This review paper presents recent critiques regarding research in sport management and suggests that focus groups are a qualitative methodology particularly suited to research and practice in sport management. Features of qualitative methodology and merits of focus groups are presented. The challenge to scholars working in sport management is (a) to consider using focus-group methodology in situations where such usage will advance the understanding of and response to research questions, and (b) to consider using focus groups as a self-contained methodology or in triangulation with other methodologies.
This paper addresses the degree of influence exerted on athletic programs from internal and external sources. Using survey data, internal influence was assessed by the athletic administrators indicating their perceptions of their influence in decision-making activities. Factor analysis yielded three factors (administrative, strategic, and marketing decision types) that were used in repeated-measures ANOVA procedures with administrative level as the independent measure and decision types as the dependent measures. Significant results are discussed in relation to the theoretical concepts of decision types, gender, and hierarchical position. External influence was assessed by the athletic administrators and university presidents indicating their perceptions of the degree of influence exerted by external groups on the athletic program. Repeated-measures ANOVA procedures with subsequent Scheffé post hoc analyses where appropriate were used. The results are discussed in relation to the hierarchical position of the respondents and levels of influence exerted by the external groups.
Academic life invokes creative tensions within and among teaching, research, and service. Work–life balance plays a prominent role in those tensions and in the conversations that they engender. As NASSM’s strategic plan demonstrates, sport management has grown to the point that it will benefit from closer attention to the content and potential of those conversations. Systems thinking in the scrutiny of tensions provides insight that can further inform our conversations. The resulting discourses will engage our thinking about our discipline’s values, content, and environmental influences. As a result, they will move us forward.
Limited empirical data on the roles associated with boards of directors in nonprofit organizations are available, yet understanding the work of boards is vital to ensure the roles desired by organizational members and the roles required by the organization are being fulfilled. The roles or functions of boards in nonprofit organizations, as found in the management literature, were used to explore the roles associated with a sample of nonprofit amateur sport organizations. Data were generated from a survey of executive directors, volunteer presidents, and volunteer board members of sport organizations housed at Ontario's Provincial Sport Centre in Toronto. The survey data yielded a 4-factor subscale providing support for a theoretical perspective in assessing roles of the board in mission, planning, executive director, and community relations areas. Similarities and differences of respondents by gender and position on ratings of importance and performance for the board roles were explored with implications for board development discussed.
Sue Inglis, Karen E. Danylchuk and Donna Pastore
Within intercollegiate athletic work environments, the retention of coaches and athletic administrators continues to be an issue. Understanding the factors considered important for retaining coaching and athletic management positions has potential significance for reversing the decline of the number of individuals, in particular, women, from these positions, and for increasing the attractiveness of such career pathways. This study developed a scale of retention factors that resulted in three empirically supported factors—Work Balance and Conditions, Recognition and Collegial Support, and Inclusivity. The factors were derived through principal components analysis with varimax rotation using a sample of 359 Canadian and American intercollegiate coaches and athletic administrators. These factors support the need to consider gender and power relations in the search for fuller explanations of women's experiences at work.
Sue Inglis, Karen E. Danylchuk and Donna L. Pastore
This paper is an exploration of the multiple realities of women’s work experiences in coaching and athletic management positions. Eleven women who had previously coached or directed women’s athletics programs were interviewed using a semi-structured approach. Three general categories emerged from the data — Support, Gender Differences, and Change. The work experiences reflect problems the women encountered at work, how organizations can be empowering, and the impact empowered women can have on the social construction of work. Based upon the data, we suggest that the individual search for empowerment takes different forms, yet also acknowledges that systemic changes must take place in order to improve the work environment for women. These findings are significant because they validate women’s experiences and contribute to the understanding of work experiences of those who are underrepresented and often left out of key circles of power and control.