Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Derina R. Holtzhausen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kim Golombisky, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Randy Miller, Ph.D.


Relationship theory, Employee relationships, Sports, Relationship management, Communication


In today's professional arena, organized sports have grown to become institutionalized and highly organized through corporations in a multi-billion dollar industry. Through the use of in depth interviews completed online, this study investigated the role franchise communication plays in the development of nineteen minor league players' relationships within the Major League Baseball (MLB) sports industry. Results found that players feel their organizations disproportionately help some players achieve success over others and withhold information. As players, they felt they have a limited voice regarding the direction of their careers. Despite a difficult working environment, the players' desire to achieve success and perform at their best on a consistent basis remains strong. A majority of the players experience job satisfaction and feel motivated, but these factors were not related to their employer's organization.