Professional sports work in times of geopolitical crises: Experiences in men’s basketball in Ukraine

LAURA PURDY, Geoffery Z Kohe, Rutenis Paulauskas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Professional sport is distinct employment shaped by organisational and managerial relations, stakeholder involvements, performance imperatives, contextual forces and precarities. Such employment has raised questions regarding work, employment sustainability and careers. The purpose of this article is to examine experiences of sports workers in men’s professional basketball during the geopolitical conflict in Ukraine and highlight ways working conditions are negotiated in adverse contexts.

Research methods: A case study approach that utilised semi-structured interviews was applied to enquire about the daily events, activities and related emotion as recalled by sports workers in men’s professional basketball in Ukraine during the geopolitical conflict.

Findings: The examination reveals issues related to institutional/organisational, community and individual sustainability of the sport sector when faced with geopolitical crises. While turbulent events may unsettle sports workers, these sports workers demonstrated an ability to respond to the situation, mitigate adverse consequences, and sustain their careers.

Practical implications: This work is of value those in sport organisations seeking to understand employees’ experiences and actions during periods of uncertainty, and how individual career continuity relates to organisational sustainability.

Implications: Our approach advances understandings about sustainable organisational support and resources, and contingency planning in relation to navigating unforeseen events that arise in sports workers’ careers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalManaging Sport and Leisure
Early online date31 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Mar 2021


  • sports work
  • sustainability
  • careers
  • professional basketball
  • Ukraine


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