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Institutional Theory in Sport: A Scoping Review

Jonathan Robertson, Mathew Dowling, Marvin Washington, Becca Leopkey, Dana Lee Ellis, and Lee Smith

We can state, without hyperbole, that concepts from the institutional theory perspective have become institutionalized in the sport management literature. Concepts, such as isomorphism, institutionalization, legitimacy, and organizational fields dominate subsequent research in that area. Around the

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“Like Ships in the Night” and the Paradox of Distinctiveness for Sport Management: A Citation Network Analysis of Institutional Theory in Sport

Mathew Dowling, Jonathan Robertson, Marvin Washington, Becca Leopkey, Dana Lee Ellis, Andie Riches, and Lee Smith

subdiscipline) within a single, bounded theoretical domain—institutional theory. Not only does institutional theory represent a well-established and prominent knowledge base within sport management—evidenced through recent general reviews (e.g.,  Robertson et al., 2022 ) and more focused reviews of specific

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Getting an Internship in the Sport Industry: The Institutionalization of Privilege

Nefertiti A. Walker, Kwame J.A. Agyemang, Marvin Washington, Lauren C. Hindman, and Jeffrey MacCharles

institutional theory tenets, namely, legitimacy and institutionalization ( Deephouse & Suchman, 2008 ; DiMaggio & Powell, 1983 ; Greenwood, Oliver, Sahlin, & Suddaby, 2008 ; Meyer & Rowan, 1977 ). This study has several contributions. One key point is that there is currently a dearth of sport

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Statements Versus Reality: How Multiple Stakeholders Perpetuate Racial Inequality in Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership

Carter A. Rockhill, Jonathan E. Howe, and Kwame J.A. Agyemang

prevalent in leadership positions ( Bimper & Harrison, 2017 ). Thus, it is critical to investigate how the various stakeholders in these P5 programs look to establish racial DEI. As we focus on racial DEI within P5 college athletics, aspects of critical race theory (CRT) and institutional theory are

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Exogenous Policy Shock and Logic Centrality Shift: NBA Policy and NCAA Outcomes

Matthew Juravich and Brian M. Mills

A focus of recent studies applying institutional theory has dealt with the examination of organizational fields rather than individual organizations or entire organizational populations as primary units of analyses. DiMaggio and Powell ( 1983 ) defined an organizational field as a group of

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“My Ideal Is Where It Is Just Jane the Cricketer, Rather Than Jane the Gay Cricketer”: An Institutional Perspective of Lesbian Inclusion in Australian Cricket

Jonathan Robertson, Ryan Storr, Andrew Bakos, and Danny O’Brien

exists around the women’s game” ( Hickey et al., 2016 , p. 3). Interestingly, this same point was also noted by Fink ( 2012 ), who drew attention to the role homophobia plays in marketing efforts around female athletes. In linking the present literature to institutional theory, we move our attention to

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An Institutional Framework for Governance Convergence in Sport: The Case of India

Joshua McLeod, David Shilbury, and Géraldine Zeimers

governance convergence in sport, this research proposes and then empirically tests a theoretical framework drawing primarily on institutional theory. The proposed framework is an adaption of Jamali and Neville’s ( 2011 ) multilevel institutional model. The model distinguishes between three interconnected

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LGBT Diversity and Inclusion, Community Characteristics, and Success

George B. Cunningham and Calvin Nite

expressed toward LGBT individuals. Thus, we focused on a factor that might facilitate inclusiveness and another that potentially detracts from such efforts. Drawing from concepts in institutional theory ( Greenwood, Oliver, Sahlin, & Suddaby, 2008 ), we suspected that the community measures would intersect

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Buried Accomplishments: Institutional Isomorphism in College Athletics Mission Statements

Russell E. Ward Jr.

Despite suggestions that mission statements represent a strategic component of organizational communication, there has been little research of these documents in athletic departments at U.S. colleges and universities. The purpose of this research was to explore the relationship between mission statement content and athletic department accomplishments in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I schools (N = 343). The content analysis of mission statements revealed that athletics missions do not differentiate accomplished from less accomplished athletic programs. Athletic departments with strong traditions of promoting the academic advancement of student-athletes, achieving gender equity, and complying with NCAA rules tend to reference these distinctions in the same way as departments with less favorable histories. Grounded in institutional theory, this article describes the external pressures toward sameness rather than differentiation in mission statement content. Implications for intercollegiate athletics and higher education are discussed.

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So You Want to be a Fighter? Institutional Work and Sport Development Processes at an Elite Mixed Martial Arts Gym

Jules Woolf, Brennan K. Berg, Brianna L. Newland, and B. Christine Green

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a rapidly growing combat sport with unique development procedures unlike most traditional sports. In this study the development processes at an exemplar MMA gym were examined. Institutional work theory was used to understand how and why the sport is being developed in this setting. The results provide a microlevel account of the processes and operation of the sport as it develops, and indicate that traditional sport development models may not adequately represent all sports. Subcultural values reflecting what it takes to be a fighter along with a fighter’s duty to the gym influence recruitment, retention, and transition strategies of athletes. Two forms of institutional work, refinement and barrier work, were identified as simultaneously aiding and hindering the development of the sport. Along with furthering institutional theory research, this study contributes to the discourse on alternative ways of sport development for MMA and emergent sports.