The purpose of this research was to analyze social processes as an integral part of gender relations. A theoretical framework was developed using a three-part conceptualization of social processes. Data were collected during semistructured interviews with 35 individuals in three National Governing Bodies of sport in the UK and during unstructured interviews and observation in meetings and sport events attended by the participants. The data were coded and analyzed, and three gendered social processes were examined: informal networking, dress codes, and the use of humor. In the conclusion section, future directions are offered addressing the implications of this research for sport management practitioners, educators, and researchers.
Scratching the Back of “Mr X”: Analyzing Gendered Social Processes in Sport Organizations
Can Gender Equity Be More Equitable?: Promoting an Alternative Frame for Sport Management Research, Education, and Practice
Sally Shaw and Wendy Frisby
Gender research in sport management has been dominated by liberal feminist theory, which does little to challenge or alter dominant gendered discourses and power structures within sport organizations. In this paper, the limitations of three existing conceptual frames for understanding gender equity are discussed. A fourth frame is proposed that builds on the work of Ely and Meyerson (2000a), Meyerson and Kolb (2000), and Rao, Stuart, and Kelleher (1999). We argue that the fourth frame, based on poststructural feminist theory, provides an important alternative, addressing the complexities of gender relations in sport organizations through the processes of critique, narrative revision, and experimentation. We extend the fourth frame by considering two additional elements: (a) the intersection of gender with other aspects of diversity and (b) a deconstruction of the traditional discourses that pit gender equity against organizational effectiveness using Bauman’s (2001) concept of moral sensitivity. The implications of the fourth frame are then discussed in relation to sport management teaching, research, and practice.
Image and Investment: Sponsorship and Women's Sport
Sally Shaw and John Amis
Studies that have examined the disparity in investment between men's and women's sports are rare and are generally distributional in nature. Little research has been carried out that has explored the reasons why managers tend to invest in men's sport instead of women's. Given the rise in sponsorship spending, and the increasingly strategic nature of such investments, this represents an important gap in the literature. The purpose of this paper was to explore conceptually and empirically some of the possible reasons for this disparity. By examining the agreements made by the sponsors of two international women's sports teams, we found support for the contention that the values and beliefs of decision makers, the media representation of sport, and mimetic pressures on managers combine to heavily influence decisions about what and who to sponsor. We also suggest that if such factors can be overcome, women's sport has the potential to be a very useful marketing tool for certain firms.
“A Strong Man Is Direct and a Direct Woman Is a Bitch”: Gendered Discourses and Their Influence on Employment Roles in Sport Organizations
Sally Shaw and Larena Hoeber
Despite increasing numbers of women in senior sport management positions over the past 30 years, men still remain dominant in these roles, indicating a level of gender inequity within sport management. It is often assumed within sport organizations that women are well-matched for lower level management roles, whereas men are more suited to senior management roles. In order to understand perceptions held about women's and men's abilities related to sport management, it is necessary to understand and then analyze discourses, or dominant forms of knowledge, that influence various employment roles in sport organizations. After analyzing organizational documents and transcripts from interviews with 35 employees from three national sport organizations in England, it was found that senior management roles were heavily dominated by discourses of masculinity that are linked to men and are highly valued in sport organizations. In contrast, women and discourses of femininity are associated with employment roles that are undervalued within organizations. There is, however, the potential for resistance to these discourses on a number of levels and this is discussed with relation to one organization's commitment to change “taken for granted” assumptions about gendered employment roles in sport management.
A Critical Management Studies Approach to Sport Management Education: Insights, Challenges and Opportunities
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.
Fear, Anxiety, and Loss of Control: Analyzing an Athletic Department Merger as a Gendered Political Process
Lisa Kihl, Sally Shaw, and Vicki Schull
This study examined organizational processes involved in a merger between two gender affiliated intercollegiate athletic departments. A conceptual framework incorporating the concepts of gendered social processes, and the transition and integration stages of organizational mergers framed the study. Organizational political activity is perceived as a gendered process in merging groups. Interviews with 57 stakeholders of a university athletic department were conducted. The data analysis showed that gender politics identified in the transition stage involved stakeholders’ emotional reactions. In the integration stage, gender politics were evident during the social processes of assessing trust and loyalties, and cultural reengineering. Practical implications for merger facilitation are noted in terms of considering the necessity of merging, the hiring of outside leadership, and implementing a communication plan. Overall, our study furthers our understanding of the gender politics involved in merging gender affiliated sport organizations.
Women Coaches’ Perceptions of Their Sport Organizations’ Social Environment: Supporting Coaches’ Psychological Needs?
Justine B. Allen and Sally Shaw
Researchers have argued that coaches are performers in their own right and that their psychological needs should be considered (Giges, Petitpas, & Vernacchia, 2004; Gould, Greenleaf, Guinan, & Chung, 2002). The purpose of this research was to examine high performance women coaches’ perceptions of their sport organizations’ social context, with specific attention to psychological need support. Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Ryan & Deci, 2002) was employed to frame the examination of the coaches’ experiences. Eight high performance women coaches from two sport organizations participated in semistructured interviews. All reported autonomy and competence development opportunities. Organizational relatedness was critical to the experience of a supportive environment. The findings provide insight into the “world of coaching” from the coaches’ perspective.
Critical Conversations About Qualitative Research in Sport Management
John N. Singer, Sally Shaw, Larena Hoeber, Nefertiti Walker, Kwame J. A. Agyemang, and Kyle Rich
The following article is an edited transcript of, “Critical Conversations About Qualitative Research in Sport Management” from the 2017 North American Society of Sport Management conference in Denver, CO, from May 30 to June 3. This 60-min roundtable session included a group of scholars with keen interest and background experiences in qualitative inquiry. They responded to questions about the state of qualitative research in the field, influential qualitative work both within and outside the field, and future considerations for research in the field. The purpose of this article is to synthesize the discussions from this roundtable session and our collective responses in the spirit of continuing to question how we use qualitative research in sport management. In this regard, we ended this article with each of the panelists, including the moderator, offering some postscript reflections.
Characteristics of a Protocol to Collect Objective Physical Activity/Sedentary Behavior Data in a Large Study: Seniors USP (Understanding Sedentary Patterns)
Philippa M. Dall, Dawn A. Skelton, Manon L. Dontje, Elaine H. Coulter, Sally Stewart, Simon R. Cox, Richard J. Shaw, Iva Čukić, Claire F. Fitzsimons, Carolyn A. Greig, Malcolm H. Granat, Geoff Der, Ian J. Deary, Sebastien F.M. Chastin, and On behalf of the Seniors USP Team
The Seniors USP (Understanding Sedentary Patterns) study measured sedentary behavior (activPAL3, 9-day wear) in older adults. The measurement protocol had three key characteristics: enabling 24-hour wear (monitor location, waterproofing), minimizing data loss (reducing monitor failure, staff training, communication), and quality assurance (removal by researcher, confidence about wear). Two monitors were not returned; 91% (n = 700) of returned monitors had seven valid days of data. Sources of data loss included monitor failure (n = 11), exclusion after quality assurance (n = 5), early removal for skin irritation (n = 8), or procedural errors (n = 10). Objective measurement of physical activity and sedentary behavior in large studies requires decisional trade-offs between data quantity (collecting representative data) and utility (derived outcomes that reflect actual behavior).