The primary purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the theoretical underpinnings of ethical decision making for the sport administrator. A secondary purpose is to argue for changes to the pedagogical nature and process in sport administration programs so that students have the ability to make decisions with a critically conscious praxis. Four philosophical approaches to ethics and two psychological approaches to moral reasoning are briefly discussed. A synthesis of philosophical and psychological approaches is suggested as a means to understand, in a comprehensive manner, the ethical decision-making behavior of the sport administrator within what may well be a contradiction-based sport organization. Finally, some comments are made on ways that this synthesized approach might be used in a critical active pedagogy in sport administration programs.
David Cruise Malloy and Dwight H. Zakus
Lars Dzikus, Leslee A. Fisher and Kate F. Hays
In this paper, we examine a case of “real life” ethical decision-making in sport psychology that occurred in the context of a symposium on sexual transgressions in sport, conducted during a recent professional conference. We use autoethnography (Ellis, 2004), an emergent qualitative methodology combining both literary and ethnographic techniques. In this case study, we analyze the unique perspectives of three key participants to make sense of what happened, why it happened, and how we can avoid similar instances in the future. We theorize and politicize the larger master narratives, which revolved around power, space, time, and symbolic violence. We conclude with recommendations for our sport psychology colleagues related to ethical decision-making, organizational planning of conferences, and being an ally to survivors of sexual abuse.
Kimberly S. Peer
Sports medicine professionals are facing new dilemmas in light of the changing dynamics of sport as an enterprise. These changes have considerable ethical implications as sports medicine team members are placed in challenging ethical decision-making situations that often create values tensions. These values conflicts have the potential to threaten and degrade the trust established through the mutual expectations inherent in the social contract between the health care providers and society. According to Starr,1 the social contract is defined as the relationship between medicine and society that is renegotiated in response to the complexities of modern medicine and contemporary society. Anchored in expectations of both society and the medical professions, this tacit contract provides a strong compass for professional practice as it exemplifies the powerful role and examines the deep responsibilities held by health care providers in our society. Although governed by professional boards and organizational codes of ethics, sports medicine professionals are challenged by the conflicts of interest between paternalistic care for the athlete and autonomous decisions often influenced by stakeholders other than the athletes themselves. Understanding how the construct of sport has impacted sports health care will better prepare sports medicine professionals for the ethical challenges they will likely face and, more importantly, facilitate awareness and change of the critical importance of upholding the integrity of the professional social contract.
Marion E. Hambrick, Jordan R. Bass and Claire C. Schaeperkoetter
The purpose of this case is to illuminate the numerous factors administrators must consider when conducting and completing a coaching search. Specifically, participants are instructed to use Kellison’s (2013) ethical decision-making process framework to guide their analysis when deciding on, and eventually hiring, a head coach at an exceedingly visible university and athletic department. A hypothetical situation was created based on actual events that took place during a highly publicized head coach search in a major university football program. In all, participants will be immersed in the process of identifying, interviewing, and ultimately choosing a new head coach for their highest revenue-generating program during the most important time in the history of the university and athletic department.
Elizabeth A. Taylor, Gareth J. Jones, Kristy McCray and Robin Hardin
The sport industry is ripe for issues of sexual harassment/assault due to the high value placed on masculine characteristics and the power differential between male leaders/coaches and female subordinates/athletes. This culture permeates sport organizations, as issues of sexual harassment/assault committed by athletes and coaches/administrators are commonplace and have recently been mishandled, raising questions about effective education. This study examined the relationship between education on sexual harassment/assault and the endorsement of rape myths by sport management students. Results indicate that training on sexual harassment/assault in sport management classrooms is low and is potentially ineffective at curbing rape myth acceptance, suggesting current curricula are insufficient. These findings have both theoretical and practical contributions related to how sport management departments can prepare future professionals to change the culture of sport.
Whitney W. Marks, Tiesha R. Martin and Stacy Warner
This case addresses the events leading up to the cancellation of the 2012 New York City Marathon in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The case highlights the importance of making fair and timely decisions. The case is assembled based on newspaper accounts of the circumstances that led to New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg declaring the 2012 marathon would be held and then two days later canceling the event. The facts that were available to Mayor Bloomberg are presented in such a way that students can consider and analyze what they would have done and when, and how this may or may not differ from what actually occurred. Most importantly, the case highlights the decision-making process that many sport and event managers will encounter in the field when a weather-related event occurs in the midst of a planned athletic event. Consequently, the case provides students with an opportunity to critically examine the following: 1) how a sport organization should respond to a crisis; 2) the impact of decision-making on various event stakeholders; 3) the ethics involved in decision-making; and 4) how sport and event managers should respond to public criticism. The case is intended for use in classes focused on event management, sport ethics, and public relations.
Michael B. Hudson
It can be challenging deciding how to resolve personal and professional dilemmas, and the dilemmas that athletic trainers and athletic therapists experience are no different, if not more complex, than the dilemmas other health care professionals experience. The moral behaviors individuals demonstrate with these dilemmas come from their experiences; however, moral beliefs may not always coincide with professional obligations and ethics. The purpose of this article is to examine factors that influence decision making for athletic trainers and athletic therapists to identify and describe policies for guiding moral behaviors in the workplace. These key policies include education in ethical decision making, developing a workplace code of conduct, communicating policies regarding professional behaviors, appraising accepted values and behaviors in the workplace, and investigating possible ethical violations and applying appropriate sanctions.
Pamela C. Laucella
Arthur Ashe made history as the first Black man to win a Grand Slam title in professional tennis. More important than Ashe’s 33 singles titles, however, was his commitment to education and social justice. As only the second prominent professional athlete to publicly admit having HIV (after professional basketball player “Magic” Johnson), Ashe’s indefatigable strength of spirit endured despite the forced disclosure. This research investigates how newspaper journalists portrayed Ashe, USA Today, and AIDS. The sample of 76 articles came from newspapers from 6 major markets nationwide and 1 regional market. The study reveals the complexities of ethical decision making for journalists in their coverage of privacy and health issues. Although there was ambivalence in journalists’ coverage of USA Today and its pursuit of Ashe, journalists collectively praised his character and commitment to humanity. Journalists framed Ashe as a victim, pioneer, role model, and hero by stressing his altruism, activism, and spirit.
James E. Johnson, T.J. Herniak, Kelly Kwiatkowski and Amy Hill
Child protective services is a broad category that impacts a variety of organizations who work directly with children. Youth sport and recreation organizations, as well as universities who have youth services, are uniquely positioned for increased risk from coaches, counselors, volunteers, or administrators who have regular access to youth via their roles as trusted leaders. Sport management graduates often find themselves in these positions, or supervising individuals who hold these positions. With this premise in mind, it is essential that sport management students are exposed to the concept of child protection, and understand the potential ramifications if child protective measures are not followed. This case describes an incident occurring at a university kid’s camp where student employees serve as counselors. The incident places one counselor in a precarious situation, and forces his supervisor into some difficult decisions. The case allows students to evaluate the situation from an assortment of sport management perspectives including governance/policy considerations, legal ramifications, organizational theory, or ethical decision-making. Discussion questions encourage students to confront these perspectives and consider the role of child protection from a variety of vantage points (e.g., counselor, parent, administrator).
of these chapters include both ethical and moral considerations, as well as implications for management. The text does an excellent job of integrating issues of controversy with an analysis of ethical decision making. The use of vertical development as a highlighted concept seems to run directly