SWANSON, S. and KENT, A., 2017. Sport identification and employee pride: key factors in sport employee psychology. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 17 (1/2), pp. 32-51.
The current study used a positive psychology approach to gain insight on employees working within the professional sports industry. While psychological fulfillment has been proposed as a critical area of distinction for managing in the sport environment, there is a need for empirical investigation relating to this proposition. The purpose of the current study was to address this gap in the literature and assess the role of psychological fulfillment in the form of sport employee pride. This study also addresses the role of identification with a specific sport and introduces this concept to the organisational behaviour literature more generally. More than 1,000 employees from five different professional sports leagues participated in the study, with structural equation modelling results providing support for sport identification and employee pride having a positive influence on satisfaction and organisational citizenship behaviour. Implications for sport managers are that employees working in this environment can have a psychological connection with a particular sport, which in turn augments employee pride and leads to positive attitudes and behaviours in the workplace. The results of this study are significant to sport managers in relation to human resource decisions and promoting positive psychology in the workplace.
This paper was accepted for publication in the journal International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing and the definitive published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJSMM.2017.10004823