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Danny O'Brien and Trevor Slack

Since 1995, the organizational field that constitutes English rugby union has undergone considerable transformation. Utilizing ideas about changes in actors, changes in exchange processes and interorganizational linkages, changes in the legitimized forms of capital in the field, and changes in regulatory structures, this paper explores the nature of this transformation in English rugby union. Data from 43 interviews with key individuals in the English game form the main data source for the study. The results show that changes in the communities of actors composing the field hastened change in other areas. Powerful new actors with strong ties to business environments brought with them professionally oriented values and a new institutional logic. Having made significant financial investments in the field, these actors collectively took measures to protect their economic interests. These measures took the form of political activity and coalition building, which, ultimately, reconfigured the field's regulatory structure. The new emphasis on economic capital prompted significant shifts in key actors' exchange relationships, in that clubs' strategies and structures were reoriented in order to gain access to this important network resource.

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Danny O’Brien and Trevor Slack

The organizational field that constitutes English rugby union has undergone substantial change since 1995. This paper builds on earlier work by O’Brien and Slack (2003a) that established that a shift from an amateur to a professional dominant logic in English rugby union took place between 1995 and 2000. Utilizing ideas about institutional logics, isomorphism, and diffusion, the current paper explores how this shift in logics actually evolved. Data from 43 interviews with key individuals in English rugby union form the main data source for the study. The results show that isomorphic change in accord with a new professional logic diffused throughout the field by way of three distinct diffusion patterns: status driven, bandwagon, and eventually, the social learning of adaptive responses. An initial period of high uncertainty, intense competitive pressures, and sustained financial crises resulted in unrestrained mimesis in the first two seasons of the professional era. However, this gave way in the third season to increased interorganizational linkages, coalition building, and political activity that promoted normative and coercive pressures for a consolidation of the game’s infrastructure and future development.

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Danny O’Brien and Jess Ponting

This research analyzes a strategic approach to managing surf tourism in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Surf tourists travel to often remote destinations for the purpose of riding surfboards, and earlier research suggests the mismanagement of surf tourism in some destinations has resulted in significant deleterious impacts on host communities. The research question in this study addresses how surf tourism can be managed to achieve sustainable host community benefits in the context of a developing country. Primary data came from semistructured interviews and participant observation. The findings demonstrate how sport governing bodies can engage host communities in a collaborative framework for the sustainable utilization of sport tourism resources. The derived knowledge from this research may decrease host communities’ reliance on less sustainable commercial activities, and inform policy and practice on sustainable approaches to using sport tourism for community building and poverty alleviation.

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Kevin Filo, Daniel Funk and Danny O’Brien

Sport events benefiting a charitable cause have emerged as meaningful experiences for participants. These charity sport events may allow event sponsors to shape perceptions of corporate image among event participants. Using the Psychological Continuum Model (PCM) as the theoretical framework, the factors that contribute to participants’ perceptions of event sponsors are examined. The influence of this image of event sponsors on behavioral outcomes among participants is also investigated. A post-event questionnaire was administered to participants in a sport event (N = 672) to investigate the relationships among motives, sponsor image, event attachment, purchase intent, and future participation intent. Results reveal that recreation and charity motives contribute to event attachment, while charity motives and event attachment contribute to sponsor image. Significantly, sponsor image and attachment contribute to purchase intent for event sponsors’ products. Finally, sponsor image does not influence future participation intent, while event attachment does. The results illustrate the discrete roles that sponsor image and attachment play in sport consumption activities. Suggestions are made for the strategic selection and marketing of events by potential sponsors to most effectively leverage event sponsorship opportunities.

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Kevin R. Filo, Daniel C. Funk and Danny O’Brien

Participatory sport events have emerged as viable fundraising mechanisms for charitable organizations. This article examines the impact that motives for charitable giving and sport event participation have on charity sport events. The authors examine the factors that attract participants to a charity sport event, while the role of charity in fostering attachment to the event is explored. Focus groups were conducted with charity sport event participants to discuss what motivated their participation. Results revealed that intellectual, social, and competency motives along with the motives of reciprocity, self-esteem, need to help others, and desire to improve the charity contribute to attraction. In addition, the results suggest that the charitable component influences social and competency motives and contributes to the development of attachment to the event. The authors recommend event managers work to foster and leverage the sense of community created through these events.

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Kevin Filo, Daniel C. Funk and Danny O’Brien

Charity sport events have emerged as widespread and integral fundraising mechanisms for charitable organizations. This article explores the meaning that charity sport events hold in participants’ lives. Using the Psychological Continuum Model (PCM) as the theoretical framework, the authors examine participant attachment to charity sport events. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants in a charity sport event (N = 32) to discuss their perceptions of the event and their overall event experiences. Results revealed that camaraderie, cause, and competency reflect the enhanced meaning of the event and provide further explanation of attachment. Suggestions are made for charitable organizations and host communities to leverage these factors effectively and develop long-term sustainable events, and to assist in recruiting volunteers and facilitating social change in host communities.

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Jonathan Robertson, Ryan Storr, Andrew Bakos and Danny O’Brien

The aim of this article was to develop a theoretical framework to aid the current understanding of social change practice. Drawing on concepts from institutional theory, the authors proposed and applied a theoretical framework to investigate social change at the intersection of gender and sexuality inclusion in Australian cricket. Qualitative techniques (interviews and document analyses) were utilized to investigate the trajectory of lesbian inclusion in Australian cricket over time. Starting from the perspective that institutional arrangements can be exclusionary (or biased) toward certain groups in society, this research investigated how the actions of institutional entrepreneurs can create more inclusive institutional arrangements. Theoretical and practical implications for future research are discussed.