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Jonathan Robertson, Ryan Storr, Andrew Bakos and Danny O’Brien

The aim of this article was to develop a theoretical framework to aid the current understanding of social change practice. Drawing on concepts from institutional theory, the authors proposed and applied a theoretical framework to investigate social change at the intersection of gender and sexuality inclusion in Australian cricket. Qualitative techniques (interviews and document analyses) were utilized to investigate the trajectory of lesbian inclusion in Australian cricket over time. Starting from the perspective that institutional arrangements can be exclusionary (or biased) toward certain groups in society, this research investigated how the actions of institutional entrepreneurs can create more inclusive institutional arrangements. Theoretical and practical implications for future research are discussed.

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Marlene A. Dixon and Per G. Svensson

Sport for development and peace (SDP) agencies increasingly deal with complex institutional demands. In this article, the authors present an in-depth case study of how a nascent SDP organization created from within a local community in Kenya responded to institutional complexity through a series of pivotal moments that shaped the nature of the SDP agency. Throughout the formative stage in its life course, organizational leaders faced increased institutional complexity as they grappled with a series of incompatible prescriptions and demands from multiple institutional logics. The case organization—Highway of Hope—responded to this complexity through a process of organizational hybridity. Five pivotal decision points were identified and analyzed to explore how they shaped the organization over its early stages of existence. Our findings provide guidance for advancing our understanding of hybridity processes in SDP, both theoretically and practically.

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Katherine Raw, Emma Sherry and Katie Rowe

Despite recent advances in sport-for-development (SFD) literature, few scholars have empirically examined organizational hybridity in SFD contexts. This is despite hybrid organizational approaches becoming increasingly common in the delivery of SFD initiatives. Opportunities exist for researchers to build knowledge regarding SFD hybrids, particularly those which operate in professional sport contexts. In this research, we examine an SFD organization, delivered by a professional sport team, which operates under a hybrid structure. A longitudinal qualitative case study design was employed, and findings demonstrate how the SFD organization, which presents a practical example of organizational hybridity, evolved over time. Drawing upon Svensson typologies of SFD hybrids, results illustrate how the organization transformed from a differentiated hybrid into a dysfunctional hybrid, under the influence of funding opportunities and institutional logics. Through the present study, we build upon theoretical understandings of SFD hybrids and offer practical insight into the nuances of SFD hybrids delivered in professional sport contexts.

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Jon Welty Peachey, Nico Schulenkorf and Ramon Spaaij

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Jeremy Hapeta, Rochelle Stewart-Withers and Farah Palmer

Indigenous worldviews and scholarship are underrepresented and underdeveloped in sport for development and wider sport management spaces. Given many sport for social change initiatives target Indigenous populations, this is concerning. By adopting a Kaupapa Māori approach, a strengths-based stance, and working together with two plus-sport and sport-plus cases from provincial and national New Zealand rugby settings: the Taranaki Rugby Football Union’s and Feats’ Pae Tawhiti (seek distant horizons) Māori and Pasifika Rugby Academy and the E Tū Toa (stand strong), hei tū he rangatira (become a leader) Māori Rugby Development camps, the authors provide an illustration of Indigenous theory–practice. They argue sport for social change practices that focus on Indigenous peoples would be greatly improved if underpinned by the principles of perspective, privilege, politics, protection, and people. Thus, any sport for social change praxis seeking to partner with Indigenous communities ought to be informed by Indigenous philosophical viewpoints.

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Carrie W. LeCrom, Brendan Dwyer and Gregory Greenhalgh

The scholars of sport for development (SFD) suggest the need for advancements in theory development and stronger connections between practice and theory. This article outlines some of the challenges and barriers to theory development in SFD and suggests ways to move forward. The authors state that theories and frameworks in SFD are underdeveloped as a result of methodological and contextual challenges due to the variance in SFD programming. The SFD programs are being implemented across the globe in a myriad of countries and contexts, addressing varying social issues that make theory development challenging. Suggestions are put forward to help scholars and practitioners overcome these challenges, including creativity in methodology, collaborations in program assessment, and the need for patience required of fields focusing on social and behavioral change.

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Travis R. Bell