“Birds of a Feather”: An Institutional Approach to Canadian National Sport Organizations’ Social-Media Use

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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The purpose of this study was to examine sport organizations’ social-media activity using an institutional approach, specifically, to investigate the main themes emanating from Canadian national sport organizations’ (CNSOs) social-media communication and the similarities and differences in social-media use between the CNSOs. An exploratory qualitative thematic analysis was conducted on 8 CNSOs’ Twitter accounts ranging from 346 to 23,925 followers, with the number of tweets varying from 219 to 17,186. Thematic analysis indicated that CNSOs generally used tweeting for promoting, reporting, and informing purposes. Despite the organizations’ differing characteristics regarding seasonality of the sport, Twitter-follower count, total number of tweets, and whether the content was original or retweeted, themes were generally consistent across the various organizations. Coercive, mimetic, and normative isomorphic pressures help explain these similarities and offer reasons for a lack of followership growth by the less salient CNSOs. Implications for research and practice are provided.

Naraine is a student, and Parent, his advisor, in the School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, ON, Canada. Parent is also affiliated with the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norway.

Address author correspondence to Michael Naraine at michael.naraine@uottawa.ca
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