The fair labor standards act in intercollegiate athletics: A social identity perspective Chapter uri icon


  • Social identity theory (SIT) serves as a means of classifying oneself and others into social categories (Tajfel and Turner, 1986). According to SIT, people define themselves and others based on the groups they are members of. The social differentiation that forms from the creation of ingroups and outgroups often leads to intergroup conflict (Brewer, 1999). Many intercollegiate athletic employees were reclassified as exempt or non-exempt by FLSA standards by their departments in 2004. The purpose of this investigation is to examine what effect on social identity compliance with FLSA had on individuals who were reclassified. Voluntary interviews were conducted with 19 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) employees who were affected by FLSA compliance. The results found that while ingroups and outgroups were not created through compliance with FLSA, the means in which departments complied had a major impact on the social identity of employees. Organizations that increased employees' wages in order to comply and remain exempt from FLSA had the best results. Organizations that had either split departments (some exempt and some non-exempt) or departments that were entirely non-exempt had issues. In these organizations the divide between the ingroup (upper management) and the outgroup (employees) was exacerbated to a point that affected the social identities of its employees. 2012 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Newhouse-Bailey, M. J., & Dixon, M. A.

complete list of authors

  • Newhouse-Bailey, MJ||Dixon, MA

Book Title

  • Social and Psychological Issues in Sports

publication date

  • December 2011