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ERIC Number: EJ868428
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0560
Organizational Complexity: The Athletics Department and the University
Buer, Troy
New Directions for Higher Education, n148 p109-116 Win 2009
Universities have long struggled with balancing their core instruction, research, and service missions with the win-at-all-costs mentality of spectator sports. Indeed, much has been written about the athletics-academic debate. Unfortunately, the athletics-academic debate often masks the complexity of characterizing athletics programs as either educationally valuable initiatives or belonging in business and the entertainment industry. In this article, the author aims to move beyond the either-or conceptualization and offer a more nuanced and inclusive both-and perspective of athletics programs as both academic and business organizations. The author explores the dual organizational identities of institutions and the chronic conflict between academic values and commercial pressures. The author contends that understanding the tensions that persist between academe and athletics as an identity conflict is vital in crafting effective reform agendas. He suggests that critics have not taken sufficient account of the culture in athletics and commercial pressures associated with the enterprise, and thus solutions are not realistic or even relevant. Theory and research on organizational identity--and on hybrid organizational identities in particular--suggest a new and provocative lens for understanding and managing this persistent conflict.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A