Linking football team performance to fans' work engagement and job performance: Test of a spillover model

Panagiotis Gkorezis, Victoria Bellou, Despoina Xanthopoulou, Arnold B. Bakker, Angelos Tsiftsis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The weekly performance of one's favourite football team is a crucial affective event. However, little is known about the potential spillover effects that such events may have on fans' work-related attitudes and behaviours. Using a 4-week diary study among 41 public sector employees (N = 164 observations), who were also football fans, we investigated the association of satisfaction with football team performance with work engagement and job performance. On the basis of affective events theory, we hypothesized that satisfaction with the team's Sunday performance would spill over to work engagement and job performance on Monday, through its relation with employees' positive and negative affects on Monday morning. Furthermore, we expected that fans' identification with their team would moderate the relationship between satisfaction with team performance and affect. Multilevel analyses showed that negative (but not positive) affect mediated the relationship between satisfaction with football team performance and work engagement, which, in turn, related to job performance. Identification with the team did not moderate the satisfaction with football team performance–affect relationship. The findings illustrate the pivotal role of football fans' reactions in determining their affect, attitudes, and behaviours also in the work domain. Practitioner points: Negative events in the sports domain are likely to spill over to work and have unfavourable effects on employees' daily work engagement and performance. Thus, organizations need to pay attention to how leisure time activities determine work-related well-being and job behaviours. Employees, who are football fans, should make sure to reattach to work on Monday morning in order to prevent negative football events from affecting their work in an unfavourable manner. Managers should recognize employees' negative affect resulting from dissatisfaction with the performance of their favourite football team and demonstrate transformational and supportive behaviours to reduce negative work outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)791-812
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • affective events theory
  • football team performance
  • job performance
  • spillover
  • work engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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