Social Media and Not-for-profit Sport Organizations

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Title: Social Media and Not-for-profit Sport Organizations
Authors: Naraine, Michael Lance
Date: 2017
Abstract: The purpose of this dissertation was to address the degree to which social media can be utilized as a tool for stakeholder communication by not-for-profit sport organizations. Delimited to national sport organizations, specifically those in a Canadian context, and using a stakeholder theory approach, the project advanced three major research objectives: (1) determine what not-for-profit sport organizations are communicating to their stakeholders via social media, including identifying forces and pressures that impact content and messaging; (2) identify which stakeholders are positioned and advantaged in the social network of not-for-profit sport organizations; and (3) uncover the contextual factors that have enabled the use of social media channels by not-for-profit sport organizations. In order to accomplish these objectives, the dissertation was structured into three interconnected stages parsed into three research articles – each with its own supporting theoretical framework (i.e., institutional theory, network theory, and the contextualist approach to organizational change) – providing findings discussed using a stakeholder perspective. In the first article, the results found social media communication was predominantly used for promoting, reporting, and informing purposes, attributable to the coercive (e.g., funding partners), mimetic (e.g., salient organization routines), and normative (e.g., best practices) pressures at play. In the second article, fans, elite athletes, photographers, competing sport organizations, and local sport clubs were identified as key stakeholders with significant advantage given their position in the social media network of not-for-profit organizations. The final article revealed social media has yet to radically impact the operations of these organizations, highlighting some of the challenges related to social media communication. Cumulatively, the findings illustrate not-for-profit sport organizations can improve upon their current use of social media as a stakeholder communications tool. Through the implementation of a unique social media strategy composed of multiple philosophies, not-for-profit sport organizations could consider the variance in stakeholder groups while incorporating the immediacy and engagement social media requires. In doing so, organizations may create the conditions to satisfy stakeholder expectations and increase organizational capacity simultaneously. Concurrently, the findings represent a basis for future research using organizational theory frameworks to explain new trends and phenomena in the social media and sport domain.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/36141
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-20421
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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