Fair-weather liberals and loyal conservatives: The effects of political ideology on the loyalty of sports fans

Andrew T. Soderberg, Teng Zhang, Brad Lytle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Drawing on moral foundations theory, this paper aims to investigate the moral component of loyalty, a critical determinant of long-term organisational success. Design/methodology/approach: This paper contains two studies using archival data gathered from the Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association in the USA. Findings: This paper finds empirical support for the “ideology-loyalty hypothesis” – namely, fans in more politically conservative communities are more loyal to their professional sports teams than those in more liberal ones. Originality/value: These findings contribute to a growing literature on the moral roots of organisational phenomena by providing evidence of community-level effects of political ideology on loyalty. Based on these findings, this paper suggests that when making strategic decisions (e.g. expansion into a new market), organisations need to pay attention to the political climate of the communities in which they operate (or intend to operate) to achieve and sustain organisational success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-654
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 22 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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