The Role of Group Status on Athlete Satisfaction and Team Cohesion Communication : Assessing the Roles of the In-Group & Out-Group in Collegiate Sports
Fay, Martha J.
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Research shows that the quality of the employee-supervisor relationship is associated with the amount of interaction between the employee and the supervisor. In the athletic realm, the quality of athlete-coach relationship has shown to have a direct impact on the natural hierarchy and social dynamic of a sports team. Based on leader-member exchange theory (Graen, 1995), a central tenet of good leader-member relationships rests on the assumption that some members have an “in” with the leader, called an in-group, which inherently creates an out-group. This study examines potential associations between an athlete’s group status (in- or out- group) and levels of team cohesion and athlete satisfaction. Using a modified version of Spector’s (1994) Job Satisfaction Survey and Treadwell, Kumar, Lavertue, and Veeraraghavan’s (2000) Group Cohesion Scale, researchers surveyed athletes in a division 3 collegiate school in the Midwest to evaluate in- and out-group athlete satisfaction and perceived team cohesion. Results were used to help coaches understand the impact of their relationships with athletes on team cohesion and athlete satisfaction.