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Management and Marketing Research

Organizational Image and Identity Management in Large-Scale Sporting Events

Although identity, image, and reputation are important issues for the sport management field, little research has examined how sport organizations construct and manage such intangible yet critical aspects of their organizations. This article addresses this gap in the literature by exploring the process of identity construction within organizing committees of major sporting events. The insights gained from two case studies indicate that committees draw on three types of identity referents: the nature of the event, context, and key individuals of organizing committees. These referents are projected as images from the organizing committee to various stakeholder groups and then reflected back to the organizing committee. In addition, images are often received by stakeholders through indirect channels of transmission, especially the media, further complicating the process of image and identity management. Finally, organizing committees attempt to manage the process primarily via verbal and symbolic communication strategies.

Authors: Milena M. Parent, Peter O. Foreman,

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