Superstars as drivers of organizational identification : empirical findings from professional soccer

Hoegele, Daniel, Schmidt, Sascha L., & Torgler, Benno (2014) Superstars as drivers of organizational identification : empirical findings from professional soccer. Psychology & Marketing, 31(9), pp. 736-757.

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Abstract

This paper examines the effect of superstars on external stakeholders’ organizational identification through the lens of sport. Drawing on social identity theory and the concept of organizational identification, as well as on role model theories and superstar economics, several hypotheses are developed regarding the influence of soccer stars on their fans’ degree of team identification. Using a proprietary data set that combines archival data on professional German soccer players and clubs with survey data on more than 1,400 soccer fans, this study finds evidence for a positive effect of superstar characteristics and role model perception. Moreover, it is found that players who qualify for the definition of a superstar are more important to fans of established teams than to fans of unsuccessful teams. The player's club tenure, however, seems to have no influence on fans’ team identification. It is further argued that the effect of soccer stars on their fans is comparable to that of executives on external stakeholders, and hence, the results are applied to the business domain. The results of this study contribute to existing research by extending the list of personnel-related determinants of organizational identification.

Impact and interest:

5 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 78808
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1002/mar.20731
ISSN: 0742-6046
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Deposited On: 19 Nov 2014 22:19
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2014 01:03

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