The Influence of Emotions in the Collegiate Sport Workplace: An Analysis of Sport Employee Pride, Passion, and Engagement

Logan Schuetz – Texas A&M University-Commerce
Brent D. Oja – West Virginia University
Sean Dahlin – Central Washington University
Alicia B. Romano – University of Northern Colorado

Within the sport industry, organizations can build a competitive advantage by developing and retaining employees that are engaged, work with passion, and feel a profound connection to their job. As such, sport management scholars have called for more explorations of positive constructs as they support employee growth and development. Specific to the college athletics context, this study examined how employee emotions (i.e., pride and passion) influenced employee job engagement. Further, we explored how perceived organizational success explained the relationship between these emotions and job engagement. A sample of full-time managerial, non-coaching intercollegiate athletics employees (N = 312) completed a survey about the influence of their pride and passion on job engagement via perceived organizational success by way of structural equation modeling. Per the results, pride’s relationship with job engagement was not mediated by perceived organizational success, but passion’s relationship with job engagement was mediated by perceived organizational success. These results speak to the impact of college sport employees’ emotions in the workplace. We conclude with a description of how emotions can be utilized to build a competitive organizational advantage in the college sport workplace.