A recently developed social psychological and biographical approach to the study of lives, life positioning analysis (LPA), is applied to the early life experiences of Canadian basketball player Steve Nash for the purpose of identifying sources of his athletic creativity and work ethic. The analysis focuses on Nash’s childhood and adolescence, especially his interactions with his father, brother, coaches, friends, and teammates. The interpretations, results, and conclusions offered describe specific types of interaction with these other individuals as likely influences on the development of important psychological aspects of the team oriented creativity that came to characterize Nash’s unique athletic style. The article concludes with a brief description of the unique yields and possible contributions of this type of biographical case study as a methodological approach in sport psychology.
Mark Douglas Lowes
This case study seeks to develop an understanding of why the sports pages of metropolitan daily newspapers are so regularly saturated with news of the major commercial spectator sports world, while noncommercial sports receive only a modicum of coverage at best. Using data gathered from fieldwork in the sports department of a large Canadian daily, this inquiry reveals that sportswriters depend on routine sources for the bulk of their raw news material. Almost invariably, these sources are athletes, spokespersons, and organizations with roots deep in the commercial sports world. This is a practical necessity, enabling sportswriters to cope with the pressures and constraints of their work. Consequently, work routines employed in the daily manufacture of sports news tend to privilege the major commercial spectator sports, thus “reading” noncommercial sports out of the news by omission.
James E. Johnson, Lawrence W. Judge and Elizabeth Wanless
Incorporating a national competition with the traditional case teaching method offers a unique and intense learning experience beyond what can be achieved in a typical classroom format. This paper discusses a graduate Sport Administration experience from preparation to presentation for students and faculty in the case study competition annually sponsored by the College Sport Research Institute (CSRI). Included is a thorough review of the case method highlighting what to expect from adopting this alternative teaching technique. The role of the faculty advisor is explained from both a theoretical and functional perspective with particular attention given to advising in a competition format. Student learning experiences were assessed using open-ended survey questions designed to encourage student reflection. Although students reported an immense time commitment, they were overwhelmingly satisfied with their competition experience that included in-depth learning, essential skill building, and real-world application.
Hazel Maxwell, Carmel Foley, Tracy Taylor and Christine Burton
This paper considers how organizational practices facilitate and inhibit the social inclusion of Muslim women in a community sport setting. A case study of social inclusion practices in an Australian community sport organization (CSO) was built through interviews, focus groups, secondary data, and documentary evidence. Drawing on the work of Bailey (2005, 2008) the analysis employed a social inclusion framework comprised of spatial, functional, relational, and power dimensions. Findings indicated that there are a range of practices which facilitate social inclusion. Paradoxically, some of the practices that contributed to social inclusion at the club for Muslim women resulted in social exclusion for non-Muslim women. Examining each practice from multiple perspectives provided by the social inclusion framework allowed a thorough analysis to be made of the significance of each practice to the social inclusion of Muslim women at the club. Implications for social inclusion research and sport management practice are discussed.
Richelle Clark and Laura Misener
This study investigates the underdeveloped area of event portfolios in an attempt to fill a gap in the existing literature. This research article examines strategic positioning of events and the critical role they play in local development. To understand this, a case study design was performed in a medium-sized city in Canada. The purpose of the study was to determine how the city has used sport events for broader local development and enhancement of the civic brand. Interviews with local city actors and document analyses were used to further understand the strategies within the community. The results show that although a city may possess the necessary portfolio components as per Ziakas & Costa (2011), it is essential that there is a strategy that bridges the pieces of the portfolio for sustainable development. Consequently, we found that sequencing, or the strategic timing of events and political grounds, played a crucial role in this process.
Julie Long, Lucie Thibault and Richard Wolfe
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.
Larena Hill and Lisa M. Kikulis
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.
Allen L. Sack and Abbas Nadim
The Starter Corporation, the industry leader in the sports licensed apparel business in the 1980s and 1990s, declared bankruptcy in 1999. This case study examines Starter’s rise and fall, focusing on the interaction between management decisions made over the years and the profound changes that were taking place in the sports licensing industry. It was found that Starter’s dependence on professional leagues for licensing agreements, a flood of new entrants into the licensing industry (especially large footwear manufacturers), the threat of substitute products, dependence on overseas and other suppliers, and players’ strikes and lockouts created a volatile business environment in which Starter had to compete. The major question raised in this case concerns the relative importance of environmental factors and strategic choices by management in Starter’s demise. Michael Porter’s (1980) “five forces model” of industry competition provided a theoretical starting point for this study.
Liz A. Sattler and Clinton Warren
Sales pedagogy and student perceptions of sales have long been studied in business programs across college campuses. While sales pedagogy is a growing content area for sport management programs, it continues to be an area in the field in need of further understanding. The purpose of this study was to explore student perceptions of sales throughout a 16-week course. A qualitative case study methodology was used to develop a rich description of how sport management students perceive sales as a content area, and as a potential profession in the sport industry. Analysis of the themes indicates that throughout the course of the semester, students developed more holistic perceptions of sales, viewed sales as a necessary skill for many jobs in the sport industry, and were more open to a sales job as an entryway into the sport industry.
Lori K. Miller, Lawrence W. Fielding, Mahesh Gupta and Brenda G. Pitts
In this case study of Hillerich & Bradsby Company, Inc. (H&B), the ways in which H&B implemented principle components of Just In Time (JIT) Manufacturing in the production of wooden baseball bats are identified. Various JIT components such as small batch production, a cellular layout, multifunctional workers, reduced set-up times, empowered employees, the kanban system, and supplier partnerships are discussed and applied to H&B productions. An analysis of selected financial ratios indicated that JIT successfully contributed to the maintenance of H&B's production efficiency and market leadership. While the first section of the paper briefly outlines the history of the H&B company, the second section addresses the JIT manufacturing process. Seven principle components associated with the JIT manufacturing process are addressed and applied to H&B's operations. In conclusion the limitations associated with H&B's implementation of the JIT manufacturing process are identified.