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Andrew Adams, Stephen Morrow and Ian Thomson

This paper presents a novel theoretical conceptualization of football clubs and empirical evidence as to how supporter groups, owners, and others engaged to resolve threats to their club. We use boundary theory to understand the evolution of two football clubs’ ownership, financing, and governance structures and demonstrate how the blurring of club boundaries was linked to engagements in interface areas between the club and other social groups. We argue that the appropriateness of different combinations of ownership, financing, and governance practices should be evaluated in terms of how they support effective engagement spaces that negotiate relationships with codependent social groups. Conceptualizing football clubs as boundary objects provides some specific insights into changes observed in Scottish football clubs. However, this approach is relevant to other situations in which club success is dependent on cooperative engagements with multiple social groups that have both convergent and divergent interests in the club.

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Gareth J. Jones, Mike Edwards, Jason N. Bocarro, Kyle S. Bunds and Jordan W. Smith

Interorganizational partnerships have been used by nonprofits in a variety of industries to build organizational capacity, yet they are currently underutilized by many youth sport nonprofit organizations. While previous research has highlighted key features of dyadic relationships that inhibit the development and maintenance of partnerships, there has been less attention to the influence of broader or complete networks. This study examined key structural properties of a youth sport nonprofit network in one municipality to determine how interorganizational partnerships were used to build organizational capacity. Whole network analysis was used to study partnerships between youth sport nonprofits and analyze the configuration and structural features of the network. Results indicated a fragmented network of youth sport nonprofit organizations, with the majority of organizations operating independently of one another, and the network itself characterized by unbalanced ties. The discussion highlights how this network structure influences organizational action and contributes to relational issues often observed at the dyadic level. The introduction of a third-party brokerage organization is discussed as a potentially useful strategy for improving this network structure.

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Mathew Dowling and Marvin Washington

This investigation examined how a network of knowledge-based professionals—the Canadian Sport for Life Leadership Team (CS4LLT)—as a newly emerging organizational form was able to influence the Canadian sport policy and governance process in an attempt to reshape Canadian sport. The analysis draws upon the epistemic community approach (Haas, 1992; Haas & Adler, 1992) and empirical data collected as part of an in-depth case study examination into the leadership team and senior Sport Canada officials. The findings support the notion that the CS4LLT, as a network of knowledge-based professionals with legitimated and authoritative and policy-relevant expertise (epistemic community), was able to influence the Canadian sport policy process through (i) influencing key governmental actors by (re)framing policy-relevant issues and (ii) establishing knowledge/truth claims surrounding athlete development, which, in turn, enabled direct and indirect involvement in and influence over the sport policy renewal process. More broadly, the study draws attention to the potential role and importance of knowledge-based professional networks as a fluid, dynamic, and responsive approach to organizing and managing sport that can reframe policy debates, insert ideas, and enable policy learning.

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Justin Robert Keene, Collin Berke and Brandon H. Nutting

This study, based on previous work, investigated the interaction of camera angle, arousing content, and an individual’s general and school-specific fanship on the cognitive processing of and emotional reactions to sport communication from a top-down and bottom-up perspective. Cognitive processing was defined as the resources available for encoding and was indexed using secondary-task reaction times, and self-reported positivity, negativity, and arousal were also measured as an index of emotional reactions. Results indicate that general and school-specific fanship have differential effects on cognitive processing and emotional reactions. In addition, in a replication of previous work, it would appear that different camera angles do not have different effects on cognitive processing. The implications of the top-down and bottom-up approach for the sport communication experience are discussed for both sport researchers and sport communication practitioners.

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William B. Anderson

The owners of professional basketball teams in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the American Basketball Association (ABA) wanted to merge the 2 leagues because a war between them over players had led to escalating salaries. The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) responded with a lawsuit to block the merger citing antitrust regulations. When the owners went to Congress to ask for a special antitrust exemption, they were denied. This case study discusses the impact of communication on legislative lobbying, specifically how the NBPA used direct and indirect lobbying techniques to block the first NBA–ABA merger attempt. This case study offers a means to understand how and why some entities succeed in their public debates, while others fail. For the scholar, this case study adds to the limited literature on legislative lobbying from a communication perspective. For the practitioner, this study provides some guidelines for the effective use of lobbying.

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Michael L. Naraine