The main goal of our article is to encourage personal reflection within the field of sport management as a tool to strengthen methodological approaches in our research. We explore and discuss the utility of collaborative self-ethnography as one way to acknowledge personal identities through a reflexive account of our experiences as sport fans and sport researchers with this methodology. We draw on a previous study of our experiences as sport fans to illustrate techniques, downfalls, and benefits of studying one’s experiences in a collaborative methodological approach. We have two objectives: First, we hope to encourage sport management researchers to acknowledge and reflect on their personal identities related to sport, such as being a fan, coach, volunteer, or former participant, in their research. Second, we aim to demonstrate the utility of collaborative self-ethnography as one way to incorporate reflexivity in sport management research and theory development.
Shannon Kerwin and Larena Hoeber
Shannon Kerwin and Alison Doherty
The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that moderate the association between substantive task and process conflicts and personal relationship conflict within Canadian intercollegiate athletic departments. The sample population was administrative office personnel in those departments (i.e., directors, managers, and support staff). Based on previous research and tenets of affective events theory, task participation, trust, cohesion, value dissimilarity, and negative affect were hypothesized to influence the likelihood that task and process conflict would trigger relationship conflict. Trust and value dissimilarity were found to significantly moderate the association between task conflict and further relationship conflict. The findings advance theory with regard to mechanisms that reduce negative conflict and enhance our understanding of intragroup conflict in intercollegiate athletics. Implications for research and practice are presented.
Shannon Hamm-Kerwin and Alison Doherty
Conflict can significantly influence the performance of a group and the attitudes of their members. As with any organizational group, conflict is expected within the boards of nonprofit organizations. The purpose of this paper was to examine the nature of intragroup conflict in nonprofit sport boards, and its impact on perceived decision quality, board member satisfaction, and commitment to the board. Seventy-four provincial sport organization board members were surveyed. The results indicated that task, relationship, and process conflict were negatively related to decision quality, satisfaction, and commitment, and relationship conflict was the most influential variable on all three outcomes. The mediating effect of relationship conflict on the conflict to outcomes associations was also uncovered. The findings have implications for the management of relationship conflict in this context, as well as the management of task and process conflict which may trigger relationship conflict. Several areas for future research are presented.
Shannon Kerwin, Joanne MacLean and Dina Bell-Laroche
The theory of practicing values may provide valuable insight into the role of organizational values in sport organizations. This is particularly relevant in the nonprofit sport sector where managers operate with limited budgets and organizations may subscribe to specific ethical-social values related to organizational performance. The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of organizational values on the performance of nonprofit sport organizations and the possible mediating effect of employing a management-by-values approach. Online questionnaires were collected from 24 national sport organizations, with a total sample of 103 participants. Results indicate management by values fully mediates the influence of ethical-social organizational values on organizational performance. These results are explained using the theory of practicing values, which emphasizes the need to intentionally manage values within sport organizations. Implications for research and practice are presented.
Stacy Warner, Shannon Kerwin and Matthew Walker
As scholars conduct more research on the social benefits of community sport, the need for an instrument to measure sense of community is increasingly necessary. Utilizing previous grounded theory research specific to sport and community building, the purpose of this study was to test previous sport and sense of community theory through the creation and validation of a measurement scale to gauge sense of community. The authors tested a 21-item tool comprised of 6-subscales (i.e., Administrative Consideration, Common Interest, Competition, Equity in Administrative Decisions, Leadership, and Social Spaces) among samples of young sport participants using the three-phase method of item generation, confirmatory analyses, and concurrent validation. The resulting analyses yielded a valid and reliable instrument to measure sense of community in sport. This research suggests refinement to previous sport and sense of community theory and provides needed utility for this theory that has been grounded in the sport experience.
Craig Hyatt, Shannon Kerwin, Larena Hoeber and Katherine Sveinson
While the sport fan literature suggests that it is common for parents to socialize their children to cheer for specific sports and teams, recent literature proposes that children can socialize their parents into changing the parents’ sport fandom in a process sociologists and consumer behavior researchers refer to as reverse socialization. To ascertain whether children can socialize and influence their parents’ sport fandom, 20 sport fan parents were interviewed. Evidence of reverse socialization was found in 15 of the participants, manifesting itself in ways that can be categorized as either developing new or additional fandom, or changing one’s behaviors or attitudes towards their existing fandom. However, further exploration of the data suggests that future research reexamine the term “reverse socialization,” as we do not see this as a directionality of influence, but as children as socializing agents.