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David W. Eccles, Susanne E. Walsh and David K. Ingledew

The objective of this study was to gain an understanding of expert cognition in orienteering. The British orienteering squad was interviewed (N = 17) and grounded theory was used to develop a theory of expert cognition in orienteering. A task constraint identified as central to orienteering is the requirement to manage attention to three sources of information: the map, the environment, and travel. Optimal management is constrained by limited processing resources. However, consistent with the research literature, the results reveal considerable adaptations by experts to task constraints, characterized primarily by various cognitive skills including anticipation and simplification. By anticipating the environment from the map, and by simplifying the information required to navigate, expert orienteers can circumvent processing limitations. Implications of this theory for other domains involving navigation, and for the coaching process within the sport, are discussed.

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Lisa A. Kihl, Tim Richardson and Charles Campisi

The purpose of this grounded theory study was to explain how student-athletes are affected by an instance of academic corruption. Using a grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1998), multiple sources of data were collected and analyzed using the constant comparison method leading to theory generation. Findings revealed that student-athletes suffer three main consequences (negative treatment, sanctions, and a sense of loss) that lead to various harmful outcomes (e.g., distrust, embarrassment, dysfunctional relationships, stakeholder separation, anger, stress, and conflict). However, the consequences also created a positive outcome displayed through a dual consciousness of corruption (resiliency and empowerment). The results are compared with existing theoretical concepts and previous research associated with the outcomes of corruption. This theory adds to our knowledge of the nature of suffering experienced by student-athletes as a result of corruption and provides direction for future research and practice.

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Andrew Cruickshank, Dave Collins and Sue Minten

Stimulated by growing interest in the organizational and performance leadership components of Olympic success, sport psychology researchers have identified performance director–led culture change as a process of particular theoretical and applied significance. To build on initial work in this area and develop practically meaningful understanding, a pragmatic research philosophy and grounded theory methodology were engaged to uncover culture change best practice from the perspective of newly appointed performance directors. Delivered in complex and contested settings, results revealed that the optimal change process consisted of an initial evaluation, planning, and impact phase adjoined to the immediate and enduring management of a multidirectional perception- and power-based social system. As the first inquiry of its kind, these findings provide a foundation for the continued theoretical development of culture change in Olympic sport performance teams and a first model on which applied practice can be based.

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Carole Sève, Germain Poizat, Jacques Saury and Marc Durand

This article describes the main features of a collaborative project involving researchers, coaches, and elite table tennis players. The project was carried out between 1997 and 2002 with funding from the French Ministry of Youth and Sports, in response to a request by French Table Tennis Team coaches to improve the training of table tennis players. Matches were videotaped during international meets and followed by interviews during which the players described and commented on their activity as they viewed the tapes. A grounded theory of players’ activity emerged from the data collected and the ensuing theoretical issues that were raised. The findings on table tennis players’ activity pointed to a new direction for training proposals, for example the organization of reflexive practices during training.

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Taryn K. Morgan and Peter R. Giacobbi Jr.

The purpose of this study was to utilize multiple perspectives to describe the major influences and experiences during the development of highly talented collegiate athletes. Eight NCAA Division I collegiate athletes, 12 parents, and 6 coaches participated in this study. In-depth semi-structured interviews analyzed through grounded theory analytic procedures (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) were used. Overall, it was ascertained that a favorable interaction between perceived genetic dispositions, practice, situational factors, and mental characteristics facilitated and nurtured the participants’ talent development. The importance of social support for overcoming adversity was a salient theme and should be addressed by sport psychology consultants and coaches.

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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.

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Rebecca R. Bryan

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Jean Côté, John Saimela, Pierre Trudel, Abderrahim Baria and Storm Russell

An expert system approach (Buchanan et al., 1983) was used to identify and conceptualize the knowledge of 17 Canadian expert high-performance gymnastic coaches. The knowledge elicitation process consisted of open-ended questions and various questioning methods to unveil, explore, and prove important information (Patton, 1987; Spradley, 1979) about coaching. All coaches’ interviews were transcribed verbatim, and the unstructured qualitative data were inductively analyzed following the procedures and techniques of grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The inductive analysis process allowed the meaning units of the interview transcripts to be regrouped into properties, categories, and components. The components emerging from the analysis consisted of (a) competition, (b) training, (c) organization, (d) coach’s personal characteristics, (e) gymnast’s personal characteristics and level of development, and (f) contextual factors. These components were further developed into a model representing coaches’ knowledge.

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Lee Phillip McGinnis, Brian Glibkowski and Grace Lemmon

Using a grounded theory method of inquiry, this research developed a question-based framework that integrates the WH questions (what, why, when, where, who, and how) with knowledge types (structural, declarative, and procedural) and context (objective and subjective). From this integration, 3 different styles of communication (directional, analytical, and relational) and 6 associated modes of communication (procedure, action, concept, theory, metaphor, and story) emerged. These styles and modes of communication are organized around a circumplex structure, which is further dimensionalized by the WH questions. This framework is referred to as the Question Wheel of Communication, which reflects the circumplex, or circular, ordering of questions.

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Emily A. Roper and José A. Santiago

Employing a grounded theory approach, the purpose of this study was to qualitatively examine the influence of service-learning (SL) on undergraduate kinesiology students’ attitudes toward and experiences working with P–12 students with disabilities. Fourteen (9 female, 5 male) kinesiology students enrolled in an adapted physical education class participated in one of three focus group interviews regarding their experiences of working with P–12 students with disabilities. All interview data were analyzed following procedures outlined by Strauss and Corbin (1998). The following five themes represent the participants’ experiences and attitudes toward P–12 students with disabilities after their involvement in a SL project: (a) initial reactions, (b) selection of P–12 students, (c) preconceived attitudes, (d) the benefits of SL, and (e) positive experience. All 14 of the participants who volunteered to share their experiences indicated that the SL experience positively affected their attitudes toward individuals with disabilities.