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Mandating Women Board Members in Sport Organizations: Change via Coercive Institutional Pressure

Kathleen B. Wilson, Adam Karg, Emma Sherry, Kasey Symons, and Tim Breitbarth

Boosting board representation of women redresses structural unfairness and improves corporate governance and performance. The Change Our Game initiative, running over 3 years statewide in Victoria, Australia, mandated 40% representation of women on state sport boards. At the start, only 44% of state sport boards had 40% women representation; by the mandate deadline, this had increased to 93%. Using an institutional theory lens, the authors qualitatively analyzed four stakeholder groups: mandators, policy champions, operationalists, and mandate targets. Stakeholder sentiments were analyzed pre- and postmandate deadline over 3 years. Sentiments ranged from positive to equivocation to denigration. The mandate’s coercive pressure, supported by institutional legitimacy and work to accelerate changes, led to institutional change and achieved a significant increase in women board members. Change was grounded in strong ethical and cognitive support from mandate champions. Microsocial expressions of denigration and change resistance did not prevent successful change.

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The Use of Bricolage in a Resource-Constrained Sport for Development and Peace Organization

Mitchell McSweeney, Landy Lu, and Gareth Jones

Despite the growth of the sport-for-development and peace (SDP) field, the sector remains heavily resource-constrained whereby organizations have limited resources but also operate in resource-scarce environments. Given this, we draw on the theoretical concept of bricolage to explore how such resource constraints are overcome. In this study, an organization implementing SDP for refugees and throughout their existence have been confronted with resource constraints is examined. Across the organization’s start-up phase and growth stage, multiple forms of bricolage are identified, which enabled the organization to address the social needs of refugees through SDP. We discuss these findings in relation to existing literature on bricolage as well as social entrepreneurship in SDP, emphasizing the way in which the recombination of resources offers opportunities for organizations and practitioners to effectively manage a scarce resource base.

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 3 (May 2024)

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Factors Affecting Women Sports Officials’ Intention to Leave Across Europe

Pamela Wicker, George B. Cunningham, and Tom Webb

This study examines the factors affecting women officials’ intention to leave their chosen sport, including personal, work-related, and sociocultural factors. The empirical analysis is based on survey data of women officials in 69 different sports across Europe (n = 3,214). Overall, 10.7% of women expressed a turnover intention. Regression analyses indicate that this intention is higher for women who have more officiating experience (16–20 years), officiate at lower levels of sport (grassroots, junior), frequently experience abuse, and dislike the stress and time commitments of officiating, lack of support from the federation, and their lack of opportunity to progress. Younger women (≤24 years) with a mentor, who enjoy being part of a sport community and live in a more gender equal society are less likely to leave. The findings suggest that multiple factors are at work, which need to be addressed by sport managers to retain women in officiating roles.

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Tackling International Markets: Bicultural Brand Positioning of Sport Leagues in Foreign Countries

Christian Weisskopf and Sebastian Uhrich

As sport league brands have increasingly extended their marketing activities into foreign countries, international brand positioning has become a relevant research topic. In this research, we introduce and examine the concept of bicultural brand positioning, an approach that combines a sport league’s connection to its home country with target-country associations. We integrate bicultural identity theory with the literature on brand benefits to propose two types of bicultural brand positioning: functional versus symbolic. Three experiments, using the National Football League and German satellite fans as the empirical context, provide evidence that bicultural brand positioning incorporating functional (vs. symbolic) benefits for the satellite fans increases bicultural brand image integration, defined as the perceived compatibility of combining the two country cultures, and has positive indirect effects on intentions to use the brand and positive word of mouth. These effects are driven by increased perceptions of cultural authenticity of the brand and brand convenience.

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Front Office Fantasies: The Rise of Managerial Sports Media

Luke L. Mao

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Tracing Gender Allyship and the Role of Awareness in Addressing the Gender Leadership Gap in Sport Organizations

Caroline Heffernan and Lisa A. Kihl

An extensive literature base has investigated women’s underrepresentation in decision-making positions with sport organizations, yet women’s access to these positions remains limited. Diversification strategies, based on distributive justice, have failed to create further opportunities. A new approach is needed to address this latent issue. The concept of gender allyship is presented to address the limitations of distributive justice paradigms that involves men and women to work as members of a coalition to improve gender equity in sport organizations. Utilizing grounded theory, this paper presents the core category of awareness and related subcategories self-awareness, organizational awareness, and industry awareness, as a means of informing the performance of gender allyship. The findings provide interesting theoretical and empirical implications for understanding the development of awareness, its subcategories, and how it contributes to change.

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Erratum. A Typology of Circular Sport Business Models: Enabling Sustainable Value Co-Creation in the Sport Industry

Journal of Sport Management

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“If This Is What Working in Sports Is, I Want Absolutely No Part of It”: Women’s Experiences With Sexual Harassment in Sport Organizations

Elizabeth Taylor, Katherine Sveinson, and Laura Burton

There is a plethora of recent examples from the sport industry that situate sport organizations as contributing to sexual violence against women (e.g., Phoenix Suns, Nike). Though research has shown that these issues exist in sport, little work has focused on the impacts of gender-based violence and sexual harassment. Therefore, utilizing gender regimes as our conceptual framework, we explored how experiences of gender-based violence and sexual harassment within sport organizations work to perpetuate the gender inequality in sport workplaces. Findings illustrate the influence of a multilevel relationship to the gender-based violence and sexual harassment experienced by women is impacted by the presence of gender regimes and use of containment strategies to conceal this abuse. Thus, we argue that institutional-level failures to protect women represent organizational success, which reinforces gender regimes and the purposeful containment of these incidents maintains the gender/power hierarchy.

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“Seven Weeks Is Not a Lot of Time”: Temporal Work and Institutional Change in Australian Football

Joshua McLeod, Géraldine Zeimers, Jonathan Robertson, Catherine Ordway, Lee McGowan, and David Shilbury

Recognizing the importance of timing in efforts to drive institutional change, this study examined how actors engage in “temporal institutional work” in their attempts to disrupt inequitable institutions in sport. A qualitative case study was conducted on football (soccer) in Australia wherein significant gender equity reforms have been enacted. The findings revealed how the temporal activities of entraining (e.g., capitalizing on external interventions), constructing urgency (e.g., through advocacy), and enacting momentum (e.g., through consensus-based leadership) allowed actors to exploit a time-sensitive window of opportunity for change, quickly foster a perception of irreversibility that structural change would occur, and generate synchronicity with broader reforms. Inspired by the breakthroughs in Australian football, this research highlights temporal-based strategies for combating gender inequity in sport. Theoretically, this study extends research on institutional work in sport by illuminating the key role that timing norms play during institutional change.