Fandom in the Workplace: Multi-Target Identification in Professional Team Sports

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Steve Swanson University of Worcester

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Aubrey Kent Temple University

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Team identification has been researched extensively from the perspective of the consumer. The current study proposes that employees working in professional sport may also be fans of their respective teams, and provides insight on the role of team identification in the workplace environment. Over 1100 business operations employees from the top profession sports leagues in North America participated, and results indicate that dual targets of identification exist simultaneously in this setting. Strong support is provided for the discriminant validity between organizational and team identification. Beyond the more established effects of organizational identification, the results provide evidence that team identification independently predicts key outcomes such as commitment, satisfaction, and motivation. The results add to the literature by introducing the concept of a sports team as an additional target of identification in the organizational context.

Steve Swanson is now with the Institute for Sport Business, Loughborough University, London, United Kingdom. Aubrey Kent is with the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

Address author correspondence to Steve Swanson at s.swanson@lboro.ac.uk.
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