This research examines the dynamics of strategic decision making within the western Canadian university athletic system. Using a framework developed from the Bradford studies (Hickson, Butler, Cray, Mallory, & Wilson, 1986) and Butler (1991), we focused on three key elements of decision making; complexity, politically, and the rules of the game. Using these concepts, this paper presents a case study analysis of the decision process that centered around the potential restructuring of the Canada West University Athletic Association and the Great Plains Athletic Conference. Qualitative research methods were used to collect and analyze data from documents and interview transcripts. The results show that the diversity of interests, level of influence, and both the constraining and enabling rules of the game contribute to the way the decision topic of restructuring was interpreted, what behaviors were enacted, and how the decision making process emerged to deal with this topic.
Larena Hill and Lisa M. Kikulis
Diane L. Gill, Ronald G. Morrow, Karen E. Collins, Allison B. Lucey and Allison M. Schultz
This study focused on attitudes and sexual prejudice as part of a larger project on inclusive practice in sport and physical activity settings. Questionnaires were administered to a large sample of undergraduate students and to selected samples of upper-level preprofessional students and a campus pride group to investigate attitudes toward gays and lesbians, and other minority groups. Attitude scores were in the middle range, with females more positive than males toward gay men. Evaluation Thermometer scores were generally positive, but markedly lower for gay men and lesbians than for other minority groups. Upper-level preprofessional students were more positive than other undergraduates, but still expressed negative attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. These results confirm persistent sexual prejudice, suggest that attention to sexual minorities is particularly important for effective diversity management, and underscore the need for continuing research and educational programs to enhance cultural competence among sport management professionals and future professionals.
Dana K. Voelker and Justine J. Reel
In this study, the authors examined female competitive figure skaters’ experiences of weight pressure in sport. Perceptions of the ideal skating body; sources of weight pressure; ways that body image, weight-management behaviors, and athletic performance have been affected; and recommendations for improving body image were explored. Aligning with a social constructivist view (Creswell, 2014), data were analyzed using an inductive thematic approach (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Skaters described the ideal skating body in an inflexible fashion with little room for deviation and acceptance of body diversity. Skaters cited their first weightpressure experience between 7 and 14 years of age, which most notably involved coaches, parents, skating partners, and other aspects of the skating culture. These experiences were characterized as promoting body-image concerns, unhealthy weight-management strategies, and interference with the psychological aspects of on-ice performance. Results from this study demonstrate the need to construct and maintain body-positive skating environments.
There is strong evidence that older adults greatly benefit from regular physical activity. Yet, older age is consistently associated with lower levels of aerobic physical activity and strength training and higher levels of sedentary behavior, underscoring the need to better understand physical activity behavior in this population. Reviews of interventions to increase physical activity have overall yielded promising results. Interventions based on behavior theory appear to be more effective than non-theory-based interventions, yet strategies from these theories are underutilized in both research and practice. This paper discusses the importance of behavioral interventions, cites findings from the Active for Life initiative to illustrate several key concepts, and provides recommendations to address significant gaps in the literature, including the use of theory, mediation analyses, physical activity maintenance, diversity of participants, and dissemination and translational research.
Shaina M. Dabbs, Jeffrey A. Graham and Marlene A. Dixon
Today’s workforce, with trends toward aging and greater gender diversity, looks dramatically different than past decades, creating a need to more closely examine the midcareer stages of employees. In sport, midcareer head coaches have developed a broad skill set and an ability to manage both internal and external stakeholders. Thus, they are valuable, experienced employees who have successfully navigated the coaching profession. Using the Kaleidoscope Career Model as a framework, this study explored male and female head coaches’ career experiences, needs, and management strategies in the midcareer stages. The findings indicate that coaches follow an alpha career pattern, prioritizing authenticity over balance and challenge. Yet, the participants suggested different approaches to achieving authenticity, balance, and challenge within the midcareer stages, which may be more nuanced than traditionally expected. Understanding these needs and management strategies are a necessary first step toward more nuanced theoretical understandings and customized human resource management plans that will enhance career longevity and performance.
Ya-Chen Liu, Wen-Wen Yang, I-Yao Fang, Hope Li-Ling Pan, Wei-Han Chen and Chiang Liu
Outdoor fitness equipment (OFE) is installed in parks to promote health, particularly among seniors. However, no quantitative study has investigated its effectiveness. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the effectiveness of 12 weeks of OFE training on functional fitness in seniors. Forty-two active seniors were recruited and randomly assigned into OFE and control groups. The OFE group underwent 12 weeks of training using popular OFE for cardiorespiratory function, flexibility, and strength, whereas participants in the control group were asked to maintain their previous lifestyles. The senior fitness test was assessed before and after the 12-week period. Unexpectedly, the results showed no significant improvement within or between the groups after the 12-week training in all parameters (p > .05). In conclusion, the 12-week OFE training failed to enhance functional fitness among active seniors. Potential reasons for the limited training effects might be lack of resistance components and diversity of the OFE design and installation.
Lesley Steinman, Mark Doescher, David Levinger, Cynthia Perry, Louise Carter, Amy Eyler, Semra Aytur, Angie L.I. Cradock, Kelly R. Evenson, Katie Heinrich, Jacqueline Kerr, Jill Litt, Yucel Severcan and Carolyn Voorhees
Recent research demonstrates the importance of targeting the built environment to support individual physical activity, particularly for people experiencing health disparities. Master plans to promote biking and/or pedestrians (BPMPs) are a potential method for environmental change. This descriptive study aims to provide a snapshot of plan attributes and better understand demographic, social and transportation characteristics of communities with BPMPs.
We collected a census sample of BPMPs from 4 states. Population and commuting data were obtained from national statistics.
294 master plans were included, with most plans representing municipalities. 62% of plans targeted biking only, one-fifth targeted biking and walking, and 15% targeted walking only. The sampled locations have a similar demographic profile as the overall U.S. for median age and household income, people of color, high school education, and income inequality. The degree of racial diversity of sampled communities is slightly less than the U.S. average and the percentage of people who walk to work were slightly higher.
Given that communities with master plans have a similar profile as the overall U.S., BPMPs could feasibly be spread to communities throughout the country. Further research is planned to describe BPMPs in detail toward informing future plan development.
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.
Richard D. Ginsburg, Steven R. Smith, Nicole Danforth, T. Atilla Ceranoglu, Stephen A. Durant, Hayley Kamin, Rebecca Babcock, Lucy Robin and Bruce Masek
Two developmental pathways to sport excellence have been described: early specialization and early sampling (Côté, Lidor, & Hackfort, 2009). Despite a common assumption that early specialization (defined as playing one sport exclusively and intensely before age 12) is a necessary precursor to success at the collegiate or professional levels, research to support this assumption remains unclear. To add to this literature, the current study was a survey of 708 minor league professional baseball players on the ages at which they began to specialize in their sport. Results indicated that most players sampled a diversity of sports up through late adolescence. Only 25% of players specialized before the age of 12 and the mean age of specialization was 15 years. Furthermore, those who specialized later were more likely to receive college scholarships. Finally, we examined patterns of specialization as a function of athletes’ home climate and culture. At least in this sample of professional minor league baseball players, an early sampling pathway seems to have fortified success at both the collegiate and professional levels.
Mary Jo Kane and Heather D. Maxwell
In 2005, the Journal of Sport Management printed Wendy Frisby’s Earle F. Zeigler Lecture. The main thrust of Frisby’s presentation was that critical social science is an underutilized framework for conducting research in sport management and that, as a result, we remain limited in our abilities to truly understand how institutions and organizations “are best viewed as operating in a wider cultural, economic, and political context characterized by asymmetrical power relations that are historically entrenched” (2005, p.1). Other scholars such as Cunningham and Fink (2006) reinforced the importance of doing this kind of critical work. In their review of key research findings in sport management literature related to issues of diversity they concluded that the vast majority of studies “operated from the paradigm of positivism” and thus our field “could benefit from an incorporation of different investigative paradigms” (p. 458). Finally, Shaw and Frisby (2006) called for an embrace of critical theoretical frameworks which empirically address the complexities of, for example, gender relations and (in)equalities found throughout the vast sport enterprise.