stage scales were developed based on Lee, (2009), Forbes et al., (2009), D’ Souza, (2004) findings, Laroche et al. (2001) instrument and the relevant literature. In the second stage, the factor structure of the scale was explored. Participants were 467 (249 men and 218 women) customers from a major multi sport recreational athletic center (18-62 years old) in Greece, who completed the four scales. Exploratory factor analysis supported the solution of one factor for the four scales. Results supported that ‘environmental policy beliefs’ scale consisted of seven items (Cronbach’s α = .83), ‘compliance to environmental friendly services’ scale consisted of twelve items (Cronbach’s α = .81), ‘disposition for personal sacrifices’ scale consisted of eight items (Cronbach’s α = .79) and finally ‘customer word of mouth’ scale consisted of three items (Cronbach’s α = .91). Confirmatory factor analysis was applied in the same sample to further identify potential problems with the items and the structure of the four scales. The analysis revealed one problematic item for the environmental policy beliefs scale, also two problematic items for the compliance scale and also two problematic items for the personal sacrifices scale. The rest of the items were confirmed the one factor solution that emerged from the exploratory factor analysis. The fit indices for the ‘environmental policy beliefs’ (CFI= .95 & RMSEA= .06), ‘compliance to environmental friendly services’ (CFI= .92 & RMSEA= .14) and ‘disposition for personal sacrifice’ (CFI= .92 & RMSEA= .12) scales were at satisfactory levels. In the third stage, correlation analysis revealed moderate to high positive relationships between the four scales (ranging from .41 to .66), thus supporting their concurrent validity. In the fourth stage, an analysis of variance revealed that customers who use 'systematically' the word of mouth communications succeeded higher scores in all the other scales, than customers who use 'occasionally’ the word of mouth communications (p <.001) and customers who use ‘rarely’ the word of mouth communications (p<.01). The results of the present study supported the psychometric integrity of the above four scales, providing a set of reliable and valid tools to evaluate environmental friendly services in sport centers. Also management implications in sport and recreation centers are discussed.