Study Shows Race, Not Experience, Impacts Hiring In Sports World

July 7, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- If you want to get your foot in the door of the sports industry, your race may mean more than your experience. That's the major result of a new study from North Carolina State University that examined hiring decisions for entry-level sports management positions.

“Previous research has shown that management positions in the industry continue to be dominated by white males - and that a prejudice against blacks in managerial positions exists because of a perceived ‘lack of fit’ between being black and being a manager or leader,” explains Dr. Heidi Grappendorf, assistant professor of parks, recreation and tourism management at NC State. “We wanted to find out - when all other factors were considered equal - what impact race had on hiring for entry-level sports management positions.”

In the study, researchers created one-page resumes for fictitious job applicants. The resumes all included identical work and education experience, but changed factors such as race, sex and previous participation as an athlete. The results showed resumes with traditional black names rated significantly lower than their white counterparts in terms of overall likeability, competency and likelihood of being hired.

The study showed male athletes benefit most from having an athletic background - as they have been evaluated as more competent for upper-level positions when compared to male non-athletes, female athletes and female non-athletes with identical athletic qualifications. While white male did not receive significantly higher ratings than the other applicants (i.e., both blacks and whites), they did receive the highest ratings of all groups in both hiring and competence ratings.

“Our findings indicated that for black males and females, athletic participation provided no advantage in hiring recommendations,” Grappendorf says. “Clearly, athletic participation is not ‘superseding’ race. This contradicts previous findings indicating that the athletic role could be beneficial in the process.”

Grappendorf and fellow researchers Laura Burton, from the University of Connecticut, and Angela Henderson, from the University of Northern Colorado, recently presented their findings at the 2010 North American Society of Sport Conference.

Explore further: Women who are perceived as confident in job interviews also seen as lacking social skills

More information: “Examining the Influence of Race, Gender, and Athletic Participation on Hiring Preferences in Sport Management", Presented: June 3, 2010, North American Society of Sport Management Conference in Tampa, Fla.

Related Stories

Women, minorities face special hurdles in job market

August 17, 2009

A new study from North Carolina State University shows that white men receive significantly more tips about job opportunities than women and racial minorities - particularly among people in upper management positions - highlighting ...

Female athletes injured more than male athletes

January 25, 2010

Female athletes experience dramatically higher rates of specific musculoskeletal injuries and medical conditions compared to male athletes, according to exercise physiologist Vicki Harber in the Faculty of Physical Education ...

Recommended for you

Just how good (or bad) is the fossil record of dinosaurs?

August 28, 2015

Everyone is excited by discoveries of new dinosaurs – or indeed any new fossil species. But a key question for palaeontologists is 'just how good is the fossil record?' Do we know fifty per cent of the species of dinosaurs ...

Fractals patterns in a drummer's music

August 28, 2015

Fractal patterns are profoundly human – at least in music. This is one of the findings of a team headed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen and Harvard University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.