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.
Julie Long, Lucie Thibault and Richard Wolfe
Qiwei Huang and Ryan M. Brewer
This case examines dilemmas evolving in China’s premier soccer league, the Chinese Super League. A plan is suggested for confronting the league’s challenges, with recommendations that focus on creating a harmonious and competitive league. Challenges arise from the political and economic transformation currently taking place in China, affecting league operations. While the league stands at a precipice of change on the eve of the Beijing Olympic Games, its viability as a going concern is uncertain. Part of the uncertainty derives from an unregulated system of league policies that have been poorly communicated and unenforced, resulting in discord. Development of league regulations and communication protocols remains largely government driven and would be best if consistent with the local culture, but commercial issues of league operations are also important. Enhancing the effectiveness and consistency of culture-sensitive communication protocols—especially between the government, media, and league officials—will increase participation from league stakeholders.
Daniel A. Rascher, Mark S. Nagel, Matthew T. Brown and Chad D. McEvoy
A fundamental belief in professional sport leagues is that competitive balance is needed to maximize demand and revenues; therefore, leagues have created policies attempting to attain proper competitive balance. Further, research posits that objectives of professional sport teams’ owners include some combination of winning and profit maximization. Although the pursuit of wins is a zero sum game, revenue generation and potential profit making is not. This article focuses upon the National Football League’s potential unintended consequences of creating the incentive for some teams to free ride on the rest of the league’s talent and brand. It examines whether an owner’s objectives to generate increased revenues and profits are potentially enhanced by operating as a continual low-cost provider while making money from the shared revenues and brand value of the league. The present evidence indicates that, overall, being a low-cost provider is more profitable than increasing player salaries in an attempt to win additional games.
Tim Berrett, Trevor Slack and Dave Whitson
Although considerable weight has been placed on the economist's advice in many areas of public policy, it is suggested that this has not been the case in the pricing of sport and leisure facilities and services. This paper provides an overview of the extent to which economic analysis can be used in the pricing of publicly funded sport and leisure facilities and services. It is reasoned that such facilities and services display both public-good attributes and positive externalities. As such, market pricing is an inappropriate allocation mechanism. Some problems associated with the practical application of economic models to determine user fees in publicly owned sport and leisure facilities are highlighted. An overview of some of the current issues in public facility management and allocation is offered, along with suggestions for further research.
Christopher J. Auld and Geoffrey Godbey
The literature suggests that the professionalization of sport has resulted in erosion of the decision-making power of volunteer administrators. However, little research has examined the extent to which volunteer and paid administrators may differ in their perceptions of influence in decision making. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of influence in organizational decisions and to determine if they were related to decision areas at the board level in Canadian National Sporting Organizations. Results indicated that influence in decision making was not perceived as reciprocal; some areas of decision making were perceived to be the domain of either the professionals or volunteers; and professionals wanted the relationship to be more equal. Implications include the consequences for volunteers as the more dependent partner in the relationship, the potential for improved organizational decision making, and the recognition that the policy development/implementation split between volunteers and professionals may be too simplistic.
Nicholas Watanabe, Pamela Wicker and Grace Yan
The awarding of the hosting of the Football World Cup to Russia and Qatar initiated discussions about temperature and travel distances related to the game. This study examines the effect of weather conditions, travel distances, and rest days—three factors potentially causing fatigue—on running performance using player-level and teamlevel data from the 2014 World Cup. The results show that the heat index (combining temperature and humidity) significantly decreased running performance (number of sprints, high-intensity running), while a clear sky was positively associated with distance covered at high intensity. Travel distance and rest were insignificant. When these models are used to predict running performance at the 2022 Qatar World Cup, the projections show that the combination of heat and wind could hinder the performance of both players and teams and create potentially dangerous conditions. The present study has implications for policy makers regarding the choice of future host countries.
Daniel S. Mason, Marvin Washington and Ernest A.N. Buist
Status and reputation have become increasingly important to cities seeking to differentiate themselves in a competitive global marketplace; sports events, franchises, and infrastructure have become a critical means to contest this. This article takes a grounded theory approach and develops a series of propositions on the basis of a single case study, making several important contributions to the literature. Although others have argued for an affiliation effect, this study sheds new light on how the affiliation mechanism works by including both positive and negative affiliations. In doing so, we reveal how cities are actively managed, how sports facilities emerge as status signals on the policy agenda of entrepreneurial cities, and how notions of status are articulated and mobilized by managers.
Terry R. Haggerty
This paper suggests cybernetic strategies for improving organizational control and information systems. The suggestions are based on the postulates of Beer’s cybernetic Viable System Model (VSM). The VSM was based on the way the human body’s neural control system successfully manages the high degree of complexity it regularly faces. The model identifies five linked control subsystems and specifies propositions concerning their information-processing behavior. The five systems are responsible for the following key tasks: policy development, environmental matters, internal control, coordination of basic units, and the basic work of the system. The information-handling propositions focus on providing requisite capacities in (a) the communication channels linking the five control systems, (b) the transducers that carry information across system boundaries, and (c) the complexity of linked pairs of control systems. The suggested management strategies focus on designing organizations to satisfy the task differentiation, communication channel capacity, transducer capacity, and requisite complexity postulates of the model.
Lisa Kihl and Tim Richardson
Individuals who are appointed the responsibility of managing a sport program following an instance of academic corruption endure various forms of harm that warrants investigation. Extending from our empirical study of the University of Minnesota’s incidence of academic corruption (Kihl, Richardson, & Campisi, 2008), this article provides an associated grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) of suffering that conceptualizes how a newly hired coaching staff is impacted. Using a grounded theory methodology, it was theorized that academic corruption causes a coaching staff to suffer four main consequences: sanctions, stakeholder separation, reform policies, and managing multiple roles. These consequences lead to various harmful outcomes (e.g., distrust, dysfunctional relationships, anger, stress, and conflict). The results are compared with existing research that assisted in the generation of a theory of suffering. This theory adds to our knowledge about the challenges a coaching staff experiences when administrating an intercollegiate basketball program during postcorruption.
Marlene A. Dixon and Stacy Warner
Despite the overwhelming emphasis on job satisfaction in sport management research, scholars continue to advocate for the distinctiveness and importance of evaluating both job satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The purpose of this investigation is to develop a model of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction for intercollegiate coaches. Fifteen head coaches participated in semistructured interviews. Results revealed a sport industry specific three-factor model. Desirable job factors (Player-Coach Relationships, Recognition, and Social Status) were related only to satisfaction. Industry Standard Factors (Sport Policy, Salary, Recruiting, Supervision, and Life Balance) were related only to dissatisfaction. Performance Dependent Factors (Flexibility and Control, Program Building, and Relationships with Colleagues) were related to satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The results support the distinctiveness of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction as constructs, and also demonstrate a continued need for examining job attitudes within context. As sport managers understand the particular expectations of their employees and their industry they can better diagnose and solve employee issues.