Integrity of sport at risk? An analysis of match-fixing behaviour and the determinants of voluntary referees' retention and satisfaction

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As many important societal functions are attributed to sport, it is of utmost importance that its viability is ensured. However, the integrity of sport is threatened both by match-fixing, which has become the most widespread form of corruption in sport, as well as by any form of violence, which also referees in particular have to experience. Hence, based on the modern economic model of behaviour, this dissertation concentrates on individuals’ decision-making in these two contexts, which currently represent core challenges for sport.
First, the acceptance behaviour of match-fixing offers in a competitive situation as well as the effectiveness of the deterrence factors detection probability and severity of monetary punishment are investigated within an experimental setting. The majority of individuals reject the bribe in this context and thus do not maximise their own mone-tary payoff. An increased detection probability further increases deterrence.
Second, voluntary referees are examined in the context of football. On the one hand, it is revealed that, among others, the compatibility with other obligations, the experi-enced respect, as well as a lower number of suffered offences are significant determi-nants of their intention to continue with their activity. Yet, the finding that referees’ satisfaction with their activity is the strongest determinant of this intention was the starting point for the next study. Thus, on the other hand, the satisfaction of these ref-erees is explored in detail. It turns out that various satisfaction facets significantly ex-plain overall satisfaction and that especially the appreciation of referees for their vol-untary activity and the social interaction among their referee colleagues contribute to their (job) satisfaction.
Abstract 61
Several practical implications can be derived from the findings of this dissertation that can support the maintenance of the viability of sport. Two areas that pose substantial threats to the integrity of sport, namely match-fixing as well as the decline of voluntary refereeing, can be better understood and consequently better combated. From a theo-retical perspective, the dissertation provides arguments for the application of the mod-ern economic theory of behaviour to explain individuals’ decisions in these contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKöln
PublisherDeutsche Sporthochschule Köln
Number of pages63
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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