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Niels B. Feddersen, Robert Morris, Louise K. Storm, Martin A. Littlewood, and David J. Richardson

The purpose was to examine the power relations during a change of culture in an Olympic sports organization in the United Kingdom. The authors conducted a 16-month longitudinal study combining action research and grounded theory. The data collection included ethnography and a focus group discussion (n = 10) with athletes, coaches, parents, and the national governing body. The authors supplemented these with 26 interviews with stakeholders, and we analyzed the data using grounded theory. The core concept found was that power relations were further divided into systemic power and informational power. Systemic power (e.g., formal authority to reward or punish) denotes how the national governing bodies sought to implement change from the top-down and impose new strategies on the organization. The informational power (e.g., tacit feeling of oneness and belonging) represented how individuals and subunits mobilized coalitions to support or obstruct the sports organization’s agenda. Olympic sports organizations should consider the influence of power when undertaking a change of culture.

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Katherine Sveinson and Rachel Allison

In September 2020, U.S. Soccer Federation posted a promotional tweet for girls’ fan clothing which included feminized aesthetics. Within 48 hr, the tweet was deleted. Previous work has shown that sport fan clothing are important organizational artifacts that contain symbolic meanings. This study extends this insight by exploring consumer responses to material items. Three hundred and seven tweets responding to the original post were collected. Through critical discourse analysis, findings illustrate that responses were embedded in gender discourses, with overwhelming dislike for hyperfeminized items marketed to women and girls. The stereotypical gender norms in marketing resulted in consumers’ suggesting organizational culture issues within U.S. Soccer Federation. Furthermore, this strategy was perceived as a transgression by creating material items that do not align with consumers’ values. This study illustrates that the meanings associated with fan clothing go beyond consumer preferences in that apparel can represent a material manifestation of organizational culture.

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Mitchell McSweeney, Rob Millington, Lyndsay M.C. Hayhurst, and Simon Darnell

Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) has transformed from what some termed a “social movement” to an institutionalized sector with numerous organizations and practitioners involved, resulting in trends that point toward SDP becoming a recognized category of work through professional training. The purpose of this paper is to utilize theories of professions and institutional isomorphism to advance the significance and importance of thinking about SDP as a profession. Three emerging trends that point to the professionalization of SDP are reviewed: (a) increasing opportunities to attain SDP certifications and training, (b) the growing number of SDP-specific academic degrees, and (c) the creation of a SDP knowledge base, particularly in relation to monitoring and evaluation. To conclude, theoretical and practical implications of the professionalization of SDP are discussed and a research agenda is outlined for future research on the continued institutionalization, and professionalization, of the SDP sector.

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Scott R. Jedlicka, Spencer Harris, and Barrie Houlihan

Published in the Journal of Sport Management in 1995, Laurence Chalip’s “Policy Analysis in Sport Management” persuasively argued that effective sport managers should equip themselves with a particular set of critical policy analysis tools. Since that time, the study of sport policy has gained a strong foothold in the academic literature, but sport policy analysis is not often linked to managerial practice. This paper offers a critique and synthesis of a number of policy analysis frameworks (including Chalip’s), and offers a refreshed set of robust and pragmatic analytical precepts that sport managers might employ to understand and influence policymaking. Following Chalip’s original approach, this paper relies on an empirical case involving the development of national sport policy (the United States’ Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act) to illustrate and support its broader arguments.

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Annelies Knoppers, Fiona McLachlan, Ramón Spaaij, and Froukje Smits

A great deal of research focusing on organizational diversity has explored dynamics that exclude women and minorities from positions of leadership in sport organizations. The relatively little change in diversity in these positions suggests a need to employ ways of engaging in diversity research that do not center on identity categories and primarily focus on practices. Drawing on notions of subtexts and on queer theory, this critical narrative review aims to make visible and to question organizational practices and processes that may contribute to the diversity “problem” within sport organizations. A subtextual analysis of 32 articles published in leading sport management journals reveals how dynamics of organizational culture, such as an uncritical use of the concept of diversity, the invisibility of practices sustaining gender binaries and heteronormativity, and the intersection of heteronormativity and White normativity, contribute to sustaining the status quo in sport organizations. The authors build on these findings to challenge scholars to further explore and address these practices and processes in sport organizations and in their own research by employing queered intersectional approaches.

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Mathew Dowling, Spencer Harris, and Marvin Washington

There are fewer cases of such blatant acts to defy and subsequent heroic efforts to rearrange institutional norms than the Russian doping scandal. In adopting a neo-institutional perspective, the authors theorize the scandal as a case of attempted but failed institutional disruption. More specifically, the authors draw upon the institutional change literature and the institutional work perspective to explain the key events surrounding actors’ response to the scandal. The analysis utilized Gioia’s methodological approach to examine secondary empirical data. Findings reveal how stakeholders circumvented traditional governance structures in an attempt to disrupt institutional arrangements, but despite this, much of the preexisting institutional infrastructure has remained intact. The authors explain this outcome, in part, as a consequence of the counter-institutional work of key governing agencies and other actors to maintain the status quo within international sport.

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Kirsty Forsdike and Simone Fullagar

In this article, we discuss the process and outcomes arising from a unique collaboration involving researchers and professionals to explore key gaps and challenges in sport organizations’ responses to violence against women. Using the World Café method in a 1-day research forum in Victoria, Australia, we brought together state sport organizations, violence against women organizations, and multidisciplinary researchers to reflect upon the multiple contexts that shape violence against women in community sport. Drawing together insights from feminist research and a socioecological perspective, this article contributes to sport management scholarship by using an innovative methodology for collaborative knowledge sharing and creation to explore the challenges and opportunities for organizational action to address violence against women. We advance a gendered lens for understanding how power relations shape sport management practice contexts as well as future research into organizational thinking, research, and responses to violence against women.

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Kihan Kim, Hojun Sung, Yeayoung Noh, and Kimoon Lee

This study investigated the determinants of television viewership and its relation to broadcasters’ choices of matches for live telecasts. Also, factors driving the broadcasters’ choices were examined. A panel data set from the 2018 Korea Baseball Organization league pennant race was analyzed. Broadcasters’ choice order of matches and the actual television ratings of each match were regressed on a series of antecedent factors related to the game characteristics and audience preferences. It was found that the broadcasters’ choice order of matches positively affected the television ratings, suggesting that the broadcasters’ decisions were well reflected in the actual viewership. It also appeared that broadcasters’ choices were based on popularity and team performance/quality, whereas viewers showed preference for current games’ on-field performance. There was no evidence of audience preference for games with higher outcome uncertainty, whereas the broadcasters tended to choose games with more certain, rather than uncertain, outcomes. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings were discussed.

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Jonathan Robertson, Mathew Dowling, Marvin Washington, Becca Leopkey, Dana Lee Ellis, and Lee Smith

Institutional theory has generated considerable insight into fundamental issues within sport. This study seeks to advance Washington and Patterson’s review by providing an empirical review of institutional theory in sport. We follow Arksey and O’Malley’s scoping review protocol to identify 188 sport-related institutional studies between 1979 and 2019. Our review provides evidence regarding the state of institutional scholarship within sport via an analysis of authorship, year, journal, methodology, method, study population, and use of institutional constructs (legitimacy, isomorphism, change, logics, fields, and work). Rather than a hostile takeover or a joint venture proposed in Washington and Patterson’s review, the relationship between fields is more aptly described as a diffusion of ideas. By developing an empirical review of institutional studies in sport, we hope to expedite the diffusion of ideas between the two fields and work toward realizing the collective benefits any future joint venture may bring.