Gaining the Perception of Oneness with a College Sport Organization: Examining the Antecedents of Sport Employee Identification

Brent D. Oja – University of Northern Colorado
Jordan R. Bass – University of Kansas

Collegiate sport employees represent a unique collection of individuals who play an important role in supporting student-athletes. As such, it is valuable to study and thereby enhance the development of collegiate sport employees as doing so can enrich the experiences of studentathletes. The current study utilizes Social Identity Theory to examine how to engender Sport Employee Identification (SEI), a specific form of organizational identification for sport employees. To do so, individual, organizational, and leadership antecedences were tested for their viability as precursors to SEI. In the study, it was determined that Person-Organization Fit, perceived organizational distinctiveness, perceived organizational prestige, and transformational leadership were impactful antecedents of SEI, and the effects of relationships with other employees and the visibility of the team/department were insignificant. This study provides an improved understanding of the contributing factors to college sport employees’ identification with their parent organization. Practical implications for college sport organizations and employees, as well as future directions are also discussed.