Higher education in the United States, and sport management in particular, has faced contemporary attacks for its perceived lack of academic rigor. To investigate these criticisms, this study examined 830 students enrolled in 69 semester-long courses across four consecutive years in a single sport management program to measure perceived course rigor and its relationship to overall course ratings, course grades, and course level. Seven rigor questions were added to existing student ratings and distributed at the end of each semester. A factor analysis strongly supported the conceptualization of rigor utilized in the study. Pearson correlations indicated that student ratings and rigor were positively related. An ordinary least squares multiple regression also revealed that overall student ratings and course grades significantly aid in predicting course rigor. Pragmatically, the results suggest that sport management students appreciate rigorous courses and that faculty should strive to include elements of rigor into their courses without fear of retributional bias on student ratings.
James E. Johnson, Robert M. Turick, Michael F. Dalgety, Khirey B. Walker, Eric L. Klosterman, and Anya T. Eicher
Colin D. McLaren and Kevin S. Spink
Emerging evidence suggests that team success is associated with communication among group members. This study built on those findings by examining the degree to which members on a winning (n = 13) and a losing (n = 13) men’s soccer team exchanged task-related information during a single head-to-head game. Social network analysis was used to compute athlete information exchange at the individual and team levels by asking players to identify the specific members with whom they exchanged information during the game. As hypothesized, athletes on the winning team had higher average individual degree centrality and higher network-density scores than athletes on the losing team. This indicates that individual members on the winning team exchanged task-related information with more of their teammates and, as a result, engaged in more collective information exchange as a team. While replication is necessary to increase generalizability, this study suggests a possible link between the degree that team members exchange information (at the individual and team level) and team performance outcome (i.e., win or loss).
Elizabeth A. Taylor, Molly Hayes Sauder, and Cheryl R. Rode
Relatively little is known about the experiences of sport management faculty in relation to job demands and resources. With the constantly evolving nature of higher education and growth of the sport management discipline, it is important to understand the perspective of faculty members, as they have a substantial impact on students, the discipline at large, and the sport industry. Thus, the purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of sport management faculty regarding several potential job demands and job resources in the academic environment. Survey research was conducted using a sample of sport management faculty (N = 144). The survey yielded both qualitative and quantitative data for analysis. Results indicated a job demand for faculty in that high levels of workplace aggression were reported. Job resources in the form of relationships with others and satisfaction with the nature of the work were identified. Pay, promotion, and perceptions of managers’ operational competence and ethics were illuminated as areas that must be improved if they are to serve as job resources. Finally, a number of demands and resources correlated with turnover intentions. Findings provide practical implications for the sport management academic discipline and suggest new avenues of productive future research.
Cole McClean, Michael A. Odio, and Shannon Kerwin
Internships are crucial in many sport management students’ paths to the sport industry. This mixed-methods case study sought to understand the nature of events occurring in sport management internships and the impact on two outcomes: student career decision making and subjective well-being. Pre–post internship surveys (n = 23) and follow-up interviews (n = 21) identified stimulus events, if intern expectations were met, and if career intentions or subjective well-being were shifted. For participants, stimulus events involved different aspects of the internship (e.g., tasks, supervisor, social interactions, inclusivity, and the environment), and the perceptions of outcomes related to internships varied. In line with image theory, participants followed four impact pathways, with the focus on stimulus events influencing career intentions and then well-being as a result, or conversely well-being then career intentions. The findings have important theoretical and practical implications for both sport management educators and organizational supervisors that can help ensure mutually beneficial experiences for all parties involved.
Priscila Alfaro-Barrantes, Brittany L. Jacobs, and Brian Wendry
This paper is an extension of a 2019 NASSM Teaching & Learning Fair presentation. It outlines two activities that have been integrated into the sport management curriculum at a small business college in New England.
Elizabeth A. Taylor and Amanda Paule-Koba
Colleges and universities provide a practical setting where faculty can integrate a curriculum that teaches sport management students, who are the future sport industry leaders, on critical topics they will encounter while working in the field. In light of the recent cases of sexual violence in the sport world (e.g., USA Gymnastics/Michigan State University, Baylor Football, Carolina Panthers), this study sought to examine the types of education and training on sexual violence that sport management faculty are utilizing in the classroom. Through the use of qualitative methods, 21 sport management faculty from 4-year institutions were interviewed to determine if and how the topic of sexual violence was being integrated in the classroom. Results showed a majority of the faculty were integrating current events and topics related to sexual violence in the classroom. However, faculty perceived that some courses were a “better fit” for these topics than others. Faculty also reported challenges to teaching these topics as the lines between a legal, sociological, and ethical standpoint can become confusing for students.
Ryan Snelgrove, Laura Wood, and Dan Wigfield
This article describes the use of an extended case that simulates the front-office management of a National Basketball Association franchise during the off-season. Undergraduate students in an introduction to sport management course are tasked with making a series of sequential and interconnected decisions over a semester related to hiring a coach, producing a press release and press conference, analyzing player performance, creating a turnaround plan, managing a roster, establishing a culture following change, and relaunching the team’s brand. The benefits of this approach include the application of knowledge to practice, an understanding of a sport sector, making decisions in teams, adapting to new organizational environments, understanding how to make sequential decisions, and understanding how decisions are interconnected over time and across departments.
Joshua R. Pate and Alyssa T. Bosley
Sport management academic programs can do better at preparing a graduate for a career by addressing the technology demands in the sport industry. Equally important is to weigh the skills that athletic department personnel want and need in a college graduate seeking an entry-level position in a sport communication, media relations, or sports information office. Those offices train student workers as an extension of their learning environment where they can put classroom learning to practice. The purpose of these interviews was to inform and equip sport management educators on how to best prepare students to enter the field of sport communication, specifically using social media in college athletics. Professionals indicated that students should be proficient in content creation and planning, representing an organization’s brand, and social media trends across all platforms. It is important for the sport management educator to know the skills and knowledge professionals desire from students so that classroom activity can be planned accordingly.