NCAA Coaches and Academic Professionals Perceptions of Importance, Commitment, and Effectiveness of Organizational Culture and Student-Athlete Experience

Allison B. Smith – University of Massachusetts-Boston
Brendan Dwyer – Virginia Commonwealth University
Jennifer Gellock – University of Tampa
Jeffrey A. Graham – University of Tennessee

Research in sport management has found a trend of workaholism, burnout, and turnover within collegiate athletics. However, positive organizational culture, leadership styles, organizational commitment, organizational effectiveness, and organizational communication can negate these negative outcomes. Thus, this study explored the impact of personal importance, organizational importance, and effectiveness in six department categories among current NCAA coaches and athletic academic support professionals. A sequential mixed method design of 240 individuals was conducted, and from their perspective, a clear disconnect between what an athletic department aims to do and what they are able to accomplish exists. Specifically, the quantitative results highlighted significant mean difference and interaction effects for the ways coaches and academic administrators viewed the importance of, the organization’s commitment to, and the organization’s effectiveness of organizational priorities. From the qualitative findings, three themes emerged to support the quantitative results: (1) revolving door of leadership with a subtheme of lack of transparency and consistency, (2) criticism over athletic departments’ funding and allocations, and (3) further leadership emphasis needed for developing S-A culture. The findings suggest athletic departments should continue to focus on providing resources and create policies and procedures to enhance organizational goal alignment, effectiveness, and communication.