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Jamie Carlson and Aron O'Cass

How professional team-based sport organizations can optimize their e-service platform and manage their brand in an increasingly multichannel marketing environment is a critical issue. This study examines how sports consumers’ (i.e., fans’) perceptions of e-service quality, brand strength, and image congruency between the sport brands’ offline image and online image affects the development of consumers’ trust in the team’s website. In addition, the study explores the role of team website trust in developing team website loyalty, as well the role of loyalty in actual purchase frequency from the teams’ website. Data were collected via an online survey of sports consumers of e-services delivered by professional sport teams. The results indicate that sport team brand strength, followed by teams website e-service quality and brand image congruency between the teams online and offline activity are significant determinants of trust in the teams’ website, with online trust strongly influencing website loyalty intentions.

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Danny O’Brien and Jess Ponting

This research analyzes a strategic approach to managing surf tourism in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Surf tourists travel to often remote destinations for the purpose of riding surfboards, and earlier research suggests the mismanagement of surf tourism in some destinations has resulted in significant deleterious impacts on host communities. The research question in this study addresses how surf tourism can be managed to achieve sustainable host community benefits in the context of a developing country. Primary data came from semistructured interviews and participant observation. The findings demonstrate how sport governing bodies can engage host communities in a collaborative framework for the sustainable utilization of sport tourism resources. The derived knowledge from this research may decrease host communities’ reliance on less sustainable commercial activities, and inform policy and practice on sustainable approaches to using sport tourism for community building and poverty alleviation.

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Yuhei Inoue, Aubrey Kent and Seoki Lee

Despite the acknowledged importance of investigating the link between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate financial performance (CFP) within a single industry, very few studies have examined this relationship in the context of the sport industry. Using charitable giving data as a proxy of CSR, this study investigated if CSR would affect CFP of professional sport teams within the four major U.S. leagues. Although the positive CSR-CFP relationship was hypothesized based on instrumental stakeholder theory, CSR was found to have non-positive effects on CFP. These results are still notable since they may highlight the importance of the connectedness between CSR and team operations and the awareness of CSR activity among stakeholders in leveraging CSR benefits. Overall, through the use of improved methodology, the current study furthers the understanding of the CSR-CFP relationship among the U.S. professional teams.

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Shih-Hao Wu, Ching-Yi Daphne Tsai and Chung-Chieh Hung

This study extends literature on the effects of fan identification on fan loyalty, and antecedents that trigger such effects. This study incorporates trust, a key relationship marketing construct, in the sport industry. The relationship between trust and two other critical antecedents of sport fan loyalty, identification and vicarious achievement motive, is examined from the perspectives of both fan-player and fan-team. The results show that antecedents from distinct perspectives influence loyalty differently. Team identification (fan-team level) is the major determinant of fans’ repatronage intention, with trust in the team as the key driver. However, player identification (fan-player level) has an indirect effect, which must go through team identification to repatronage intention. Therefore, sport organizations are recommended to invest a substantial part of their resources on activities that generate long-term effects, such as trust in the team and team identification, rather than on short-term strategies such as attracting star players.

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Claudio M. Rocha and Packianathan Chelladurai

The objective of the current research was to verify the extent to which Gouldner’s (1954) three patterns of bureaucracy were prevalent in intercollegiate athletic departments. Single and multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) of the data provided by 907 coaches from all three NCAA divisions (ndivI = 322; ndivII = 277; ndivIII = 308) showed that structural relationships among goals, processes, and patterns of bureaucracy were invariant among all three groups of coaches. Substantively, the factor of developmental goals through developmental processes (Trail & Chelladurai, 2000) predicted positively the presence of representative bureaucracy and punishment-centered bureaucracy and negatively the existence of mock bureaucracy. This means that the more athletic departments emphasize academic values, the less the coaches perceive a pattern of loose coupling between rules and actual technical activities. Implications of these results for theory and practice were discussed.

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Lisa Kihl, Sally Shaw and Vicki Schull

This study examined organizational processes involved in a merger between two gender affiliated intercollegiate athletic departments. A conceptual framework incorporating the concepts of gendered social processes, and the transition and integration stages of organizational mergers framed the study. Organizational political activity is perceived as a gendered process in merging groups. Interviews with 57 stakeholders of a university athletic department were conducted. The data analysis showed that gender politics identified in the transition stage involved stakeholders’ emotional reactions. In the integration stage, gender politics were evident during the social processes of assessing trust and loyalties, and cultural reengineering. Practical implications for merger facilitation are noted in terms of considering the necessity of merging, the hiring of outside leadership, and implementing a communication plan. Overall, our study furthers our understanding of the gender politics involved in merging gender affiliated sport organizations.

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Cecilia Stenling

The purpose of this article is to understand change in community sport organizations (CSOs) by examining the introduction of spontaneous sport activities labeled “drive-in sport” in six Swedish CSOs. Drawing on the theoretical concepts of translation and organizational identity, data from 10 interviews were analyzed to answer how, why, and with what consequences, in terms of organizational change, the focal CSOs interpreted and acted upon the idea of drive-in sport. The findings show that while drive-in sport initially may seem to have changed the CSOs, a closer examination reveals a reproduction of their organizational identities. The findings are discussed in relation to the alignment of the drive-in sport idea with the CSOs’ core purpose and practices and with wider processes of change in the CSOs’ institutional context.

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Lionel Frost, Margaret Lightbody and Abdel K. Halabi

Australian Football clubs have traditionally been seen as contributing social benefits to the rural communities in which they are embedded. Declining numbers of participants, both players and volunteers, suggest that this role may not be as strong today. Critical explorations of the extent to which football has driven social inclusion and exclusion in such environments emphasizes a historic masculine culture of drinking and violence that segregates and marginalizes women and children. Less is known about the contemporary strategic efforts of clubs to use social capital to support their activities, and whether the resources they generate have positive impacts on social inclusion in the wider community. We use evidence from the Parliament of Victoria’s Inquiry into Country Football (2004) to explore the current focus of rural Australian Football clubs regarding social inclusion, in light of changes occurring in society and rural towns in the 21st century.

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Lisa M. Kikulis, Trevor Slack and C.R. Hinings

The period between 1984 and 1988 was one of considerable change in the Canadian sport system. National sport organizations (NSOs) were subject to institutional pressures from the government agency Sport Canada to dispense with their traditional operating procedures and move to a more professional bureaucratic organizational design. Researchers who have studied this time period have suggested that NSOs were passive receptors of these government pressures and that they acquiesced to the changes promoted by Sport Canada. This paper challenges this idea and suggests that the role of human agents and the choices they made in response to the pressures emanating from the state agency are important aspects of the change dynamic. Using data from a study of 36 NSOs, this paper shows that NSOs demonstrated resistance in the form of pacifying activities and ceremonial conformity.

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Mike Wallace and W. James Weese

This study was undertaken to investigate the links between transformational leadership, organizational culture, and employee job satisfaction within the 69 Canadian YMCA organizations. Leadership was measured by the Leadership Behavior Questionnaire (Sashkin, 1988), organizational culture by the Organizational Culture Assessment Questionnaire (Sashkin, 1990), and employee job satisfaction by the Job in General Index (Balzer & Smith, 1990). The results of a MÁNOVA and subsequent ANOVA statistical treatments allowed the researchers to conclude that significant differences in organizational culture existed between the YMCA organizations led by high transformational leaders and YMCA organizations led by low transformational leaders. In addition, the YMCA organizations led by high transformational leaders administered organizations that carried out the culture-building activities of managing change, achieving goals, coordinated teamwork, and customer orientation to a greater degree than YMCA organizations led by low transformational leaders. No significant differences in employee job satisfaction levels existed between the YMCA organizations led by high transformational leaders and those led by low transformational leaders.