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Athletic Advisors’ Experiences Supporting Athletes Through Head Coach Transitions

Lisa M. Rubin and Matt R. Huml

Head coaches play an important role in their influence on college athletes and their academic goals. Concerns have been raised about coaches’ prioritizing athletic team success over academics. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the impact of head coach transition on National Collegiate Athletic Association teams’ academic culture through the perspectives of athletic advisors. Interviews were conducted with 16 athletic advisors on their perceptions of the previous and new coaches’ perspective on, and involvement with, academics in addition to the transition period. Findings show the importance of the relationship between coaches and athletic advisors, that advisors were quick to discern if the new coach was going to elevate or deteriorate the program’s academic culture compared with predecessors, the need for advisors’ involvement in the search process for a new coach, and the role academics had in coach searches.

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The Effect of Remote Work on Family and Work Dynamics Within the Sport Industry

Matt R. Huml, Elizabeth A. Taylor, and Eric M. Martin

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of required remote work on work–family spillover within U.S. college sport. In particular, we examined the changes in work–family spillover (positive and negative), job commitment, and workaholism as employee’s work environment changed from traditional work expectations to work from home, and if these changes were, at least partially, due to parental responsibilities. Data were collected from full-time, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletic department employees (n = 1,139) in November 2019 and again in May 2020 following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and after the transition to remote work. Results showed that sport employees found a number of benefits associated with working remotely, including a significant decrease in negative work–family spillover. However, employees with children at home reported higher levels of negative family–work spillover after going to remote work. Workaholism was also higher after the move to remote work. Both theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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Workaholism in Sport: A Mediated Model of Work–Family Conflict and Burnout

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.

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Working in the Sport Industry: A Classification of Human Capital Archetypes

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.

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It’s Powerful, Legitimate, and Urgent, but Is It Equitable? Stakeholder Claims Within the Attributes of Stakeholder Salience in Sport

Matt R. Huml, Marion E. Hambrick, Mary A. Hums, and Calvin Nite

Managers must collect and prioritize claims made by their stakeholders as they decide the direction of their organization. Previous research has focused on stakeholders’ use of power, legitimacy, and urgency to prioritize their claims over others. Fewer studies have examined the perspectives of stakeholders and how they aligned their responses with elements of stakeholder theory in the hopes of gaining salience with management. Additionally, scholars have requested further examination of other themes beyond the established categories of stakeholder salience. This study aimed to investigate how stakeholders would respond with power, legitimacy, and urgency-related claims when faced with changes to their organization’s governing structure. We utilized stakeholder theory and the established attributes of stakeholder salience (i.e., power, legitimacy, and urgency) to examine the perceptions of Division II college coaches and their responses to recently approved National Collegiate Athletic Association legislative changes. In addition to the three previously established stakeholder attributes, equity-related claims made by stakeholders emerged, extending the stakeholder theory research.