Attitudes to employment in sports organizations.
© 2017 – Routledge
Reason for embargo
Under embargo until 14 March 2018 in compliance with publisher policy.
One of the persistent features of the lives and careers of sports workers employed in professional contexts is its volatile context (Bottenburg, 2010; Rowe, 2011) whether the work is located within a (often privately owned) club setting or within a publicly funded entity such as Olympic or Paralympic teams. This chapter explores sports scientists and sports medics’ attitudes towards employment in these settings placing them within the wider contours of change within the sector and the increasing pressures on athletes and teams to attain and sustain competitive outcomes. In doing so, the main trajectory of thinking is challenged. Rather than conceiving the transformation of organisational strategies, practices and structures of professional sports clubs and their teams into more business-like, professional forms as inherently positive, a counter conceptualization will be put forward which argues that the increasing pressure on competitiveness is contorting the faces of these organisations and has specific emotional and attitudinal outcomes where sports scientists are concerned. Specifically, it will be argued that sports scientists repeated exposure to change is linked to a cycle whereby heightened staff turnover (particularly turnover generated by changes in management personnel) is accompanied by a weakened psychological contract, declining employment engagement, commitment and potentially stalled professional identity. More positively, the cycle also saw sports workers engaging with changes to practices brought about by changes to the management team, assimilating them and reflecting on what had been learned through navigating this cycle. Much of the empirical evidence will draw on developments and experiences within a UK setting but wherever possible, more international perspectives and accounts will be included.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Routledge via the link in this record.
In: The organizational psychology of sport: key issues and practical applications, Edited by C. Wagstaff C, pp. 62 - 81
Place of publication