n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - The psychological contract of amateur sport coaches in their work environments in Southern Gauteng : reflections from a qualitative study

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Research on employees' psychological contracts in organisations indicates the importance of identifying and ensuring that such contracts are honoured. This qualitative study explored the psychological contracts of 15 amateur coaches in Southern Gauteng. Data were collected through in-depth interviews from coaches representing different sports. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim for content analysis through iterative and reflexive procedures. Whilst the study was designed to establish how the fulfillment or breach of the psychological contracts of the coaches influenced their commitment to their jobs, teams, employers, job satisfaction, commitment, their professional goals, values and turnover intensions, it also revealed the coaches' unwritten expectations which the employers had to meet if they were to perform effectively. The respondents expected to be developed, given autonomy to make decisions, awarded recognition and financial rewards, and support from management. They also expected management to pay attention to their social problems whenever they arose. Though the study revealed that failure by employers to fulfil the expectations did not affect their professional commitment, it negatively affected their job satisfaction and commitment to their respective teams. Respondents indicated that failure to fulfil their expectations aroused their intensions to quit their jobs. This paper advances the notion that like in other organisational contexts, it is vital for the sports industry to identify and fulfil the psychological contracts of sports coaches and that both the legal and psychological contracts are used as the the reference framework in the management of the employment relationships between the coaches and their employers.

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