Workplace Dynamics in Professional Sport: A Case Study of Identification, Political Skill, and Personal Control

in Case Studies in Sport Management
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  • 1 Loughborough University London
  • | 2 University of South Carolina
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This case is based on a collection of real-life scenarios encountered by employees working for professional sport organizations. The workplace in this environment contains circumstances distinct to the sport context which this case aims to highlight. A small work group of three individuals with diverse backgrounds representing key departments in a professional basketball club are brought together to lead a difficult challenge in the community. Over the course of the season, several meetings and personal interactions play out which present difficulties in productivity due to individual differences in human relations capacity and varying psychological connections with the environment. In combination with the teaching notes, the case is designed to highlight (1) the special nature of employee identification in the professional sport setting, (2) an array of political skills which are relevant and useful to the sport workplace, and (3) the role of perceived personal control in sport organizations. An overview of theory and its specific application to the case is provided along with discussion questions and answers to aid instructors in effectively engaging with students around the topical areas.

Swanson is with the Institute for Sport Business, Loughborough University London, London, United Kingdom. Todd is with the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sport Management, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC.

Swanson ( is corresponding author.

Supplementary Materials

    • Teaching Note (PDF 133 KB)