A qualitative analysis of worker identity in a sports entertainment organization

This study examined the worker identity of volunteer workers and compensated workers in a Sports Entertainment Organization. Participants included 30 volunteer workers and four compensated workers. Interviews were conducted with the compensated workers. Participant observation and immersion approaches allowed the researcher to collect data of the daily conversations involving the two groups. The key words and phrases provided field data, which were triangulated by analyzing the content from different dates, co-workers’ descriptions of others’ worker identities and individual self-descriptions of worker identities. Observational data revealed the discursive construction of worker identities based on dyadic and group communication. The Social Identity Theory guided the construct of the worker identities from the field notes. Observed conversations revealed the self-reflective and co-constructed worker identities of the compensated and volunteer workers in the SEO. Results showed that: (a) the worker identities of the volunteer workers included the overall worker identity of Team Member/Village Member, (b) the worker identity of the compensated workers included Coach/Mentor, and (c) the analysis of management and volunteer worker groups revealed salient data on worker identity.