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Toward a Distinctive Sport Management Discipline

Laurence Chalip

The current malaise over sport management’s place and future as an academic discipline provides a useful basis for envisioning the needs and directions for the field’s growth and development. The field’s development requires two complementary streams of research: one that tests the relevance and application of theories derived from other disciplines, and one that is grounded in sport phenomena. The legitimations that sport advocates advance for sport’s place on public agendas are useful starting points for research that is sport focused. The fi ve most common current legitimations for sport are health, salubrious socialization, economic development, community development, and national pride. The value of sport in each case depends on the ways that sport is managed. Factors that facilitate and that inhibit optimization of sport’s contribution to each must be identified and probed. Identifying and probing those factors will be aided by research that confronts popular beliefs about sport, and by research that explores sport’s links to other economic sectors. The resulting research agenda will foster development of a distinctive sport management discipline.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Critical Sport Management Research

Wendy Frisby

Critical social science is an underused paradigm in sport management. It can, however, help reveal the bad and ugly sides of sport, so we can uncover new ways to promote the good sides of it. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the relevance of this paradigm for sport management teaching, practice, and research. A key assumption of the critical paradigm is that organizations are best viewed as operating in a wider cultural, economic, and political context characterized by asymmetrical power relations that are historically entrenched. Research is not neutral because the goal is to promote social change by challenging dominant ways of thinking and acting that benefit those in power. Conducting critical sport management research requires a specific skill set and adequate training is essential. Drawing on the work of Alvesson and Deetz (2000), the three tasks required to conduct critical social science are insight, critique, and transformative redefinition. These tasks are described and a number of sport-related examples are provided.

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A Different Lens to View Mentoring in Sport Management

Donna L. Pastore

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A Note from the Editor

Edited by Wendy Frisby

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Opportunities and Headaches: Dichotomous Perspectives on the Current and Future Hiring Realities in the Sport Management Academy

W. James Weese

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Sport Management at the Millennium: A Defining Moment

Brenda G. Pitts

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Vertical Integration in Sport

David K. Stotlar

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The Changing Fanscape for Big-League Sports: Implications for Sport Managers

Dennis R. Howard

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Toward Achieving a Focal Point for Sport Management: A Binocular Perspective

Robert L. Boucher

In the summer of 1941, Sergeant James Allen Ward was awarded the Victoria Cross for climbing onto the wing of his Wellington bomber 13,000 feet above the Zuider Zee in Holland to extinguish a fire in the starboard engine. Secured only by a rope around his waist, he managed not only to smother the fire but also to return along the wing to the aircraft's cabin. Churchill, an admirer as well as a performer of swashbuckling exploits, summoned the shy New Zealander to 10 Downing Street (for our American friends that's like the British White House). Ward was struck dumb with awe in Churchill's presence and was unable to answer the Prime Minister's simplest questions. Churchill surveyed the unhappy hero with some compassion. “You must feel very humble and awkward in my presence,” said Churchill. “Yes sir,” stammered the young flyer. “Then you can imagine how humble and awkward I feel in yours,” said Churchill. (Fadiman, 1985, pp. 122-23)

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From the Locker Room to the Board Room: Changing the Domain of Sport Management

Trevor Slack