Patterns of Bureaucracy in Intercollegiate Athletic Departments

in Journal of Sport Management
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The objective of the current research was to verify the extent to which Gouldner’s (1954) three patterns of bureaucracy were prevalent in intercollegiate athletic departments. Single and multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) of the data provided by 907 coaches from all three NCAA divisions (ndivI = 322; ndivII = 277; ndivIII = 308) showed that structural relationships among goals, processes, and patterns of bureaucracy were invariant among all three groups of coaches. Substantively, the factor of developmental goals through developmental processes (Trail & Chelladurai, 2000) predicted positively the presence of representative bureaucracy and punishment-centered bureaucracy and negatively the existence of mock bureaucracy. This means that the more athletic departments emphasize academic values, the less the coaches perceive a pattern of loose coupling between rules and actual technical activities. Implications of these results for theory and practice were discussed.

Rocha is with the School of Physical Education and Sport of Ribeirao Preto, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Chelladurai is Senior Lecturer, College of Health and Human Services, Troy University, Troy, AL.

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