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Yuhei Inoue, Brennan K. Berg and Packianathan Chelladurai

This article examines the current state of research regarding the effect of spectator sport on population health. We conducted a scoping study that involved a comprehensive search of published and gray literature between 1990 and 2014, and identified 135 studies empirically examining the effect of spectator sport on population health. A frequency analysis shows that there is a paucity of studies on this topic published in sport management journals. A thematic analysis further reveals that the reviewed studies can be classified into nine research themes depicting the relationships among certain categories of spectator sport and population health. Based on this scoping study, we develop a framework and identify several gaps in the literature that should be addressed to advance our understanding of the relationship between spectator sport and population health.

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Brennan K. Berg, Michael Hutchinson and Carol C. Irwin

This case study illustrates the complexity of decision making in public organizations, specifically highlighting the public health concern of drowning disparities in the United States. Using escalation of commitment theory, students must consider various factors in evaluating the overextended commitments of a local government in a complicated sociopolitical environment and with vital public needs that must be addressed through a local parks and recreation department. Facing a reduction in allocated resources, the department director, Claire Meeks, is tasked with determining which programs will receive higher priority despite the varied feedback from the management staff. To ensure students are provided a realistic scenario, this case offers a combination of fictional and real-life events from Splash Mid-South, an innovative swimming program in Memphis, Tennessee. Students must critically evaluate not only the merits of the swimming program, but the other sport, recreation, and parks programs that also merit an equitable share of the limited resources. Therefore, students are placed in a decision-making role that is common to managers of both public and private organizations. This case study is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate sport management courses, with specific application to strategic management, organizational behavior, and recreation or leisure topics.

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Rhema D. Fuller, Brennan K. Berg and Michael Hutchinson

Increasingly, sport managers are attempting to use athletics to positively affect their colleges' and universities' prestige. To highlight this contemporary issue, this case study presents an athletic director, Dwight Stanley, who has to give a recommendation on whether his institution should maintain its membership in the NJCAA or pursue membership in another athletic association, namely the NAIA or NCAA DIII.This case study is designed to capture the tension sport managers face as they encounter complex decisions. Accordingly, each membership option is presented with its advantages and disadvantages, as well as its supporters and detractors.Consequently, students will be required to critically assess a variety of factors to determine the institution's most feasible course of action. Given the popularity of careers within intercollegiate athletics, this case study provides an excellent way for students to engage in considering the complexities of such positions.Additionally, though the case study is presented within the context of intercollegiate athletics, the analytical process required to select a course of action is transferable to other segments of the sport industry.

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Kwame J.A. Agyemang, Brennan K. Berg and Rhema D. Fuller

How people reflect on and discuss protests at sporting events is a relevant question of interest to sport management scholars. This article uses qualitative data to understand how institutional members reflect on and discuss a disruptive act that violates institutional rules and norms. The authors study the historical case of Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ silent protest at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Relying on interview data from Smith and Carlos’ teammates (59) on the 1968 U.S. Olympic Team, the study highlights the connections between institutional maintenance work, institutional logics, and institutions. Specifically, the authors argue that when institutional logics align with actors’ institutional maintenance work, acts seen as disruptive to the institution will not change the institution. Identifying multiple institutional logics within the Olympic Games, the authors also find that institutional logics do not always have to be competing as suggested by much of the literature. Instead, tension may be temporarily allayed when rival logics are threatened by an action (i.e., protests) that would disrupt the institution. The authors refer to this as an institutional cease-fire and discuss their findings in relation to the preservation of institutions.

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Jules Woolf, Brennan K. Berg, Brianna L. Newland and B. Christine Green

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a rapidly growing combat sport with unique development procedures unlike most traditional sports. In this study the development processes at an exemplar MMA gym were examined. Institutional work theory was used to understand how and why the sport is being developed in this setting. The results provide a microlevel account of the processes and operation of the sport as it develops, and indicate that traditional sport development models may not adequately represent all sports. Subcultural values reflecting what it takes to be a fighter along with a fighter’s duty to the gym influence recruitment, retention, and transition strategies of athletes. Two forms of institutional work, refinement and barrier work, were identified as simultaneously aiding and hindering the development of the sport. Along with furthering institutional theory research, this study contributes to the discourse on alternative ways of sport development for MMA and emergent sports.