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Gregory A. Cranmer and Sara LaBelle

Despite advancements in concussion treatment and management, health and sports professionals largely depend on athletes’ self-reporting of symptoms to begin the process of diagnosis. With this in mind, recent scholarly attention has focused on understanding the barriers and processes of athletes’ self-disclosure of symptoms. The current study applied the disclosure decision-making model to understand high school football players’ disclosure decisions after experiencing symptoms of a concussion. Data obtained from 184 high school football players from across the United States demonstrated 2 significant paths by which players’ disclosures of concussion symptoms during a game can be understood. First, the perceived severity of these symptoms predicted athletes’ self-efficacy to disclose concussions, which subsequently predicted their intentions to disclose concussion symptoms during a game. Second, the felt stigma around disclosing concussion symptoms predicted athletes’ anticipated responses from coaches to such disclosures, which subsequently predicted their intentions to disclose concussion symptoms during a game. Furthermore, the effect of perceived stigma on the anticipated responses from coaches was moderated by the quality of athletes’ relationships with their coaches. These results highlight the importance of convincing athletes to take concussion symptoms seriously and the role of athlete–coach relationships in combatting stigma around concussion disclosures. These findings suggest that scholars and practitioners should acknowledge the social contexts surrounding disclosure of concussion symptom and shift educational efforts to focus on the dangers of concussions and the process by which athletes should report potential symptoms.

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Grace Yan, Dustin Steller, Nicholas M. Watanabe and Nels Popp

The question of how and why users engage in sport digital communication endures. In this study, structuration theory is employed to examine how social-media users exercise preferences in the creation of content as they respond to a variety of macrolevel factors pertaining to college football—the type of game, team strength, conference membership, market characteristics, etc. Through hierarchical regression analysis, the results indicate that the presence and timing of college football games, as well as team strength and game outcome, are significant determinants for the patterns of online content generation. As such, the study advances the theoretical, methodological, and managerial inquiry of user-generated content on sport social-media platforms through a Big Data analytics approach.

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Nick Takos, Duncan Murray and Ian O’Boyle

To learn more about effective leadership of sport organizations, this study explored board member interactions in nonprofit sport boards and specifically the construct of authentic leadership and its impact on board functioning. This somewhat contrasts with the extant research on governance and boards, which has often focused on elements, such as structure, process, and policy. Scholars have often explored the leadership theme within sport at the individual, coach, team, and sport department level. Limited attention has been afforded to studying leadership within the sport governance domain, although the importance of gaining a greater understanding of this area has been noted by both industry and researchers alike. A case study investigation of the Australian Football League exploring authentic leadership in Australian Football League club boards is presented in this paper. Ten Australian Football League clubs took part in the study, and 51 in-depth interviews were conducted with participants (board members) from clubs located across Australia. Interviews were analyzed using an interpretive process, and a thematic structure relating to leadership, board dynamics, and authenticity was developed. Ultimately, three key components of authenticity emerged as highly influential on board effectiveness: relational orientation, self-awareness, and balanced processing. These findings suggest that the nature of relationships between board members, particularly the chair and chief executive officer, is more positively influential on board functionality if characterized by authenticity and likely to lead to higher levels of trust, reduced disharmony, and limiting the formation of harmful subgroups.

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Khirey B. Walker, Chad Seifried, Brian Soebbing and Kwame Agyemang

The present study used framing theory to analyze reports and articles from 1998 through 2016 offered by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and various newspapers to analyze the relationship between social-control agents and how they speak to specific audiences (e.g., public and NCAA members) about instances of misconduct by Division I members. The concept of conflict framing (i.e., frame alignment, counterframing, and reframing) is featured. The research demonstrated that episodic framing is more widespread than thematic framing, but it is used differently for specific audiences. The study also found that thematic framing is highly correlated with the normative approach and confirms that media outlets used assorted conflict-framing strategies (e.g., frame alignment, counterframing, and debunking) to emphasize that information on cases was false, incomplete, correct, or filtered. Different uses regarding precedent are also acknowledged, along with coverage concerning the type of institution and location of newspaper (i.e., local or national).

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Annemarie Farrell

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Ted Hayduk III and Matt Walker

Human-resource management is a unique challenge for professional sport franchises (PSFs). A lack of research on full-time employees in sport means we know little about the perceptions of those most connected to PSFs despite the unique nature of the sport industry. This paper investigates whether communicating socially responsible behavior (SRB) in sport job postings generates more prospective person–organization fit (POFit) and greater application intention. Uncovering these relationships will help sport practitioners optimize their hiring process by targeting recruitment messages. The analysis does not support the idea that communicating SRB in a sport job posting enhances prospective POFit or application intentions, even for socially conscious applicants. These findings contradict similar exercises carried out in other industries, highlighting the distinctiveness of professional sport.

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Eunyoung Kim and Wilson Lowrey

This case study examines how local news tends to represent a crisis of a local organization differently from national news. Based on reviewing literature on local news boosterism, this study suggests a couple of reasons for differences between local and national news coverage: local source organizations’ boosting the city’s economy and symbolic values and variability in dependence on organizational sources by local news. When a local organization faces a crisis, local news media tend to cover issues more supportively than do national news media. Content analyses of local and national news about the crisis for the Baltimore Ravens professional football team related to player Ray Rice’s domestic violence case in 2014 show positive relationships between dependence on organizational sources and more supportive coverage on local news than that of national news. Local and national news both employed the frames of economic consequences and symbolic boosterism, but in different ways. Theoretical and practical implications are presented in the discussion.

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Gareth J. Jones, Christine E. Wegner, Kyle S. Bunds, Michael B. Edwards and Jason N. Bocarro

To promote community development, sport-for-development (SFD) organizations strive to build local leadership that fosters long-term sustainability. Although shared leadership (SL) structures are particularly effective in these settings, there has been limited attention to SL within the SFD context, especially from a multilevel perspective. While previous studies of leadership in sport have primarily focused on the individual traits of leaders, multilevel analysis is required to understand how environmental characteristics relate to leadership development. This qualitative case study analyzes the development and deployment of SL in an American SFD organization. Interviews, observations, and document analysis are used to generate data, and theoretical thematic analysis is used to identify key themes related to the environmental characteristics of SL. Results highlight how environmental characteristics are related to SL, as well as group and task characteristics. The discussion integrates these findings with SL theory to discuss implications for the management of SFD projects in this context, and recommends integrated forms of leadership that combine shared and servant leadership approaches.

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Stephen Frawley, Daniel Favaloro and Nico Schulenkorf

In recent years, there has been a significant interest around leadership development practices within the field of management. Leadership development is particularly important within the highly competitive sport industry, where leadership performance is under constant and ever-increasing scrutiny. For sport organizations, strong leadership can be a source of significant competitive advantage, and hence, increased focus on leadership and investment into the development of talent has occurred. However, there has been a surprising lack of scholarly research into leadership and the associated processes within the sport management field, particularly from an Australian perspective. This paper addresses this gap as it examines the nature of experience-based leadership development practices within three of Australia’s leading professional sport organizations. Following a qualitative multicase study approach, the thematic analysis of 15 in-depth semistructured interviews with members of the senior executive of each case organization suggested that the national sport organizations placed significant emphasis on experience-based opportunities as a way of developing their workforce. Via the adoption of McCall’s experience-based leadership development framework, four main themes emerged: the importance of experience-based opportunities for leadership development; leadership development through involvement and exposure to experiences; networking opportunities gained from experienced-based exposure; and the relationship between on-the-job experience and formal leadership education. These findings extend our knowledge of current leadership development and practices implemented in national sport organizations and highlight the importance of effective leadership within highly competitive sport markets. Based on these findings, implications are provided for current practice illustrating the benefits that an experience-based approach to leadership development within sport organizations can have.