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Organizational Identity Development in Sport Volunteers

Christine E. Wegner, Bradley J. Baker, and Gareth J. Jones

Volunteers provide essential services to community sport organizations; thus, it is important to understand the underlying factors in successful volunteer–organization relationships. Organizational identification, an integral component of relationship building for members in an organization, is a useful yet underutilized concept to understand how and why volunteers create lasting, deep relationships with sport organizations. This research utilizes a sequential mixed-method design to examine the evolution of organizational identification among volunteers in a community sport organization. The survey results indicate that new volunteers formed their organizational identification over the course of a single program season, such that, by the end of the season, they were similar to returners. Subsequent qualitative analysis of focus group data indicated that the content and evolution of organizational identities varied for newcomers and returners. These results provide important contributions related to the ongoing nature of identity work of volunteers and offer practical implications for volunteer management within community sport organizations.

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Sport Experience Design: Wearable Fitness Technology in the Health and Fitness Industry

Anthony D. Pizzo, Bradley J. Baker, Gareth J. Jones, and Daniel C. Funk

Emerging technologies not only pose challenges for how sport organizations are managed but also create opportunities for sport organizations to become more competitive by enhancing consumers’ service experience. The integration of wearable fitness technology (WFT) by health and fitness clubs provides an opportunity to examine the influence of WFT on the service experience. Although existing research on technology innovations typically examines either the individual or the organizational perspective in isolation, we use the sport experience design framework to comprehensively examine the influence of WFT on the management and perceptions of service experiences. Participants (N = 37) who took part in the qualitative study included fitness club owners (n = 13), fitness club instructors (n = 7), and fitness club members (n = 17). Findings indicate that integrating WFT enhances the service experience via increased social interaction, gamification, and accountability. However, findings also suggest that technology innovations must be integrated carefully to avoid misalignment between providers’ and users’ perceptions. Despite the potential for misalignment, emerging technologies can enhance and expand the service experience beyond the physical environment, presenting sport organizations with technology-mediated opportunities to engage consumers.

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Examining the Environmental Characteristics of Shared Leadership in a Sport-for-Development Organization

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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Analyzing Collaborations Involving Nonprofit Youth Sport Organizations: A Resource-Dependency Perspective

Gareth J. Jones, Katie Misener, Per G. Svensson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Moonsup Hyun

Interorganizational relationships are a well-established practice among nonprofit youth sport organizations seeking to acquire key resources and improve service efficiencies. However, less is known about how broader trends in the nonprofit sector influence their utilization. Guided by Austin’s collaborative continuum and resource dependency theory, this study analyzed how interorganizational relationships are utilized by different nonprofit youth sport organizations in one American context. The results indicate that high-resource organizations primarily utilize philanthropic and transactional forms of collaboration, whereas integrative collaboration is more likely among low-resource organizations. The discussion draws on resource dependency theory to provide theoretical insight into this association, as well as the implications for collaborative value generated through interorganizational relationships.

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Collaborative Advantages: The Role of Interorganizational Partnerships for Youth Sport Nonprofit Organizations

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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A Resource-Based View of Organizational Sustainability in Sport for Development

Wonjun Choi, Mi Ryoung Chung, Wonju Lee, Gareth J. Jones, and Per G. Svensson

A growing number of sport-for-development (SFD) organizations have emerged in the nonprofit sector to leverage sport for social change, yet many organizations struggle with chronic resource deficiencies that inhibit their long-term viability and highlight a pressing need to examine the sustainability of SFD organizations through resource-based perspectives. This study analyzed secondary financial and administrative data from SFD organizations in the United States to examine changes in key resources during early organizational life stages. Latent profile analysis was utilized to classify organizations based on their level of resources, and multilevel growth modeling revealed significant changes in key resources over the first 5 years of operation, as well as significant differences based on initial resource levels and rates of change. The results provide theoretical insight into the key resources associated with organizational sustainability in the SFD field and offer practical implications for resource procurement, prioritization, and management.

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Examining the Efficacy of a Government-Led Sport for Development and Peace Event

Gareth J. Jones, Elizabeth Taylor, Christine Wegner, Colin Lopez, Heather Kennedy, and Anthony Pizzo

A large body of research has examined the influence of sport for development and peace (SDP) events on community development, focusing primarily on SDP events delivered by nonprofit “change agents.” Although scholars have highlighted the need to more meaningfully incorporate local governments into SDP event management, there has been limited attention to government-led implementation. The purpose of this study was to explore a government-led SDP event through the lens of the S4D Framework to understand how the approach to implementation influenced sport event management, direct social impacts, and long-term social outcomes. Data were generated primarily through interviews with members of the event leadership team and supplemented with observations and focus groups with event participants. The findings indicate that the structural and social resources of the local government were key to activating different phases of the S4D Framework, yet also revealed unique challenges that have important implications for SDP event management.