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Lucie Thibault and Richard Wolfe

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Richard Wolfe and Marvin Washington

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Kathy Babiak and Richard Wolfe

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become an area of increasing importance for many companies. Professional sport teams, also, are increasingly engaging in socially responsible activities (Irwin, Lachowetz, Cornwell, & Clark, 2003; Kern, 2000; Robinson, 2005). The research described in this article identifies, and determines the relative importance of, the drivers—both internal and external—of socially responsible activities by professional sport teams. Using a qualitative approach, interviews were conducted with sport executives, and organizational documents were analyzed. The data showed that external drivers of CSR, in particular key constituents, the interconnectedness of the field, and pressures from the league were more important determinants of CSR initiatives than the internal resources available to deliver CSR efforts (i.e., attention, media access, celebrity players, coaches, facilities). Based on these preliminary findings, we propose a framework of CSR adoption in professional sport that predicts the types of CSR initiatives a sport organization is likely to adopt depending on its internal and/or external orientation and present a research agenda based on the framework.

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Marvin Washington and Richard Wolfe

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Julie Long, Lucie Thibault and Richard Wolfe

Because of substantial financial cutbacks, Canadian university athletic departments are facing increased pressure to realign their budgets and seek funding from nontraditional sources. Research that addresses influence over funding decisions in university athletics is therefore warranted. This study addressed the attributes of those who are perceived to have influenced an exclusive sponsorship decision, the methods of influence used to influence this decision, and the extent to which athletic department policies and procedures influenced the process. A single-case study in the athletic department of a Canadian university was undertaken to address these questions. The study involved semistructured interviews with coaches and administrators, participant observation, and document analysis. The results indicated that structural factors (i.e., positional power, coaching high-priority sports) had the greatest influence over the funding decision studied, although personal factors (i.e., expertise, personality, seniority) were also key sources of influence. Interactions among the sources of influence were also observed.

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Dennis Smart, Jason Winfree and Richard Wolfe

Smart and Wolfe (2003) assessed the concurrent contribution of leadership and human resources to Major League Baseball (MLB) team performance. They found that player resources (defense/pitching and offence/batting) explained 67% of the variance in winning percentage, whereas leadership explained very little (slightly more than 1%) of the variance. In discussing the minimal contribution of leadership to their results, the authors suggested that future studies expand their operationalization of leadership. That is what is done in this study. Finding that the expanded operationalization has limited effect in explaining the contribution of leadership, we take an alternative tack in attempting to understand leadership in MLB. In addition, we estimate a production frontier (based on offensive and defensive resources), determine the efficiency of MLB managers relative to that frontier, and investigate the extent to which manager efficiency can be explained by manager characteristics. Finally, manager characteristics are related to manager compensation.

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Daniel S. Putler and Richard A. Wolfe

Considerable controversy exists concerning university athletics. Depending upon one’s perspective, athletic programs are seen as having important positive, or negative, effects on universities. The objective of the research reported here is to determine whether perceptions of intercollegiate athletic programs differ as a function of issues such as winning, profits, ethics, and the education of athletes. Our analyses indicate that: (a) ethics and winning, and education and revenue, tend to be competing athletic program priorities; (b) individuals cluster in four groups that emphasize athletic program revenue, winning, education, and ethics; and (c) the extent to which cluster membership is related to constituency group (e.g., alumni, students, faculty) membership depends on the constituency group being considered. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of our findings for both theory and practice.

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Sally Shaw, Richard Wolfe and Wendy Frisby

Sport management education has developed in a manner consistent with conventional management education, focusing on traditional instrumental performance measures and largely ignoring wider social considerations. We endeavour to contribute to the advancement of critical approaches in sport management education. While arguing for the benefits of a sport management education that addresses the complex social issues faced in sport, we provide illustrations of critical teaching in sport management, offering examples from personal pedagogical experience. We conclude with a discussion of pragmatic issues faced in adopting a critical orientation within sport management. Our aim is to provide an approach framed by critical thought that can be used to complement existing teaching paradigms to enhance and bolster the rigour and depth of teaching in sport management.