This study examined the experiences and challenges of 10 female Division I athletic directors. Four themes emerged from the interviews: (a) lack of female role models; (b) females are not qualified to manage football programs; (c) scrutiny about (lack of) ability and experience, and (d) benefits of intercollegiate coaching experience. The findings of this study suggest these are the central causes for females’ inability to reach maximum career mobility in the intercollegiate athletics industry. Participants encouraged women trying to enter the intercollegiate athletics industry to find a mentor who can advocate for them as they navigate through their career. In addition, participants encouraged those entering the industry to gain experience in as many facets of the athletic department as possible.
Elizabeth A. Taylor and Robin Hardin
Elizabeth A. Taylor and Amanda Paule-Koba
Colleges and universities provide a practical setting where faculty can integrate a curriculum that teaches sport management students, who are the future sport industry leaders, on critical topics they will encounter while working in the field. In light of the recent cases of sexual violence in the sport world (e.g., USA Gymnastics/Michigan State University, Baylor Football, Carolina Panthers), this study sought to examine the types of education and training on sexual violence that sport management faculty are utilizing in the classroom. Through the use of qualitative methods, 21 sport management faculty from 4-year institutions were interviewed to determine if and how the topic of sexual violence was being integrated in the classroom. Results showed a majority of the faculty were integrating current events and topics related to sexual violence in the classroom. However, faculty perceived that some courses were a “better fit” for these topics than others. Faculty also reported challenges to teaching these topics as the lines between a legal, sociological, and ethical standpoint can become confusing for students.
Elizabeth A. Taylor, Matt R. Huml, and Marlene A. Dixon
Although workaholism can impact employees negatively, regardless of family situations, work–family conflict likely plays an important role in the relationship between workaholism and negative outcomes, such as burnout. The authors used structural modeling to examine the relationship among workaholism, employee burnout, and the work–family interface within the context of intercollegiate athletics. They tested the model across a large, diverse sample of athletic department employees (N = 4,453). The results indicated a significant, positive relationship between workaholism and burnout, as well as a significant, positive relationship between workaholism and burnout partially mediated by work–family conflict. These findings suggest the importance of considering both the work and nonwork lives of sport employees in both theory and practice; models of workaholism must factor in nonwork commitments, and organizations need to be cognizant of differences in the causes of and consequences between work engagement and workaholism.
Elizabeth A. Taylor, Gareth J. Jones, Kristy McCray, and Robin Hardin
The sport industry is ripe for issues of sexual harassment/assault due to the high value placed on masculine characteristics and the power differential between male leaders/coaches and female subordinates/athletes. This culture permeates sport organizations, as issues of sexual harassment/assault committed by athletes and coaches/administrators are commonplace and have recently been mishandled, raising questions about effective education. This study examined the relationship between education on sexual harassment/assault and the endorsement of rape myths by sport management students. Results indicate that training on sexual harassment/assault in sport management classrooms is low and is potentially ineffective at curbing rape myth acceptance, suggesting current curricula are insufficient. These findings have both theoretical and practical contributions related to how sport management departments can prepare future professionals to change the culture of sport.
Elizabeth A. Taylor, Molly Hayes Sauder, and Cheryl R. Rode
Relatively little is known about the experiences of sport management faculty in relation to job demands and resources. With the constantly evolving nature of higher education and growth of the sport management discipline, it is important to understand the perspective of faculty members, as they have a substantial impact on students, the discipline at large, and the sport industry. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of sport management faculty regarding several potential job demands and job resources in the academic environment. Survey research was conducted using a sample of sport management faculty (N = 144). The survey yielded both qualitative and quantitative data for analysis. Results indicated a job demand for faculty in that high levels of workplace aggression were reported. Job resources in the form of relationships with others and satisfaction with the nature of the work were identified. Pay, promotion, and perceptions of managers’ operational competence and ethics were illuminated as areas that must be improved if they are to serve as job resources. Finally, a number of demands and resources correlated with turnover intentions. Findings provide practical implications for the sport management academic discipline and suggest new avenues of productive future research.
Erianne A. Weight, Elizabeth Taylor, Matt R. Huml, and Marlene A. Dixon
As thousands of professionals are drawn to work in the sport industry known for celebrity, action, and excitement, a growing body of literature on the industry’s culture describes a field fraught with burnout, stress, and difficulty balancing work–family responsibilities. Given this contradiction, there is a need to better understand employee experiences. Thus, the authors utilized a human capital framework to develop employee archetypes. Results from a latent cluster analysis of National Collegiate Athletic Association athletics department employees (N = 4,324) revealed five distinct employee archetypes utilizing inputs related to human capital development and work experiences (e.g., work–family interface, work engagement, age). Consistent with creative nonfiction methodology, results are presented as composite narratives. Archetypes follow a career arc from early-career support staff to late-career senior leaders and portray an industry culture wherein the human capital is largely overworked, underpaid, and replete with personal sacrifice and regret.
Elizabeth A. Taylor, Allison B. Smith, Cheryl R. Rode, and Robin Hardin
Contrapower harassment occurs when a person in a position of authority (e.g., faculty member) experiences incivility or sexual harassment from a subordinate (e.g., student). Sport has long been considered a male domain, and this is true in the sport management academic setting as well. This creates an environment where contrapower harassment can occur. This research examined the prevalence of contrapower harassment in the sport management classroom as well as strategies to negotiate it if it occurs. A questionnaire was completed by 179 female faculty members teaching in the sport management field. More than half of the respondents indicated they were treated differently because of their gender, and more than 80% indicated they had faced incidents of incivility in the classroom. Respondents indicated they negotiated the instances by attempting to make the incident a teaching tool and by immediately addressing the instance. Contrapower harassment is prevalent in the sport management classroom, and faculty need to address the issue so the behaviors will not carry over into the professional work environment.
Elizabeth A. Taylor, Jessica L. Siegele, Allison B. Smith, and Robin Hardin
Women’s participation in collegiate sport has increased dramatically since the passage of Title IX, but there has not been a corresponding increase in the percentage of women in administrative positions. Women have, however, been successful obtaining leadership positions in conference offices, as more than 30% of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I conference commissioners were women in 2016. This research used career construction theory as a framework to explore the experiences of these women. Findings revealed that participants constantly negotiate time spent on personal and professional obligations, and relationships created in the workplace turned into organic mentorship relationships. Participants felt that there were limited amounts of sexism in the workplace, but all discussed experiencing instances of sexism, indicating a culture of gender normalcy. Women may experience increased success in leadership positions at conference offices, compared with on-campus athletic departments, due to limited direct interaction with football and donors.
Elizabeth A. Taylor, Allison B. Smith, Natalie M. Welch, and Robin Hardin
Sexual harassment and sexism in the workplace is the unwanted sexual attention and discrimination based on sex or gender of employees by their colleagues or superiors. Male-dominated organizations and professions have been found to possess cultures susceptible to high rates of sexual harassment and sexism. In addition, these organizations and professions become more accepting of this type of behavior the longer the culture permits it. In male-dominated industries such as sport, female employees may even come to expect and accept this type of behavior as “part of the job.” Utilizing Institutional Theory, this study explored the experiences of sexual harassment and sexism from colleagues and superiors in a group of 14 female sport management faculty members within the United States. All participants reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment or sexism during their time as a graduate student or faculty member. Surprisingly, this harassment and sexism came from both men and women. The most common form of harassment or sexism was subtle sexism; however, several participants indicated aggressive harassment or sexism that resulted in needing medication, hospitalization, or therapy.