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Keeping players on and off the courtroom is key to a team’s success. A new study offers a possible way to reduce player misconduct outside of the job, starting at the top. The researchers, Profs. Mary Graham and Bhavneet Walia of Syracuse University and Chris Robinson of Tulane University have concluded that teams that employ more women in leadership positions have significantly fewer player arrests.
“Serious misconduct by high-profile employees outside of the workplace is not uncommon in professional sports team organizations, media and entertainment companies, and public institutions,” said Graham, professor of sports management at Falk College, Syracuse University and lead author of the study, “Our research suggests that Organizations looking for preventive and remedial action against wrongdoing should consider a basic structural solution to this problem: ensuring that there is a critical mass of women on the top management team. “
“Our findings also have implications for organizations that employ more than just professional sports players, especially high profile organizations such as media and entertainment companies, and public institutions such as courts, schools and government agencies,” said Walia. an assistant professor of public health. “One of our goals was to shed light on organizational factors that could prevent, resolve, or improve cases of misbehavior by high-profile employees, including in the NFL, outside of the workplace.”
The main results of the study include:
- A critical mass of female executives is associated with a 21% reduction in player arrests for this team organization. In other words, a critical mass of female executives (two or more) was associated with 0.33 fewer arrests.
- The likelihood of a team experiencing a player arrest in a given season is 15.4% lower for team organizations with a critical mass of female leaders.
- Also examined: the relationship between a critical mass of leaders who are racial / ethnic minorities and arrests of gamers. They found no link between critical mass of minority leaders and arrests of gamers. “However, the authors speculate that the small number of minority leaders may make it difficult to see impact.
“No studies have looked into the relationship between gender management teams and employee misconduct,” said Robinson, a sports attorney who is also a member of the research team. “We argue that gender diversity in leadership positions in organizations has the potential to influence organizational culture and behavioral norms that could influence employee behavior. Greater gender diversity also has the potential to shift strategic priorities and decision-making too improve.”
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