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March Madness, office gambling, and workplace productivity issues: an empirical study

Amber A. Smith (Department of Management and Marketing, Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)
Alan D. Smith (Department of Management and Marketing, Robert Morris University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 19 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and test certain assumptions concerning the employee productivity and employee morale associated with the annual participation in March Madness activities.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample consisted of relatively well‐paid professionals many of whom routinely engage in office pools and most universally are involved in bracketing March Madness plays, from a major Pittsburgh‐based financial service provider. Multivariate statistical analyses were used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Although management may advertise that their companies lose operational productivity, respondents generally agree that there is little drop off in workplace productivity. Apparently, there is a trade off between labor productivity, which may be slightly reduced on the short term, and employee cohesiveness, which may increase on the long term.

Practical implications

March Madness activities are such time‐honored traditions that it may be questionable whether any efforts on the part of management to curb office pooling would be effective, due to the expense, uncertain consequences, and doubtful impacts on productivity arising from such initiatives.

Originality/value

Continued research to determine the balance of productivity losses and gains in employee cohesiveness and morale is needed to develop appropriate strategies to effectively deal with the complexities posed by March Madness activities in the workplace environment.

Keywords

Citation

Smith, A.A. and Smith, A.D. (2011), "March Madness, office gambling, and workplace productivity issues: an empirical study", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 190-206. https://doi.org/10.1108/20426781111146772

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited