Gender Differences in Athletic and Academic Cultures on a University Campus


  • Kenneth Sellers Northwestern Missouri State University
  • George B. Yancey SE Missouri State University
  • Kelsey C. Kowalski Jabil



organizational culture, student life, student-athletes, gender differences, coaching


Abstract: In order to explore the differences between a student’s academic life and a scholar-athlete’s sports life, we investigated the organizational cultures of a university’s academic departments and sports teams by surveying 259 students and 230 student-athletes. We found the academic cultures to be more clannish (family oriented) and the sports cultures more market (performance and results) driven. For the female athletes, we found a negative relationship between clan culture and satisfaction with their sports team, while for everyone else (male and female students and male athletes) clan culture was positively related to satisfaction with academic department or sports team. Relatedly, for the female athletes, the relationship between market culture and satisfaction with their sports team was positive, while for everyone else (male and female students and male athletes) market culture was negatively related to satisfaction with academic department or sports team. This suggests that there are important differences between the experiences of male and female student-athletes. We also found the participants in the business school to be less clannish than those in the other schools and colleges. We discuss the practical implications of these results for coaches of male and female athletes and for campus leaders of academic departments.  

Author Biography

George B. Yancey, SE Missouri State University

George B. Yancey, formerly the Director of the I-O Psychology masters program at Emporia State University, has recently accepted a position at SE Missouri State University


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