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Journal cover: Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal

Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal

ISSN: 2042-678X

Online from: 2010

Subject Area: Management Science/Management Studies

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March Madness and perceived influences on workplace productivity by business professionals: An exploratory study


Document Information:
Title:March Madness and perceived influences on workplace productivity by business professionals: An exploratory study
Author(s):Amber A. Smith, (Department of Management and Marketing, Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA), Alan D. Smith, (Department of Management and Marketing, Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA), O. Felix Offodile, (Department of Management and Information Systems, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, USA)
Citation:Amber A. Smith, Alan D. Smith, O. Felix Offodile, (2011) "March Madness and perceived influences on workplace productivity by business professionals: An exploratory study", Sport, Business and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 1 Iss: 1, pp.43 - 60
Keywords:Betting, Customer service management, Employee behaviour, Employee productivity, Sports, United States of America
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/20426781111107162 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors wish to thank the reviewers most heartedly for their valuable contributions and input into the final paper. Peer reviewing and editing are commonly tedious and thankless tasks.
Abstract:

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide practitioners of management and interested research a sense of how the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament is affecting worker productivity in the workplace. There are several positive and negative issues concerning how some employees are willing to spend work time following the NCAA tournament and related office gambling activities.

Design/methodology/approach – A review of the applied literature on sports-related gambling and bracketing that is quite widespread in the USA and other countries was provided. The sample consisted of relatively well-paid professionals, who may routinely engage in office pools and most universally are involved in bracketing March Madness plays. This resulted in 145 useable questionnaires recording responses to 28 variables from an initial sampling frame of slightly over 200 potential respondents associated with a major Pittsburgh-based financial service provider. Factor analysis and multivariate statistical analysis were used to test several hypotheses.

Findings – Management appears to be successfully delivering the message that office gambling activities harm productivity if management activity discourages office gambling, but there appears to be a trade-off as labor productivity may be slightly reduced on the short term, and employee cohesiveness may increase on the long term. It was also found that the degree of personal involvement is important; the more an employee is involved, the more negative the impact that March Madness activities will have on his/her productivity.

Practical implications – March Madness is a time-honored tradition that many employees take for granted and will engage in regardless of the extrinsic controls that management may care to implement, making the extrinsic controls too expensive for a questionable return in enhanced labor productivity during March Madness.

Originality/value – It is an interesting academic research question concerning the balance of productivity losses and gains in employee cohesiveness that warrants additional research in the intrinsic motivations of both management and their employees.



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