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Comparison of sport management education programs and research in Scandinavia.
Norges Idrottshögskola, Norge.
Högskolan i Molde, Norge.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sport Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1976-409X
Syddansk universitet, Danmark.
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Synopsis:The development of sport management in Scandinavia is described andcompared through three case studies. The theory of translation which is a newinstitutionalismapproach focuses upon institutional change withinorganizations, and Campbell (2004, p.28) identifies two underlyingmechanisms for institutional change, ‘bricolage’ and ‘transition’. The findingsreveal translation from international sport management education programsand research on the one hand by adopting a mimetic approach howeverbricolaging is used for creating new studies in combinations with what alreadyexists for instance sociology of sport or physical education programs. Thetransformation from amateur to professional sport is special for Scandinaviancountries, and is looked upon as fore-runners for the establishment of studiesin sport management. Despite increased professionalization andcommercialization, the co-existing system with volunteers may have sloweddown development of sports management as an academic field in Scandinavia.

Abstract:

AIM: The Scandinavian countries Denmark, Norway and Sweden share alegacy of a common sport tradition called the Scandinavian Sport Model(Anderson & Carlsson, 2009; Peterson, 2008), where two thirds of the sportclubs are run by volunteers (Ibsen & Seippel, 2010; Hellman, 2014). DespiteScandinavian similarities and common legacy from a social democratic welfarestate, differences occur in how sport historically is organized on federal level(Ibsen, 2002), how international anti-doping policy is implemented (Wagner &Hanstad, 2011) and how elite sports are run (Andersen & Rognlan, 2012;Gammelsæter, Storm & Söderman, 2009). The Norwegian model is the mostcentralized one and lacks parliament control (Bergsgard, 2002). This back-dropinformation is important for understanding how sport management educationprograms have developed in Scandinavia, and so far no studies are publishedabout it. Therefore we want to fill that gap. The aim of this paper is to answer the questions: How and why has the sport management as education andresearch discipline developed differently in the Scandinavian countries?

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK: Early neo-institutional contributions emphasizehow organizations within an organizational field increasingly resemble eachother in behavior and structure due to pressure (DiMaggio & Powell, 1991;Meyer & Rowan, 1991). We can argue that sport management as a field hasgradually been institutionalized on a global scale. However, the idea ofinstitutional isomorphism can also be challenged by emphasizingorganizational agency once we try to explain the heterogeneous developmentin Scandinavia: The theory of translation which is a new-institutionalismapproach focuses upon institutional change within organizations, and Campbell(2004, p.28) identifies two underlying mechanisms for institutional change,‘bricolage’ and ‘transition’. By bricolage is meant the recombination of existinginstitutional elements within a field or an organization. The concept oftranslation is used to highlight the dynamic travel and transformation of ideas.International trends will affect this development through transition. It is addingto our knowledge about how ‘global’ ideas become ‘local’ (Czarniawska & Sevón,2005). This framework enables us to outline how an international emergingfield such a sport management interacts with and has impact upon a localcultural context and tradition.

METHODOLOGY AND RESEARCH DESIGN: Three comparative case studiesshow how the sport management education programs and research havedeveloped. Knowledge derived from: 1) four researchers’ personal experienceas entrepreneurs of such studies and research programs, 2) brief informalinterviews/contacts other entrepreneurs of such programs and 3) archivestudies. Altogether 13 interviews were made (6 in Norway, 3 in Denmark and 4in Sweden). The sample technique of snowballing was used until saturationwas reached about sport management studies in Scandinavia. The fourauthors conducted the analysis first separately and then collectively in order toincrease the credibility because of representing different countries.

RESULTS, DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS: The transformation fromamateur to professional sport is special for Scandinavian countries, and islooked upon as fore-runners for the establishment of studies in sportmanagement. As Peterson (2008) points out, the market is not the only actorpaying for sport in Scandinavia, because this transformation has mainly takenplace by public support and funding. Focus is on time-lines for the first sportmanagement programs, the profile of the different institutions as well as theresearch generated from these milieus and their international involvement arecompared. Scandinavian sport traditions are rooted in popular and voluntarymovements, and it is obvious that unless salaried jobs emerged in the sportsector there would be no demand for higher education in sport management.One antecedent was lifting of the amateur rules which defined Scandinaviansport until the late 1960s (Peterson, 2008). The findings reveal translation frominternational sport management education programs and research on the onehand by adopting a mimetic approach however bricolaging is used for creatingnew studies in combinations with what already exists for instance sociology ofsport or physical education programs. Norway is the first country to adopt sportmanagement in the 1980s, while the discipline emerges as late as the last partof the 2000s in Denmark. None of the main business schools in Scandinaviahave taken up sport management as part of their portfolio contrary to trends inother parts of the world. Despite increased professionalization and commercialization, the co-existing system with volunteers may have sloweddown development of sports management as an academic field in Scandinavia.Future studies should highlight how the translation works today so providers ofsport management can make use of how ideas transform.

References:Campbell, J.L. (2004). Institutional Change and Globalization. Princeton, NJ:Princeton University Press.Czarniawska, B. & Sevón, G. (2005). Global Ideas: How Ideas, Objects andPractices Travel in a Global Economy, Malmö: Liber & Copenhagen BusinessSchool Press. DiMaggio, P. & Powell, W.W. (1991) ‘The Iron Cage Revisited: InstitutionalIsomorphism and Collective Rationality’, in W.W. Powell and P. DiMaggio (eds)The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis, pp. 63–82. Chicago, IL: TheUniversity of Chicago Press. Ibsen, B. & Seippel, Ø. (2010) Voluntary organized sport in Denmark andNorway, Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, 13:4, 593-608,DOI:10.1080/17430431003616266 .Meyer, J.W. & Rowan, B. (1991) ‘Institutionalized Organisations: FormalStructure as Myth and Ceremony’, in W.W. Powell and P. DiMaggio (eds) TheNew Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis, pp. 41–62. Chicago, IL: TheUniversity of Chicago Press.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Research subject
Sport Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-48294OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-48294DiVA: diva2:881555
Conference
23rd EASM Conference - European Association for Sport Management Conference, Dublin, 9-12 September 2015
Available from: 2015-12-10 Created: 2015-12-10 Last updated: 2016-04-27Bibliographically approved

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