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A Case Study of Organizational Stress In Elite Sport Tim Woodman And Lew Hardy.

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Presentation on theme: "A Case Study of Organizational Stress In Elite Sport Tim Woodman And Lew Hardy."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Case Study of Organizational Stress In Elite Sport Tim Woodman And Lew Hardy

2 Stress Jones (1990) defined stress as a state where some demand is placed on an individual who then needs to react to cope with the situation. Jones (1990) defined stress as a state where some demand is placed on an individual who then needs to react to cope with the situation. Organizational stress is then defined as stress associated with an individuals appraisal of the structure and function of the organization they are in. Organizational stress is then defined as stress associated with an individuals appraisal of the structure and function of the organization they are in. Organizational Stress: work-related social psychological stress (Shirom, 1992) Organizational Stress: work-related social psychological stress (Shirom, 1992)

3 Previous Studies in Non-Sporting Areas Previous Studies include medical professions (Flett, Biggs & Alpass, 1995), Police departments (Buunk & Verhoeven, 1991) and schools (Cox, Boot, Cox & Harrison, 1988). Previous Studies include medical professions (Flett, Biggs & Alpass, 1995), Police departments (Buunk & Verhoeven, 1991) and schools (Cox, Boot, Cox & Harrison, 1988). No Previous study into sporting environment No Previous study into sporting environment

4 Sources of Organizational Stress Found In These Settings Work Load Work Load Work Design Work Design Job Qualifications Job Qualifications Performance Evaluation Performance Evaluation Organizational Structure Organizational Structure Responsibility Responsibility Authority Ambiguities Authority Ambiguities (Rogers, Li & Shani, 1987) (Rogers, Li & Shani, 1987)

5 Previous Studies on Stress In Sport Scanlan, Stein & Ravizza, (1991) found 5 sources of stress in Elite figure skaters: Scanlan, Stein & Ravizza, (1991) found 5 sources of stress in Elite figure skaters: Negative aspects of Competition Negative aspects of Competition Negative Significant-Other Relationships Negative Significant-Other Relationships Demands/Costs of Skating Demands/Costs of Skating Personal Struggles Personal Struggles Traumatic Experiences Traumatic Experiences

6 Previous Studies In Sport Context Previous studies show sources of stress, which are often beyond organizational stress issues, i.e. family grievance. Previous studies show sources of stress, which are often beyond organizational stress issues, i.e. family grievance. Others may be the result of organizational stress, i.e. living with a team mate may put a strain on the relationship. Others may be the result of organizational stress, i.e. living with a team mate may put a strain on the relationship. This study is an attempt to investigate the issues that underlie organizational stress as athletes prepare for major international competitions. This study is an attempt to investigate the issues that underlie organizational stress as athletes prepare for major international competitions.

7 Subjects 16 International elite performers were selected for the study. 16 International elite performers were selected for the study. Only 1 of the subjects did not complete the study due to time constraints. Only 1 of the subjects did not complete the study due to time constraints. Considerations for selection were that they were current or retired (no more than 4 years) national squad members and had been to an olympics or world championships. Considerations for selection were that they were current or retired (no more than 4 years) national squad members and had been to an olympics or world championships. Aged 17- 30, mean age 23.9, SD ± 3.6 Aged 17- 30, mean age 23.9, SD ± 3.6

8 Study Design Interview Based Interview Based Broadly based on Carrons, 1982 model of group cohesion. Broadly based on Carrons, 1982 model of group cohesion.

9 Interview Basis Subjects were asked to discuss their experiences of international competitions and how they relate to: Subjects were asked to discuss their experiences of international competitions and how they relate to: Environmental Issues Environmental Issues Personal Issues Personal Issues Leadership Issues Leadership Issues Team Issues Team Issues

10 Interview Technique Interviews were carried out until saturation was achieved on a particular issue. Interviews were carried out until saturation was achieved on a particular issue. Clarification was achieved on issues by using elaboration probes to ensure an accurate understanding of what the subject was saying. Clarification was achieved on issues by using elaboration probes to ensure an accurate understanding of what the subject was saying. Participants were also asked if they could remember anything else relating to the last section, being careful to take their time if they could not remember anything, rather than guess. Participants were also asked if they could remember anything else relating to the last section, being careful to take their time if they could not remember anything, rather than guess.

11 Order of questions was not the same for each subject to allow for the interview to flow naturally. However all questions were the same. Similar prompts were used where possible to allow the athletes to take the interview where they wanted it to go. Order of questions was not the same for each subject to allow for the interview to flow naturally. However all questions were the same. Similar prompts were used where possible to allow the athletes to take the interview where they wanted it to go. All interviews were tape recorded and lasted between 50-150 minutes. All interviews were tape recorded and lasted between 50-150 minutes.

12 Data Analysis QSR NUD*IST 4, (1997) statistical package was used to categorize the qualitative data. QSR NUD*IST 4, (1997) statistical package was used to categorize the qualitative data. They found 4 general categories: They found 4 general categories:

13 Environmental Issues Those issues pertaining to the sport environment in which the athlete was operating or used to operate. Those issues pertaining to the sport environment in which the athlete was operating or used to operate. E.g. Noisy hotel during competition E.g. Noisy hotel during competition

14 Environmental Issues

15 Personal Issues Issues pertaining directly to the individualIssues pertaining directly to the individual E.g. Injury E.g. Injury

16 Personal Issues

17 Leadership Issues Issues pertaining directly to coaches and managersIssues pertaining directly to coaches and managers E.g. A disagreement with the manager. E.g. A disagreement with the manager.

18 Leadership Issues

19 Team Issues Issues pertaining directly, and for the most part, to the team. Issues pertaining directly, and for the most part, to the team. E.g. Tension between athletes. E.g. Tension between athletes.

20 Team Issues

21 Discussion Organizational stress is negative in content. Organizational stress is negative in content. Experiencing negative emotions does not automatically produce a negative effect in sporting performance. Experiencing negative emotions does not automatically produce a negative effect in sporting performance. The organization should be commended for allowing the investigation to take place even though it looks into a sensitive subject. The organization should be commended for allowing the investigation to take place even though it looks into a sensitive subject. Many changes have been made to the organization since this study was conducted. Many changes have been made to the organization since this study was conducted. Sporting organizations sometimes appoint team managers not on their managerial skills but their loyalty to the sport. Sporting organizations sometimes appoint team managers not on their managerial skills but their loyalty to the sport.

22 Discussion Sport psychologists are not equipped to help with organizational stress at the organizational level. Sport psychologists are not equipped to help with organizational stress at the organizational level. One of the major findings was that communication between coaches, athletes and managers was often a cause for organizational stress. One of the major findings was that communication between coaches, athletes and managers was often a cause for organizational stress.

23 Helping With Communication Help can be offered in the form of workshops which can be used to teach communication strategies to allow clearer channels of communication between different levels of an organization. Help can be offered in the form of workshops which can be used to teach communication strategies to allow clearer channels of communication between different levels of an organization. Performance profiling was also discussed as a useful way of creating a more open atmosphere for communication. (Dale and Wrisberg, 1996) Performance profiling was also discussed as a useful way of creating a more open atmosphere for communication. (Dale and Wrisberg, 1996) This allows athletes to have input into competition goals and training. This allows athletes to have input into competition goals and training.

24 Leadership In order to remove organizational stress from the leadership side of an athletes life, it has been discovered that they are happiest when their leadership style is matched by that if their coach (Gordon, 1998) In order to remove organizational stress from the leadership side of an athletes life, it has been discovered that they are happiest when their leadership style is matched by that if their coach (Gordon, 1998) This is not surprising, but must be taken into consideration when receiving instruction from different sources, i.e. a national coach. This is not surprising, but must be taken into consideration when receiving instruction from different sources, i.e. a national coach.

25 Drawbacks outlined in the study include: The anonymity of subjects. The anonymity of subjects. Other members of the sporting organization should be questioned. (managers, coaches, administrators) Other members of the sporting organization should be questioned. (managers, coaches, administrators) Should also look at athletes social, political and cultural environment. Should also look at athletes social, political and cultural environment.

26 How we Would Improve the Study? Use the questions in the same order. Use the questions in the same order. Use the same prompts as much as possible. Use the same prompts as much as possible. Interview variety of sporting organization members. Interview variety of sporting organization members. Look at differences between different levels of the same sport (amateur, semi- professional, professional). Look at differences between different levels of the same sport (amateur, semi- professional, professional).

27 Any Questions ?


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