Do Differences Make a Difference? Managing Diversity in Division IA Intercollegiate Athletics

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 The Ohio State University
  • 2 University of Regina
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This study applies a framework of diversity initiatives as a basis of exploration into top management beliefs and diversity management strategies of Division IA intercollegiate athletic organizations. This framework utilizes issues of power, demographic and relational differences, and past literature regarding specific diversity strategies to empirically assess these organizations' outlooks regarding employee diversity. Results of the study suggest that Division IA intercollegiate athletic organizations operate in cultures that value similarity. Demographic variables predicted a significant amount of variance in employees' perceptions of diversity management strategies. In addition, demographic differences (being different from one's leader) accounted for an even greater amount of variance in these perceptions. Top management's beliefs in the benefits of diversity were related to perceptions of different diversity practices. That is, high beliefs resulted in higher levels of diversity management practice. Discussion of the findings relative to current theory in sport and implications for sport managers are noted.

Janet S. Fink and Donna L. Pastore are with the School of Physical Activity and Educational Services at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210. Harold A. Riemer is with the Department of Physical Activity Studies at the University of Regina, Regina, SK S4S 0A2.

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