An investigation into reproduction and transformation in the field of disability sport.In: World Association of Sport Management

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Across the globe a myriad of sports organizations operate within a constant state of change. This presentation reports on a study that examined how institutional pressures fostered both reproduction and transformation within an organizational field of disability sport. A social and institutional theoretic framework was adopted that permitted the study to focus on the what, the how and the why of change, as it occurred at multiple levels (institutional, organizational, and individual) of analysis (Kitchin & Howe, 2013; Skille & Skirstad, 2007). Institutional approaches to the study of organizational change in sport management are well established (Slack & Hinings, 1992; Washington & Patterson, 2011). Stenling (2013) succinctly summarised this work into two main areas, the influence of institutional pressures on change, and the lack of uniformity between organizations when change occurs. This study sought to address both simultaneously. The following question guided our contribution; what factors can facilitate organizational transformation in a field of disability sport.An ethnography was conducted within organizations belonging to a field of disability sport. Previous sport management scholars have found the ethnographic approach beneficial for accessing insider accounts of sport management phenomena, over time (Skinner, et al, 1999; Spaiij, 2013). A fieldwork phase lasting 42 months gathered data from active-member observations, formal and informal interviews and document analysis. Coffey and Atkinson’s (1996) guidelines for the management and analysis of the data collected were followed.From applying this social and institutional analysis to a field of disability sport it was found that ethos, beliefs and values about the role and importance of sport existed independently at institutional (doxa), organizational (doxa) and individual (habitus) levels. An organization’s doxa was linked to their collective identity and the position they occupied within the field. Each doxa influenced, in some fashion the organizational and individual decision-making (translation) process. The research emphasised the importance of an individual’s previous life experience in the formulation of strategies that transformed organizational and institutional power relations. It concludes empirically that the diffusion and translation of institutional pressures is dependent on the interlinking relationships between institutions, organizations and individuals. When organizational identities do not conform to the institutional doxa, transformation can occur more readily. This is important because these forms of organizational identity are more prevalent when staff have more diverse life experiences, reinforcing the importance of diversity in facilitating transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2014
EventWorld Association of Sport Management - Madrid
Duration: 1 Jan 2014 → …


ConferenceWorld Association of Sport Management
Period1/01/14 → …


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