Is It Really All About Money? A Study on Incentives in Elite Team Sports

Maier, Christopher; Woratschek, Herbert; Ströbel, Tim; Popp, Bastian (2016). Is It Really All About Money? A Study on Incentives in Elite Team Sports. European Sport management quarterly, 16(5), pp. 592-612. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/16184742.2016.1188841

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Research question: A key task for sports managers of elite sports clubs is to create an ideal environment that enables athletes to perform at their best. Therefore, we investigate the relationship among monetary incentives, organizational support, and athletic performance in elite team sports.

Research methods: This study is the first in sports management to calculate the relative effects of non-monetary incentives of organizational support and monetary incentives on individual performance through job satisfaction. Furthermore, we apply an innovative measurement approach of player performance by using individual performance ratings of coaches. We collect questionnaires from 315 athletes and 34 coaches of 19 professional football, ice hockey, and handball clubs in Germany.

Results and findings: Two variables of organizational support – namely, integration of family and private problem support – show strong positive effects on athletes’ job satisfaction. Whereas prior studies have focused mainly on monetary incentives, this study reveals a strong relevance of organizational support. Furthermore, the results confirm a strong relationship between player satisfaction and individual performance.

Implications: Sports managers need to recognize the relevance of non-monetary incentives of organizational support and integrate them into their management repertoire to improve job satisfaction and, consequently, facilitate top performance of their players. Further research should focus on the effects of non-monetary incentives and other aspects of organizational support. In addition, researchers should use individual performance ratings of coaches, rather than other measures, to evaluate player performance because of their expertise and superior background information.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Sociology and Management

UniBE Contributor:

Ströbel, Tim


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment




Taylor & Francis




Tim Ströbel

Date Deposited:

19 Aug 2016 14:05

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:57

Publisher DOI:



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