Women Occupying Management Positions in Top-Level Sport Organizations: A Self-Determination Perspective

  • Andrea Perez-Rivases Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Miquel Torregrosa Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Carme Viladrich Universitat Auntònoma de Barcelona
  • Susana Pallarès Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Keywords: managers, motivation, basic psychological needs, gender, sport organizations, qualitative analysis.


Framed in Self-determination theory (SDT), the purpose of this research was to examine whether the working environment of women in sport management positions could fulfil or thwart their basic psychological needs (BPN) and to explore the motivations that women managers experience in these positions. Eight female managers of top-level sport organizations participated in semi-structured interviews. Results showed that seven of them reported being in an environment that fulfilled their BPN and experienced autonomous motivation in their job. In contrast, one participant reported working in a context that thwarted her BPN and experienced controlled motivation. We present contextual antecedents that were considered satisfying or thwarting of the BPN of those women enrolled in management positions. Insomuch as BPN satisfaction is expected to be related to autonomous motivation and well-being, the current study provides a first insight regarding how sport organizations could promote women managers’ BPN satisfaction and thus increase their autonomous motivation and well-being in such positions.


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Author Biographies

Andrea Perez-Rivases, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Departament de Psicologia Social
Miquel Torregrosa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Departament de Psicologia Bàsica, Evolutiva i de l'Educació
Carme Viladrich, Universitat Auntònoma de Barcelona
Departament de Psicobiologia i Metodologia de les Ciències de la Salut
Susana Pallarès, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Departament de Psicologia Social


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How to Cite
Perez-Rivases, A., Torregrosa, M., Viladrich, C., & Pallarès, S. (2016). Women Occupying Management Positions in Top-Level Sport Organizations: A Self-Determination Perspective. Anales De Psicología / Annals of Psychology, 33(1), 102-113. https://doi.org/10.6018/analesps.33.1.235351
Social and Organizational Psychology