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Lucie Thibault, Trevor Slack and Bob Hinings

In order to anticipate changes and challenges in their environments, sport organizations must formulate strategies. The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework for the study of strategy formulation in nonprofit sport organizations. Based predominantly on MacMillan's (1983) work on the nonprofit sector, and using Canadian national sport organizations as an illustration, this study identified several strategic imperatives to uncover the types of strategies that could be undertaken by nonprofit sport organizations. The imperatives were grouped into two dimensions; program attractiveness and competitive position. Under program attractiveness, the following imperatives were considered: “fundability,” size of client base, volunteer appeal, and support group appeal. The dimension of competitive position included the imperatives of equipment costs and affiliation fees. The two dimensions were juxtaposed on a matrix to produce four strategic types: enhancers, innovators, refiners, and explorers. The characteristics of these types and their implications for nonprofit sport organizations are discussed.

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John Amis, Trevor Slack and C.R. Hinings

The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of subunit interests, power arrangements, and organizational capacity in a program of radical transformation of a group of Canadian National Sport Organizations (NSOs). Using realtime data collected over a 12-year period, six case studies were constructed to provide insight into the role that these internal dynamics had on the propensity of organizations to change. Results showed that NSOs that completed the transformation possessed leadership with the technical and behavioral capacity for change, had an organizational structure in which volunteers were willing to share power with professional staff, and engaged in an all-encompassing transformation process that embraced the entire organization. By contrast, those NSOs that failed to complete the change lacked effective transformational leadership, had a structure in which power was retained centrally by volunteer board members, and were characterized by ongoing struggles among subunits to protect their own interests.

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Trevor Slack and Bob Hinings

Increased interest in organizational change (i.e., shifts in an organization's structure, strategy, and processes) has led to considerable diversity in the theoretical approaches used to explain the phenomenon. This theoretical diversity has caused some scholars to suggest that a more complete understanding of organizational phenomena such as change is obtained when different theoretical perspectives are used in conjunction with one another. This paper examines a process of change that has been occurring in Canadian national sport organizations. Utilizing the theoretical approaches found in work on resource dependence theory, institutional theory, organizational culture, and the role of transformational leaders in managing change, the paper shows how these approaches explain different aspects of the change process. It also shows how a more complete understanding of change may be gained by using more than one theoretical perspective.

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Cathy Mills and Larena Hoeber

Although some elements of community sport organizations (CSOs) are welcoming and shared across all members, others may be contested. Organizational culture provides a conceptual lens through which to understand the meaning and experiences associated with CSOs. As the outer layer of organizational culture (Schein, 1985), artifacts can give further insight into participant experiences. The purpose of this study is to examine members’ perceptions of artifacts in a local figure skating club. We used Martin’s (1992, 2002) three perspectives to illuminate integrated, differentiated, and fragmented perspectives of The Club’s organizational culture. Eight skaters and seven adults from a midsize figure skating club in Canada participated in photo-elicited interviews. We found integration in participants’ discussion of the unique figure skating facility, differentiated perspectives of achievement-oriented artifacts, and fragmented perspectives of the skaters’ dressing rooms. Our research demonstrates the importance of examining the meanings associated with artifacts in sport organizations.

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Gareth J. Jones, Mike Edwards, Jason N. Bocarro, Kyle S. Bunds and Jordan W. Smith

Interorganizational partnerships have been used by nonprofits in a variety of industries to build organizational capacity, yet they are currently underutilized by many youth sport nonprofit organizations. While previous research has highlighted key features of dyadic relationships that inhibit the development and maintenance of partnerships, there has been less attention to the influence of broader or complete networks. This study examined key structural properties of a youth sport nonprofit network in one municipality to determine how interorganizational partnerships were used to build organizational capacity. Whole network analysis was used to study partnerships between youth sport nonprofits and analyze the configuration and structural features of the network. Results indicated a fragmented network of youth sport nonprofit organizations, with the majority of organizations operating independently of one another, and the network itself characterized by unbalanced ties. The discussion highlights how this network structure influences organizational action and contributes to relational issues often observed at the dyadic level. The introduction of a third-party brokerage organization is discussed as a potentially useful strategy for improving this network structure.

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Eric MacIntosh and Matthew Walker

This study adopted an organizational culture perspective to examine the values and beliefs within fitness club operations and determine their influence on employees’ job satisfaction and intention to leave an organization. Consideration was also given to subcultures based on geographical location, organizational type, and job function to examine the ways in which organizations and employees may differ. Data were collected at three urban cities in Canada during a major fitness conference and tradeshow. The results from 438 employees confirmed the multidimensionality of the seven-factor instrument, in addition to illustrating the influence on job satisfaction and intention to leave. Further, the results revealed several dimensions were perceieved differently with respect to subculture. Findings connote the transient nature of jobs in the fitness industry which remains an immediate concern for managers in this field.

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Aubrey Kent and Packianathan Chelladurai

This study tested the propositions that (a) perceived leader-member exchange quality (LMX) between second level managers (e.g., associate, assistant athletic directors) and their subordinates would be associated with perceived transformational leadership behaviors (TL) of the athletic director, and (b) subordinates' organizational commitment (OC) and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) would be correlated with both perceived TL and LMX. Seventy-five third tier employees of a large Midwestern university responded to the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire-MLQ (Bass, 1985); LMX-7 (Graen, Novak, & Sommerkamp, 1982), an organizational citizenship scale (MacKenzie, Podsakoff, & Fetter, 1991); and an organizational commitment scale (Meyer & Allen, 1997). Correlational and regression analyses showed that the three dimensions of TL were significantly correlated with LMX. Additionally, the dimensions of TL and LMX were differentially related to OC and OCB.

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Larena Hoeber and Orland Hoeber

There has been little attention given to examining innovation under the conditions in which community sport organizations (CSO) operate. In this case study, the process under which one CSO undertook a technological innovation is explored. The purpose of this research was to classify the determinants that contributed to the innovation process, and identify at which particular stages of innovation those determinants were critical. Interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders were conducted during the innovation process. Observations were made at important points during the implementation of the innovation. Leadership commitment, pro-innovation characteristics, organizational capacity, simple organizational design, and involved and interested external parties were identified as determinants of this technological innovation. The findings illustrate multiple determinants of innovation at the managerial, organization, and environmental levels. Some of these span the entire innovation process, while others are critical only at particular stages.

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Michael L. Naraine and Milena M. Parent

The purpose of this study was to examine sport organizations’ social-media activity using an institutional approach, specifically, to investigate the main themes emanating from Canadian national sport organizations’ (CNSOs) social-media communication and the similarities and differences in social-media use between the CNSOs. An exploratory qualitative thematic analysis was conducted on 8 CNSOs’ Twitter accounts ranging from 346 to 23,925 followers, with the number of tweets varying from 219 to 17,186. Thematic analysis indicated that CNSOs generally used tweeting for promoting, reporting, and informing purposes. Despite the organizations’ differing characteristics regarding seasonality of the sport, Twitter-follower count, total number of tweets, and whether the content was original or retweeted, themes were generally consistent across the various organizations. Coercive, mimetic, and normative isomorphic pressures help explain these similarities and offer reasons for a lack of followership growth by the less salient CNSOs. Implications for research and practice are provided.

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Yusuke Tabei, David Fletcher and Kate Goodger

This study investigated the relationship between organizational stressors in sport and athlete burnout and involved a cross-cultural comparison of English and Japanese soccer players. Ninety-eight male players completed the Athlete Burnout Questionnaire (Raedeke & Smith, 2001) to determine levels of perceived burnout. Based on data reported in previous research, and the thresholds developed by Hodge, Lonsdale, and Ng (2008), 22 of the players were identified as exhibiting higher levels of perceived burnout. Nine members of this subsample (4 English and 5 Japanese players) were subsequently interviewed to explore the relationship between their experiences of burnout and the organizational stressors they encountered. Results revealed multiple demands linked to the dimensions of athlete burnout and identified specific organizational-related issues that players associated with the incidence of burnout. Cultural differences between English and Japanese players in terms of the prevalence and organizational stressors associated with burnout were also identified, with the main differences being the relationship with senior teammates and the coaching style.