Breaching a Contract Versus Searching for a Job While Employed: Ethical Dilemmas Faced by Coaches and Administrators When Deciding About a Mid-Season Change in Leadership

in Case Studies in Sport Management
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  • 1 University of New Mexico
  • 2 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
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The Pointers are a soccer team that play in Division A of the Demolition League. The president of the Pointers is Fernando Garcia, and the head coach is Guille Muller. The league has a poor culture of firing coaches throughout the season. With only a couple of games left in the season, the Pointers are going through a losing streak, and there are rumors Muller may be fired if the team does not win their next game. Simultaneously, Muller is receiving coaching offers from other teams within the league. The ethical dilemma surrounding this case refers to two scenarios (a) whether it is ethical for the president to negotiate with another coach while there is still one employed and (b) whether it is ethical for a coach to negotiate with another club while employed. Drawing from research in sport management, this case focuses on three ethical theories to create discussion surrounding the scenario: Utilitarianism, Deontology, and Virtue Ethics. Undergraduate and graduate students in sport management, human resources, and those who seek to be in a leadership position will have the opportunity to understand, analyze, and discuss these three theories and apply them to real-life scenarios, such as hiring and firing employees.

Smith and Gioseffi are with the Department of Health, Exercise, and Sports Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA. Graham is with the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, USA.

Smith (absmith15@unm.edu) is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

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