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Jared A. Russell, Sheri Brock and Mary E. Rudisill

Bias, an automatic—usually unconscious and unintentional—inclination, preference, or favoring of an individual or group over another, is an inherent aspect of an individual’s academic leadership and decision-making processes. Bias alone is not a detriment to building an inclusive and supportive environment for faculty. However, oftentimes an academic unit leader’s biases result in the justification, rationalization, and facilitation of exclusionary processes and practices toward faculty, particularly those from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. This article discusses the impact of bias, specifically implicit bias, on academic leadership. Moreover, the impact of a leader’s biases toward diversity attributes (e.g., gender, sexual orientation/affinity, age, ethnicity, race) of faculty are highlighted. Specifically, key areas of academic leadership are explored: faculty recruitment (hiring), retention (evaluation), and advancement (promotion and tenure). Recommendations, promising practices, and strategies for minimizing the impact of implicit bias are provided.

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Terry L. Rizzo, Penny McCullagh and Donna Pastore

This paper offers direction and guidance to help departments develop fair and equitable search, evaluation, and retention strategies for their faculty. Included is how to attract a diverse candidate pool and successfully recruit diverse candidates. In addition, the paper provides guidelines about evaluating faculty members, emphasizing the need for formative evaluation that offers faculty ample opportunities, resources, and support systems for improving their performance before any summative evaluations administered by a department or college. Finally, the paper presents retention stratagems as guidelines to help departments support and retain their high-quality faculty members. Achieving the goals of recruitment, retention, and advancement requires the involvement and leadership of university officers, school deans, department chairs/heads, and faculty.

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Landy Di Lu and Kathryn L. Heinze

Multilevel examinations of sport policy institutionalization are scarce in sport management scholarship. As sport policies diffuse across geographic boundaries, there is often variation in the timing of adoption. In this study, the authors used event history analysis to examine the effect of institutional factors, within and between states, on the speed of youth sport concussion legislation adoption. Our quantitative analyses show that a series of intrastate factors—state norms, disruptive events, and local advocacy—had a significant influence on the timing of state policy adoption, but interstate social networks did not. Supporting qualitative data provide additional insight about the relationship between disruptive events and local advocacy in the adoption of concussion legislation. This study contributes to a better understanding of institutional factors in the diffusion of sport policy across geographic boundaries and offers an approach for future research examining variation in sport policy or practice adoption.

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Leanne Norman

Building on the body of research that has addressed the experiences of female coaches, the present study examines women’s role as coach developers. English football served as the context for the research. Figures demonstrate women are underrepresented in this role more so than they are as coaches, and their distribution across the coach developer pathway is unevenly balanced, with most women qualified at Level I of the pathway. Using the concept of ‘organizational fit’, the research connects the experiences of the 10 coach developers interviewed, to the structural practices of their national and local governing bodies. These practices were symptomatic of the organizations’ culture that is created and upheld by masculine ideals. Work expectations and the environment were structured on the image of men as coaches and coach developers. Cultural barriers to women’s sense of organizational fit were specifically found to be: the incentive to progress (return on investment from higher coaching qualifications), the degree of organizational support and nurture, and the opportunity to progress and practice. Consequently, organizational expectations and values do not support the ambitions of women to climb the coach developer career ladder, and restrict their sense of choice and control. Future research should direct its attention towards a greater interrogation of aspects of sport organizational culture that may serve to ‘push’ female coaches away from its core, or alternatively, pull them closer to engage and make use of their expertise and abilities as coach developers.

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Christopher R. Hill, Deborah L. Feltz, Stephen Samendinger and Karin A. Pfeiffer

Previous reviews have highlighted the importance of self-efficacy beliefs in maintaining adequate levels of childhood physical activity (PA), but variable findings with different age groups and measures of PA indicate the need to quantify the extant literature. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to estimate the relationship between adolescents’ barrier self-efficacy (BSE) and PA behavior using a random-effects model and to examine age and type of PA measurement as potential relationship moderators. A systematic online database review yielded 38 articles up to June 2018. A small to moderate correlation between BSE beliefs and PA was noted, although the variability was considerable. Age and measurement timing were not significant moderators, but the type of measurement was a significant relationship moderator. This meta-analysis emphasizes the importance of BSE as a psychosocial correlate to PA behavior in young people. There is a need for further BSE–PA research with attention to measurement technique and developmental differences.

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Thilo Kunkel, Rui Biscaia, Akiko Arai and Kwame Agyemang

This research explored the role of athlete on- and off-field brand image on consumer commitment toward the athlete and associated team, preference by the athlete’s sponsor, and the mediating effect of consumers’ self-brand connection on these relationships. Data were collected from fans of soccer players through a cross-sectional survey promoted on social media platforms. A partial least squares structural equation model examined the direct effects of both athlete brand dimensions on athlete commitment, team commitment, and athlete sponsor preference, and the indirect effects mediated via self-brand connection. The results indicate that an athlete’s on-field image is significantly related to athlete sponsor preference, while the off-field image influences athlete commitment and team commitment. Self-brand connection is influenced by athlete off-field image and mediates the relationship between off-field image and athlete commitment. This study contributes to a better understanding of how to manage athlete brands and linkages between fans, athletes, and associated entities.

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Diane M. Culver, Erin Kraft, Cari Din and Isabelle Cayer

This best practice paper describes a Canadian intervention to address the lack of women in sport coaching and leadership roles. While the number of female athletes has increased over the last decades, the opposite is true of female head coaches, both nationally and internationally. The issues influencing this trend are mostly institutional and societal. There is a lack of support systems in place for females attempting to become involved (recruitment) and maintain their involvement (retention) in coaching. The Alberta Women in Sport Leadership Impact Program (AWiSL) takes a community of practice approach to increase gender equity and leadership diversity in Alberta sport organizations. The AWiSL began in October 2017 and continues until early 2020. There are currently 6 mentors and 12 sport leaders from Alberta sport organizations, who engage in monthly meetings to learn and participate in the co-creation of knowledge to meet the project outcomes, which include the planning and implementation of initiatives for their individual sport organizations, all in the service of supporting gender equity. Descriptions of specific activities thus far are presented as well as information about the how to of conducting such an intervention. Various challenges and lessons are discussed. The description of the AWiSL and ongoing program evaluation aims to support other organizations seeking an example of an initiative to create equitable coaching and leadership opportunities, and to create change.

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Matea Wasend and Nicole M. LaVoi

A plethora of research on barriers facing women in the coaching profession exists, but less attention has been devoted to female student-athletes’ transition into coaching. Some research suggests that female athletes who are coached by women are more likely to become coaches. In the present study, existing research is extended by examining the relationship between collegiate female basketball players’ post-playing career behavior and the gender of their collegiate head coach. Two research questions are addressed: (1) Are female collegiate Division-I basketball players who are coached by female head coaches more likely to enter the coaching profession than athletes who are coached by men? And; (2) If female basketball players do enter coaching, are those who were coached by women more likely to persist in coaching? Collegiate head coach gender did not emerge as a significant predictor of athletes’ likelihood to enter coaching, but logistic regression indicated that athletes who did enter coaching were 4.1-times more likely to stay in coaching if they had a female head coach. This study extends the scarce and outdated body of research on the potential salience of same-sex coaching role models for female athletes and provides baseline data on collegiate athletes’ entry rate into coaching, lending support to advocacy aimed at reversing the current stagnation of women in the sport coaching profession.

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Leslie K. Larsen and Christopher J. Clayton

In 2017–2018, more than 60% of NCAA Division I women’s basketball (DI WBB) players identified as women of color, while less than 17% of the head coaches of DI WBB teams identified as women of color. Larsen, Fisher, and Moret suggested differences in career pathways between black female head coaches and their white female and white and black male counterparts could be one explanation for the aforementioned discrepancy. However, there is currently limited research on the career pathways of DI WBB head coaches to support Larsen and colleagues’ hypothesis. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the career pathways of DI WBB head coaches to identify race and gender differences. To accomplish this, a content analysis was conducted on the online biographies of head coaches from all 351 DI WBB programs. Significant differences between groups were found in the number of years coaching in DI women’s basketball prior to receiving a first DI head coaching position; both white women (M = 6.97) and women of color (M = 7.94) had significantly more years in DI WBB coaching than white males (M = 4.95; F(3, 348) = 4.63, p = .003). Further, chi-square tests revealed a significant relationship between the race and gender of a coach and the highest level of playing experience and education. These results indicate that race and gender play a significant role in determining what pathway is required to obtain an DI WBB head coaching position. In addition to these research findings, practical implications are discussed.