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Letter From the Editor

David J. Shonk

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An Examination of Sport Management Doctoral Programs and the Organizational Environment Through Person–Environment Fit Theory

Jay Martyn, Kyle J. Brannigan, Brent D. Oja, and Claire C. Zvosec

Scholarly literature focusing on organizational environments and organizational fit highlights the importance of a Multi-Fit perspective, which includes person–environment fit, person–culture fit, and person–vocation fit. However, relatively few scholars in sport management have focused on the organizational environment that includes sport management faculty and doctoral students. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine sport management doctoral programs to evaluate how sport management faculty and sport management doctoral students assessed the academic environment. Findings from 15 sport management faculty and 13 doctoral students resulted in three distinct overarching themes: (a) initial evaluations from person–environment fit, (b) fitting in with person–culture fit, and (c) the gap in person–culture fit. Moreover, subthemes emerging from faculty were (a) coachable, (b) well-roundedness, (c) experience, (d) research interests, and (e) statistical knowledge. Subthemes emerging from sport management doctoral students were (a) funding, (b) initial contact, (c) geography, (d) foundation, and (e) cohort mentality. The findings of this study have significant importance to the sport management academy as scholars have suggested approximately 50% of doctoral students fail to receive their degree, and cohort entrance and exit attrition may be as high as 85%. Therefore, the goal of this study was to increase the extant knowledge pertaining to person–environment fit and the sport management doctoral matriculation and enrollment process between sport management faculty and sport management doctoral students.

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Proceed With Caution: A Teaching Case Study of Youth Sport Specialization

Makenzie A. Schoeff, Katie R. Morey, James E. Johnson, Anya T. Eicher, and Lawrence W. Judge

As sport specialization continues to shape the youth sport landscape, it is critical for sport management professionals, coaches, parents, and athletes to understand how this trend affects programming and policy development. While youth sport specialization often leads to increased athletic skill in an accelerated time frame, specialization can result in overuse injury, burnout, and delayed social development for children. It is essential that sport management students are aware of the trend in youth sport specialization and the various opportunities available to help educate/collaborate with stakeholders. Furthermore, students need to be exposed to youth sport specialization to better understand how to efficiently manage policy and programs involved in youth, and to understand contemporary research and theory leading to best practices.

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Improving Experiential Learning in Sport Management Through Work-Integrated Learning

Susan B. Foster and David A. Pierce

Experiential learning has played an integral role in curricular innovation since the inception of North American sport management education. However, internationally, work-integrated learning, and specifically cooperative education, have proven to be robust methods for preparing students for the workforce with little to no mention of these terms as applied to sport management curricula in the United States. This educational research review positions involving both of these structured pedagogies that combine classroom instruction with highly contextualized, authentic work experiences of at least two semesters to improve experiential learning and calls for more research to be done to demonstrate its efficacy. Recommendations are made to spur faculty to consider ways these pedagogies can be applied to their sport management curricula. In addition, this review addresses keys to successfully implement them on campus.

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Female Students’ Experiences of Sexual Harassment in the Sport Management Internship Setting

Robin Hardin, Elizabeth A. Taylor, and Emily Sleadd

Internships provide professional preparation for aspiring sport management professionals, because they allow for professional and personal growth, as well as for being exposed to a professional work environment. Unfortunately, part of the exposure to a professional work environment also means being subjected to its negative aspects, which include sexual harassment. The purpose of this study was to examine the sexual harassment experiences of female students in a sport management internship setting. Nearly 66% of the respondents had experienced some type of sexual harassment while completing an internship. Internship satisfaction was lower for those who had experienced sexual harassment, but experiencing sexual harassment had no impact on their intent to enter the sport management profession. Sport management educators, as well as internship supervisors, must work together to create a safe and professional environment for female students.

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Implementing Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory Into Men’s Collegiate Basketball Sport Marketing Project

Chris Croft, John Miller, and Sarah Stokowski

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Undergraduate Sport Management Education: Exploring Ego Development and Leadership Efficacy

Shannon Kerwin and Kirsty Spence

This research explored students’ ego development and leadership efficacy during an undergraduate sport management program. A sequential mixed-method case study design and associated methodologies were adopted to explore students’ ego development and leadership efficacy during 3 years of an academic program. Results show fluctuations in leadership efficacy for all but one participant. These fluctuations are discussed in relation to ego development in that growth from self-conforming to self-authoring stages of ego development may partially explain fluctuations in how students see themselves and their potential for leadership in the field of sport management. The role of the ego development construct in relation to students’ perceptions of their leadership capabilities highlights that programmatic elements (e.g., thoughtful experiential education) can be consciously developed and strategically leveraged to more accurately target perceptions of leadership prowess among students. The findings emphasize that students’ level of ego development can be fostered through active and effective program delivery.

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Volume 15 (2021): Issue 1 (Apr 2021)

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Implications and Opportunities for Sport Management Education in the COVID-19 Era

Mike Rayner and Tom Webb

In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was detected in three patients from the city of Wuhan, China. By January 2020, COVID-19 was declared a widespread pandemic creating a global health crisis, resulting in millions of people contracting the virus and thousands losing their lives. Alongside the wide-reaching health crisis, the impact of COVID-19 had significant economic and societal effects leaving a historical legacy, which will affect countries throughout the world for a considerable period of time. As COVID-19 spread around the globe, the way people socialize, work, and study essentially changed forever. Therefore, this essay provides an insight into the rapid process that universities across the globe undertook to transition their teaching operations online. Projects and pedagogic reviews that traditionally would have taken months or years to devise were compressed into days, as the pandemic necessitated that traditional concerns about online teaching were cast aside. Consequently, this essay discusses these new educational platforms in sport management education and their future role in developing professionals who will be at the forefront of an unprecedented industry growth in the years and decades after COVID-19.

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Managing a Successful Cocurricular Club: Practical Experience Outside the Classroom

Lance P. Kaltenbaugh and Jennifer Parsons