The main goal of our article is to encourage personal reflection within the field of sport management as a tool to strengthen methodological approaches in our research. We explore and discuss the utility of collaborative self-ethnography as one way to acknowledge personal identities through a reflexive account of our experiences as sport fans and sport researchers with this methodology. We draw on a previous study of our experiences as sport fans to illustrate techniques, downfalls, and benefits of studying one’s experiences in a collaborative methodological approach. We have two objectives: First, we hope to encourage sport management researchers to acknowledge and reflect on their personal identities related to sport, such as being a fan, coach, volunteer, or former participant, in their research. Second, we aim to demonstrate the utility of collaborative self-ethnography as one way to incorporate reflexivity in sport management research and theory development.
Shannon Kerwin and Larena Hoeber
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.
Michael Odio and Shannon Kerwin
The senior internship is a critical developmental experience for sport management students transitioning into their careers. Despite the internship’s role as a career development tool, previous research has suggested that the experience may deter students from continuing to pursue a career in the sports industry (Cunningham, Sagas, Dixon, Turner, & Kent, 2005). The present study uses decision-making theory and a longitudinal approach to improve on previous efforts to examine changes in students’ affective commitment to the vocation and intent to pursue a career in the vocation as a result of the internship experience. Results of the structural model show that challenge, supervisor support, and role conflict significantly influence students’ career decision making.
Shannon Kerwin and Kirsty Spence
This research explored students’ ego development and leadership efficacy during an undergraduate sport management program. A sequential mixed-method case study design and associated methodologies were adopted to explore students’ ego development and leadership efficacy during 3 years of an academic program. Results show fluctuations in leadership efficacy for all but one participant. These fluctuations are discussed in relation to ego development in that growth from self-conforming to self-authoring stages of ego development may partially explain fluctuations in how students see themselves and their potential for leadership in the field of sport management. The role of the ego development construct in relation to students’ perceptions of their leadership capabilities highlights that programmatic elements (e.g., thoughtful experiential education) can be consciously developed and strategically leveraged to more accurately target perceptions of leadership prowess among students. The findings emphasize that students’ level of ego development can be fostered through active and effective program delivery.
Shannon Hamm-Kerwin and Alison Doherty
Conflict can significantly influence the performance of a group and the attitudes of their members. As with any organizational group, conflict is expected within the boards of nonprofit organizations. The purpose of this paper was to examine the nature of intragroup conflict in nonprofit sport boards, and its impact on perceived decision quality, board member satisfaction, and commitment to the board. Seventy-four provincial sport organization board members were surveyed. The results indicated that task, relationship, and process conflict were negatively related to decision quality, satisfaction, and commitment, and relationship conflict was the most influential variable on all three outcomes. The mediating effect of relationship conflict on the conflict to outcomes associations was also uncovered. The findings have implications for the management of relationship conflict in this context, as well as the management of task and process conflict which may trigger relationship conflict. Several areas for future research are presented.
Cole McClean, Michael A. Odio, and Shannon Kerwin
Internships are crucial in many sport management students’ paths to the sport industry. This mixed-methods case study sought to understand the nature of events occurring in sport management internships and the impact on two outcomes: student career decision making and subjective well-being. Pre–post internship surveys (n = 23) and follow-up interviews (n = 21) identified stimulus events, if intern expectations were met, and if career intentions or subjective well-being were shifted. For participants, stimulus events involved different aspects of the internship (e.g., tasks, supervisor, social interactions, inclusivity, and the environment), and the perceptions of outcomes related to internships varied. In line with image theory, participants followed four impact pathways, with the focus on stimulus events influencing career intentions and then well-being as a result, or conversely well-being then career intentions. The findings have important theoretical and practical implications for both sport management educators and organizational supervisors that can help ensure mutually beneficial experiences for all parties involved.
Stacy Warner, Shannon Kerwin, and Matthew Walker
As scholars conduct more research on the social benefits of community sport, the need for an instrument to measure sense of community is increasingly necessary. Utilizing previous grounded theory research specific to sport and community building, the purpose of this study was to test previous sport and sense of community theory through the creation and validation of a measurement scale to gauge sense of community. The authors tested a 21-item tool comprised of 6-subscales (i.e., Administrative Consideration, Common Interest, Competition, Equity in Administrative Decisions, Leadership, and Social Spaces) among samples of young sport participants using the three-phase method of item generation, confirmatory analyses, and concurrent validation. The resulting analyses yielded a valid and reliable instrument to measure sense of community in sport. This research suggests refinement to previous sport and sense of community theory and provides needed utility for this theory that has been grounded in the sport experience.
Michael Naraine, Shannon Kerwin, and Milena M. Parent
This case study explores the issue of team leadership among players who have been selected to play for their national team in an international tournament. After the coaching staff had solidified the roster, a total of 12 (fictional) players were chosen to represent Canada Basketball on the senior women’s development team. With some players having known their teammates for only 2 weeks, the coaching staff has asked the team’s analytics specialist to gather data regarding the network of players within the team and present potential captains of the team to the coaching staff. Students will take on the role of the analytics specialist and provide the summary of the analysis to the coaching staff. Specifically, using a social network analysis approach, students will use the team’s network of players to determine which individual players are involved in the team’s leadership structure as captains. The primary objective of this case study is to afford students an opportunity to be acquainted with social network analysis in a sport management setting.
Michael Odio, Michael Sagas, and Shannon Kerwin
The internship experience is generally recognized for its educational and career-related benefits (Gault, Leach, & Duey, 2010); however, scholars are beginning to question the merit and expected benefits of undergraduate internships in sport management (King, 2009; Schneider & Stier, 2006). Further research has found evidence that the internship experience may negatively influence students’ intent to enter the profession (Cunningham, Sagas, Dixon, Kent, & Turner, 2005). The current study uses a longitudinal approach and qualitative analysis to examine the influence of the internship on students’ career-related decision making. Findings show that the internship plays a major role in shaping students’ career trajectory; however, many students come away more confused about their career path than before their internship. Further findings reveal issues related to intern supervision and the type of learning opportunities available to students.
Shannon Kerwin, Joanne MacLean, and Dina Bell-Laroche
The theory of practicing values may provide valuable insight into the role of organizational values in sport organizations. This is particularly relevant in the nonprofit sport sector where managers operate with limited budgets and organizations may subscribe to specific ethical-social values related to organizational performance. The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of organizational values on the performance of nonprofit sport organizations and the possible mediating effect of employing a management-by-values approach. Online questionnaires were collected from 24 national sport organizations, with a total sample of 103 participants. Results indicate management by values fully mediates the influence of ethical-social organizational values on organizational performance. These results are explained using the theory of practicing values, which emphasizes the need to intentionally manage values within sport organizations. Implications for research and practice are presented.