World Athletics: The Significance of Cultural and Institutional Dependencies

By Dave Flynn and Janet Lenaghan.

Published by The Sport Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

One might argue from an institutional perspective that world sport is affected primarily by the member institutions, especially the governing bodies. However, there are also loosely affiliated organizations, amateur and semi-professional, that contribute to the success (or failure) of the various professional organizations throughout the world. In the United States, for example, high schools, colleges, and collegiate summer leagues contribute to the success of the Major Leagues Baseball professional organization. These formal and informal affiliations may be considered interorganizational relationships (IOR). Babiak (2007) has used this construct to explain the success of Canadian Sport Centres (CSC). CSCs are high-performance training centers where Olympic-level athletes are provided with an array of services and programs aimed at enhancing their achievements in international competitions. Her research builds on institutional theory of Oliver (1990) who posited that the decision to develop relationships with other organizations is typically based on multiple determinants, e.g. asymmetry, reciprocity, necessity, legitimacy, efficiency, and stability. These determinants reflect the motives behind why organizations undertake the development of IORs to address the challenges they face (Babiak, 2007:341). Alternately, one might accept the general hypothesis that differences between cultures and social structures impede the success of cross-societal collaborative ventures (Orr & Scott, 2008:562). Herein, using such constructs as perceived brand ‘globalness’ (PBG), institutional and cultural theory, we explore the question of the effect, if any, that culture has in the success of athletics in different societies.

Keywords: Institutional and Cultural Theory, Interorganizational Relationships, Amateur and Professional Sport

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.25-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 581.296KB).

Dr. Dave Flynn

Professor, Department of Management, Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, USA

Dr. Janet Lenaghan

Associate Professor, Department of Management, Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, USA