Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Kinesiology (MKin)


Kinesiology and Physical Education


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Eys

Advisor Role



Roles are integral structural components of interdependent sport teams. The perceptions athletes hold about their role responsibilities influence several individual and team outcomes (Eys et al., 2020). Of specific interest to the current study are athletes’ perceptions of role significance. Two theoretical perspectives dominate research relative to the significance of one’s tasks within organizational psychology: (a) the job characteristic model (JCM; Hackman & Oldham, 1976) and (b) the social information processing model (SIP; Salancik & Pfeffer, 1978). Within the former, task significance (akin to role significance) was conceptualized as the degree to which an employee’s work affects others within or outside the organization (Hackman & Oldham, 1976). Although the JCM suggests the attributes of an individual’s job are the primary determination of task significance perceptions, SIP further proposes that task perceptions are a product of workplace social informational cues. However, the relevance to sport and broader role responsibilities is unknown.

In the present study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven competitive-level athletes (4 male and 3 female; Mage = 23.43, SD = 3.78; 5 starters and 2 non-starters), and five competitive level coaches (4 male and 1 female Mage= 41.00, SD = 11.63) from interdependent team sports (e.g., basketball). Participants identified several potential antecedents of role significance (e.g., acknowledgment, impact on team performance, role properties, and individual attraction to the group), and resulting individual (e.g., confidence, motivation, performance, retention) and group (e.g., team morale) outcomes. Findings suggest that athletes recognize the interdependency of team sports, highlighting the significance of numerous roles within a team. Results are expected to guide future research that will elicit practical implications, such as informing coaches on how best to cultivate role significance perceptions (e.g., use of social cues or constructive changes to existing athlete role responsibilities).

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Available for download on Friday, September 27, 2024