First Advisor

Morse, Alan L.

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This project is expected to help explain how workplace competencies affect employee development, performance, and decision-making in the sport industry. This study utilized an indepth qualitative examination of the lived experiences of employees in intercollegiate athletics departments. To do so, the researcher embedded himself into an ordinarily restrictive environment (i.e., intercollegiate sport organizations) which offered unique data regarding the intersection of organizational politics, job design/crafting, and employee engagement in the sport workplace. This study utilized the framework of Human Resource Development (HRD) to explore how job crafting and design can enable sport employees’ understandings of engagement and performance. Sport employees are an essential element of their respective organizations, and the success or failure of these organizations are contingent on employee performance, which can be enhanced through HRD practices. The researcher conducted observations and semi-structured interviews at multiple NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics departments in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. A total of 29 participants provided results for the current research. The data obtained from this project supported sport organizations by improving the understanding of how sport employee growth and skill development is enabled, thus fostering an enhanced experience for employees, and signifying a channel to organizational growth and performance. The key variables identified within the study accentuated how sport employee development impacts employee and organizational performance. The findings of this project add to the literature concerning HRD in sport with nuanced interpretations of organizational politics, job design/crafting, and employee engagement within the sport workplace by focusing on the experiences of sport employees. The benefits of analyzing HRD practices in an effort to determine antecedents for employee development in the workplace offer a sustained competitive advantage for sport organizations via improved organizational functionality. Enhancing organizational functionality is shown to have positive implications for sport participants and consumers.


231 pages

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