Interuniversity athletic departments face an ever-increasing number and complexity of factors in their environment, which may impact on their organizational activities to varying degrees. The head athletic directors at 34 of the 45 (76%) Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) member institutions rated the degree of control of 15 environmental elements over seven basic activities of the athletic department. The athletic department was perceived to function relatively independent of broad environmental control, with the exception of establishing and supporting a philosophy of interuniversity athletics. It appears that perceived control is a multidimensional phenomenon that varies across the environmental elements and the activities of the athletic department.
Alison J. Armstrong-Doherty
Alison J. Armstrong-Doherty
Organizational autonomy of the interuniversity athletic department, university responsibility for athletics, and pressure from nonuniversity individuals, groups, and organizations are all concerns related to the department's dependence on various sources in its environment for financial support. The Emerson (1962) power-dependence theory of social exchange relations, and its adaptation to the study of organization-environment relations (Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978; Thompson, 1967), guided an examination of funding and control in Canadian university athletics. This study examined whether athletic departments are perceived to be controlled by the funding sources in their environment according to their relative resource dependence upon those sources. Financial resource dependence and perceived control data were obtained from athletic directors (ADs) at 34 Canadian universities. Significant Spearman rank order correlations reveal the resource dependence-based perceived control of the university central administration, corporate sponsors, and provincial/federal sport organizations and ministries (p < .05). Of these, however, only central administration was perceived to have considerable control over the departments. Nevertheless, ADs should be aware of the resource dependence-based control potential of these other sources.
Increasing financial constraints have led athletic directors in Canadian universities to consider alternative sources of funding to supplement traditional university and student support. A profile of the current structure of athletic funding was developed to provide a better understanding of who is paying for interuniversity athletics and to address concerns about the possible implications of this support. Athletic directors at 34 Canadian universities reported the amounts of financial resources received from various sources during the previous fiscal year; the amount from each source was calculated as a percentage of the total athletic budget. The results indicate that the majority of funding for interuniversity athletics continues to be secured from university funds and/or student fees, although a decline in the former was noted. An increase in the percentage of funding from internal revenues generated by the athletic department was observed. However, funding from nonuniversity sources continues to be relatively minimal.
Katie Misener and Alison Doherty
As a pivotal part of the nonprofit and voluntary sector, community sport organizations provide opportunities for active participation, social engagement, and community cohesion. This study examined the nature and impact of organizational capacity in one nonprofit community sport club to identify factors that affect the ability of this organization to fulfill its mandate and provide sport opportunities in the community. Hall et al.’s (2003) multidimensional framework of human resources, financial, relationships/ networks, infrastructure and process, and planning and development capacity was used. The study incorporated interviews with board members and coaches as well as active-member researcher observations (Adler & Adler, 1987). Key strengths and challenges of each capacity dimension were uncovered, and connections among the dimensions were revealed. The relatively greater importance of human resources and planning and development capacity for goal achievement was identified. The findings support the use of a multidimensional approach for generating a comprehensive understanding of organizational capacity in community sport, and for identifying where and how capacity may be enhanced.
Alison J. Doherty
This study examined the effect of various leader characteristics on the transformational/transactional leader behavior (Bass, 1985) and impact of interuniversity athletic administrators (n = 32), as rated by their coaches (n = 114). Gender, age, education, administrative experience, and athletic/coaching experience were examined as possible antecedents to leader behavior (Chelladurai, 1980,1993). These characteristics reflect life experiences (Avolio & Gibbons, 1988) and common indicators of occupational development of athletic administrators (e.g., Barr, 1995; Quarterman, 1992; Williams & Miller, 1983). Leader behavior was measured by the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (Bass & Avolio, 1991b). Differences in transformational/transactional leader behavior were observed for the leader characteristics of gender and age, where female and younger athletic administrators were found to exhibit transformational leader behavior more often, and transactional leader behavior less often, than their male and older counterparts, respectively. Gender and age also were associated with the coaches' perception of leader effectiveness and their frequency of extra effort.
Russell Hoye and Alison Doherty
Given the growing body of research pertaining to nonprofit sport board performance, it is timely to review the focus and findings of this body of work, and to identify what might be priorities for further investigation. An integrated model of board performance that provides a framework for this review, and for the further discussion of current findings, gaps, and areas for future research, is presented. Relatively few studies have examined nonprofit sport board performance directly, with the majority of research focused on individual and group level board processes. The impact of environmental, organizational, or individual factors on board structure or processes, or on board performance, has received limited attention. Research questions that identify gaps in the literature and thus may guide future efforts are presented.
This paper, from the Dr. Earle F. Zeigler Award Lecture presented at the NASSM 2012 Conference in Seattle, outlines the merits and challenges of interdisciplinary research for the field of sport management. This alternative approach involves relating, integrating, and relocating disciplinary thinking to arrive at a mutually-determined research problem that represents new ways of conceptualizing phenomena. It enables moving away from the monodisciplinary research that characterizes much of our field to examine phenomena from different angles, and perhaps more effectively close the research-practice gap with knowledge derived from multiple perspectives. The author argues that it is time to engage in interdisciplinary research in sport management as no one discipline has all the answers; rather, “it takes a village” to solve the complex problems in our world.
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.
Patti Millar and Alison Doherty
Capacity building is a targeted approach to addressing organizational challenges by focusing development efforts on specific needs. Utilizing Millar and Doherty’s process model of capacity building, the purpose of this study was to (a) gain insight into the nature of the conditions and processes of capacity building in the community sport context and (b) examine the veracity of the proposed model. Interviews were conducted with organizational members from two community sport organizations that were purposefully chosen and happened to have introduced new programs: one that experienced successful capacity building that enhanced program and service delivery and one that experienced unsuccessful capacity building where organizational needs were not effectively addressed. Findings revealed that the thoroughness of the needs assessment, the selection of appropriate capacity building strategies, and readiness to build capacity were key factors in the (lack of) success of the capacity building efforts. Implications for practice and future research on organizational capacity building are presented.