Mind the Gap: Sport Management Education and Employability: Auto-ethnographical analysis of Sport Management Education and the Sports Fitness Industry

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Abstract

The purpose of, and reason for, this study is to evaluate the position of sport management education in relation to employment in the sport fitness industry and if a shift towards a greater emphasis of business and management module teaching is justified or conversely a greater utilization of the rich data being generated by sport management researchers can be applied to the vocational development of sport management students.
The study was conducted in two parts.
Part 1 consisted of interviews with the author by an interviewer to explore their industry experiences. The author’s experience of entrepreneurial sport industry business and intrapreneurial sport teaching experience. The resultant data has been distilled into a series of paradigms, including employing sport industry staff and teaching sport management.
Part 2 triangulates part 1 with the managerial experience of sports and leisure centre managers to develop a qualitative study. Sports and leisure centre managers were interviewed regarding candidate and employee competences judged as extreme examples of sport management knowledge and understanding.
Four themes emerged. Alignment, Underpinning subject-specific knowledge, a voice from the sport industry in developing sport management education, Postgraduate opportunities for work based learning
A small-scale study, requiring further research in each of the three areas; sport spectator, sport participation and elite performer management.
The sport centre interview instrument, with some refinements, could form the basis of an improved system to gain rich data from industry members of higher education business advisory groups. The developed data collection tool could increase the effective collection of data from a wider cohort.
The approach has produced an adapted category of pedagogy. Employability Inspired Teaching [EiT] is an original terminology describing the subject-specific content that leads to improved opportunities of subject [sport] industry employment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)458-472
Number of pages15
JournalEducation + Training
Volume60
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Auto-ethnography
  • Employability inspired teaching
  • Sport participation management
  • Sport management education

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