A positive approach to addressing mental health issues in workplaces advocates the examination of an untapped resource—psychological capital—as a potential positive construct in contemporary organizational behavior. The authors tested various antecedents and outcomes of psychological capital, and examined the role of this construct in psychological well-being and job satisfaction among sport employees. To test 11 hypotheses, the researchers recruited 708 employees from the athletic departments of Division I institutions. Results indicate that the meaningful work of employees and a supportive organizational climate positively influenced psychological capital, thereby leading to high levels of job satisfaction and psychological well-being. Psychological capital also functioned either as a partial mediator or as a full mediator. In this study, the authors offer a new perspective on sport employees’ mental health outcomes, with particular emphasis on positive organizational behavior in sport settings.
People spend a significant amount of time at work, so much so that individuals’ work-lives considerably influence their personal well-being. In today’s work environment, where market-based competition has come to increasingly shape social and health outcomes both inside and outside of the workplace, the majority of U.S employees are experiencing high levels of job stress (Podsakoff, LePine, & LePine, 2007). In the sport industry, for instance, head coaches of professional sports teams work under a great deal of pressure to win, and receive criticism from outside sources such as the media, sponsors, and fans (CBS Denver, 2013). As another example, women working in athletic management and coaching positions report difficulties integrating work and a life due to the travel demands and supervision requirements (Inglis, Danylchuk, & Pastore, 2000). From a labor economics perspective, the sport industry has seen a dramatic shift toward the over-supply of labor, such that employeeswithinthis sector arewillingtoworklongerhours,oftenin anunpaid capacity or forlowerwages,togaina foothold in the labor market (Hums, Barr, & Gullion, 1999; Newman, 2014). This stressful working environment in sport organizations can affect health problems with employees and facilitate professional burnout (Karabatsos, Malousaris, & Apostolidis, 2006). However, there is a lack of knowledge on how to attain and improve the well-being of sport employees. We argue that it is imperative to examine how to enhance sport employees’ mental health through providing positive work experiences. From an industrial perspective,the value of sport mainly depends on “the ways that sport is managed” (Chalip, 2006, p. 1). Sport management is important in making sport valuable and meaningful, similar to how companies make their products valuable for customers. However, it is also crucial to understand employees’ distinctive motivations in sport organizations. For example, the passion for sport leads devoted fans supporting their favorite team to choose jobs in the sport industry where salaries and earning potential is lower than jobs in the non-sport industry (Parks & Parra, 1994). The sport industry is connected with employees’ emotions sociologically, psychologically, and physiologically (Swanson & Kent, 2017), which is another discerning aspect of working in sport organizations. Among affective constructs, sport employees’ passion surrounding sport and their pride of being sport employees can bring positive organizational outcomes to workplaces (Swanson & Kent, 2017).