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The Marshall Plan: How Diversity and Inclusion Transformed the Dallas Mavericks’ Organizational Culture

Mark A. Beattie and Leeann M. Lower-Hoppe

How does a professional sport organization with a toxic organizational culture transform its workplace to one built around equity, diversity, and inclusion? This article addresses that question in a case study that explores the aftermath of the Dallas Mavericks’ sexual harassment scandal. The case allows students to analyze the crisis the Mavericks faced after a Sports Illustrated article exposed the organization’s corrosive workplace culture. Students will discuss the strategies Mavericks’ chief executive officer Cynthia Marshall deployed to transform the Mavericks’ workplace culture. Furthermore, students will consider how those strategies have broader utility in improving organizational diversity throughout the sport industry. A theoretical framework, a case narrative, and teaching notes are provided to support implementation of the case study in sport management curricula.

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Understanding Student Perceptions of Diversity and Inclusion

Jaime R. DeLuca, Michael Mudrick, Molly Hayes Sauder, and Elizabeth A. Taylor

Colleges and universities should serve as inclusive environments positioned to provide a strong education to all students. However, bias and discrimination mar the college atmosphere for many. Simultaneously, there is a paucity of research that examines student views of diversity and inclusion in both higher education and sport management. Employing mixed methods, this research examined the perceptions of diversity and inclusion among undergraduate students in sport management programs. Data demonstrate that student perceptions differ across measures of sex, race/ethnicity, upbringing, internship experiences, and transfer status. Findings suggest implications for embedding diversity and inclusion topics within sport management curricula to develop competencies crucial to students’ educational success and future in the sport industry.

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Sport Management Faculty Members’ Mentorship of Student-Athletes

Stacy M. Warner, Sarah Stokowski, Alison Fridley, and Kibaek Kim

When compared with other disciplines, sport management educators are more likely to encounter student-athletes in their classrooms. While faculty mentoring is a key to student success for all, better understanding of this mentoring dynamic between sport management faculty and student-athletes is important to advancing pedagogical knowledge within the discipline. And perhaps, even more importantly, it can aid in creating a pathway for faculty advocacy and dispelling stigmas related to student-athletes. Consequently, the Mentor Role Instrument was used to determine if faculty mentorship of student-athletes differs by function type (RQ1) and if this was impacted by gender or faculty appointment (RQ2). An online survey of 88 sport management educators indicated that a significant difference was found, F(8, 783) = 44.16; p < .001, among mentoring function type. Friendship and Acceptance were the most prevalent mentoring functions, while Protection was the least frequent. Results did not indicate that gender or faculty appointment impacted faculty mentorship styles toward student-athletes.

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Developing Social Justice Outcomes Through Service Learning Among Sport Management Students

Nneka Arinze, Jesse Mala, Max Klein, and Justine Evanovich

Service learning has been recognized as a high-impact educational practice that promotes students’ development of civic engagement and social justice outcomes. However, service-learning courses are not guaranteed to foster social justice outcomes and may perpetuate the very biases and stereotypes that social justice education is designed to counter. In addition, there is a lack of research assessing service-learning courses in sport management that are being used to promote a more critical form of social justice education rather than the mere awareness of social disparities. This article explores the ways in which an intentionally designed social justice service-learning course can potentially lead sport management students toward more equitable perceptions of service relationships. The research team analyzed reflection papers (N = 40) from students who each participated in one semester of the service-learning course across nine consecutive semesters. The following themes emerged from the data: charity-oriented relationship, social justice-oriented relationship, reciprocity, and a critique of paternalism. The findings in this study extend current sport management service-learning research by revealing how a social justice service-learning course can foster a more critical understanding of service through critical discussions, specific readings, critical reflection, and service activities.

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Examination of Disability-Related Content Across Sport Management Textbooks

Brenda G. Pitts, Deborah R. Shapiro, Cindy K. Piletic, and Jennifer Zdroik

The sport management field of study purports to be the field that prepares professionals to work in the sport business industry. People with disabilities in sport are a growing population and segment in the industry. Thus, it is important that information about disabilities be included in the literature and materials used by professionals in the field of sport management. Using content analysis methodology, the purpose of this study was to examine the sport management textbook literature in search of content in relation to disability, disability sport, and/or people with disabilities in sport (D/DS/PWDS). Twenty-four textbooks across eight different content areas of sport management were reviewed for mentions of D/DS/PWDS. Mentions ranged from four to 925 per book. Content areas with the most mentions were sociocultural, law, and facilities while the fewest mentions were in finance, communication, and management textbooks. The most mentioned disability was intellectual disability followed by visual impairment and the most common sport reference was the Paralympics followed by Special Olympics. The total percentage of D/DS/PWDS mentions across all 24 books is six ten-thousandths of a percentage, or 0.0006. Discrepancies in mentions within- and between-content areas are addressed. Action steps and future research directions for the inclusion of D/DS/PWDS in sport management textbooks are addressed.

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Streaming in Esports: Lessons Learned From Student Reflection Journals

Kostas Karadakis

Feedback and lessons learned from personal reflection journals submitted by students in an Introduction to Esport course. Students were responsible for marketing, creating content, problem solving (troubleshooting), and streaming a minimum of 30 minutes for an esport game title of their choice. Students were then asked to submit a link and reflection journal of their experiences. This exercise was completed by students four times over the course of a semester.

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We Are Not Who We Thought We Were: A Case Study of Race in Intercollegiate Athletics

Peyton J. Stensland, Christopher M. Brown, and Alicia M. Cintron

The case study is guided by Bell’s critical race theory as a lens for understanding racial discrimination. Critical race theory was used at a collegiate institution that served as a representation of a larger societal pattern throughout the United States. A hypothetical university was created, and scenarios were integrated based on actual events that took place at various intercollegiate institutions across the country in recent years. Ashley Miller, the athletic director at the University of Southeast Illinois, was facing an incredible challenge after a transfer football player posted allegations of racism within the University of Southeast Illinois football program. The university hired an outside law firm to investigate the climate of the football program and the athletics department as a whole. The law firm provided a report identifying specific incidents and concerns. Students will review the findings of the law firm and provide specific recommendations to the athletics department to address the allegations of racial inequities and promote diversity and inclusion in the football program and athletics department moving forward.

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“As Falcons, We Are One Team!” Launching a Grassroots Institutional Change Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion Through Sport at an NCAA Division I Institution

Yannick Kluch and Terry L. Rentner

Colleges and universities across the nation are grappling with issues related to diversity and inclusion on their campuses. This case study approaches diversity and inclusion efforts on college campuses from a student perspective. It outlines a grassroots initiative, developed by students and supported by student-athletes, that illustrates the powerful voice students can have in shaping institutional culture. This case study describes the success of We Are One Team, the 2017 recipient of the NCAA’s Award for Diversity and Inclusion, the Association’s highest award for institutional efforts for diversity and inclusion in intercollegiate athletics. Informed by institutional theory, the case study provides students with action steps toward promoting diversity and inclusion through sport and explains how We Are One Team succeeded at driving inclusive excellence on campus.

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Differences in Sport Management Doctoral Students’ Experiences With Gender Microaggressions and Stereotype Threat by Gender

Sarah B. Williams, Elizabeth A. Taylor, T. Christopher Greenwell, and Brigitte M. Burpo

Not unlike the sport industry, the majority of sport management students in the United States are White, middle-class males. As women in male-dominated academic departments experience gender harassment more frequently than women in balanced or female-dominated departments, the purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of sport management doctoral students with gender microaggressions and stereotype threat by gender to examine if such experiences occur at this stage in academia. The results indicate that female students experience gender microaggressions of being excluded, being treated like a second-class citizen, and being placed in restrictive roles by program faculty due to their gender more frequently than male students. This study provides clarity into issues affecting female doctoral student progression postgraduation in sport management. In addition, this study provides context around the student experience in doctoral programs across male-dominated academic disciplines.

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What Female Sport Management Professors Think: Adherence to Gender Roles and the Impact on Salary Negotiation

Heidi Grappendorf, Cynthia M. Veraldo, Annemarie Farrell, and AJ Grube

Female faculty earn 81.4% of what male faculty earn. Salary negotiation is a critical component of job offers and can have lasting implications for pay during a career. To better understand the salary negotiation process for female sport management professors, this study examined perceived barriers held by participants. A qualitative approach was taken, utilizing in-person and phone interviews to collect the participant’s experiences with salary negotiation. Results indicated that female sport management professors perceived the main barrier in salary negotiation to be the expected adherence to gender roles. Subthemes that emerged from the expected adherence to gender roles included believing stereotypes and lacking confidence. Understanding the influence of gender role adherence in salary negotiations can contribute to the education and skills necessary for students as well as professors in implementing pedagogical strategies related to salary negotiation. Implementing these strategies can contribute to a field that continues to strive to embrace diversity and promote an inclusive environment.