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Resource Dependence-Based Perceived Control: An Examination of Canadian Interuniversity Athletics

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.

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The Effect of Leader Characteristics on the Perceived Transformational/Transactional Leadership and Impact of Interuniversity Athletic Administrators

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.

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Athletic Directors’ Perceptions of Environmental Control Over Interuniversity Athletics

Alison J. Armstrong-Doherty

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.

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Transformational and Transactional Leadership in Interuniversity Athletics Management

Alison J. Doherty and Karen E. Danylchuk

This study examined the leader behavior of interuniversity athletic administrators according to Bass's (1985) transformational/transactional leadership model. The impact of that behavior on subordinates’ satisfaction with leadership, perceived leader effectiveness, departmental commitment, and extra effort was also examined. A sample of head coaches from Ontario universities (N = 114) completed the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) Form 5X (Bass & Avolio, 1991) with regard to their athletic administrators. The resultant profile was one of predominantly transformational as opposed to transactional or nonleadership behavior. Furthermore, leader-centered behavior (idealized influence, attributed charisma) was used more often than subordinate-centered behavior (individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation). Coaches' satisfaction with leadership, perceived leader effectiveness, and extra effort were positively and strongly associated with transformational leadership and contingent reward behavior, whereas negative relationships were observed for management-by-exception (passive) and nonleadership behaviors. Leader behavior was not associated with the coaches' commitment to the athletic department.

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Cohesion in Volunteer Sport Executive Committees

Alison J. Doherty and Albert V. Carron

Understanding the experiences of volunteers in amateur sport organizations is critical to their effective management of these nonprofit organizations. The purpose of this study was to explore cohesion in volunteer sport executive committees. Members (n = 117) of sport executive committees or boards completed a questionnaire that assessed perceptions of cohesion, individual satisfaction, effort, intent to quit, committee effectiveness, and a variety of individual (gender, committee, role, tenure) and organizational (committee, size, gender composition, frequency and length of meetings) variables. Task cohesion was found to be stronger than social cohesion. Only committee size was found to be associated with perceptions of cohesiveness; members of smaller committees perceived less social cohesion than members of medium and larger committees. Task and social cohesion predicted volunteer satisfaction and perceived committee effectiveness, while volunteer effort and intent to remain with the committee were predicted by task cohesion. The results are discussed in terms of their implication for theory and practice.

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Managing Cultural Diversity in Sport Organizations: A Theoretical Perspective

Alison J. Doherty and Packianathan Chelladurai

The article focuses on the management and impact of cultural diversity in sport organizations. It is proposed that the potentially constructive or destructive impact of cultural diversity is a function of the management of that diversity, which is ultimately a reflection of organizational culture, or “how things are done around here.” Organizational culture is described along a continuum of valuing similarity and diversity in the organization. It is argued that the benefits of cultural diversity (e.g., creativity, challenge, constructive conflict) will be realized when an organizational culture of diversity underlies the management of that diversity. These benefits are heightened when the situation dictates a high degree of task interdependence and complexity. Implications for increasing cultural diversity and developing an organizational culture that values that diversity, as a social responsibility and a contributing force to organizational performance, are discussed.