Organizational Escalation and Retreat in University Athletics

Brand Insulation in Birmingham-Southern College’s Transition to Division III Athletics

Authors

  • Adrien Bouchet University of Tulsa
  • Michael Hutchinson Coastal Carolina University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.4.2.261

Abstract

This case study will explore the theory of escalation of commitment within the context of intercollegiate athletics. This management-based theory has been used within business and foreign policy literature, but has yet to be explored through a sport management context. Recently, Birmingham-Southern College chose to reclassify its athletics programs from the Division I classification to the Division III classification. Utilizing qualitative methodology, interviews (N = 11) were conducted with a variety of university constituents. Findings revealed the following four themes: a) unsubstantiated outcomes regarding the benefits of Division I athletics, b) strained finances, c) presidential leadership, and d) perceived roles of a small, liberal arts institution. Discussion and application of the resulting thematic emergences with the escalation of commitment determinants will be discussed.

Author Biographies

Adrien Bouchet, University of Tulsa

Bouchet is with the Collins College of Business, University of Tulsa Tulsa, OK. Hutchinson is with Kinesiology, Recreation, & Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC.

Michael Hutchinson, Coastal Carolina University

Bouchet is with the Collins College of Business, University of Tulsa Tulsa, OK. Hutchinson is with Kinesiology, Recreation, & Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC.

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Published

2011-12-01

How to Cite

Bouchet, A., & Hutchinson, M. (2011). Organizational Escalation and Retreat in University Athletics: Brand Insulation in Birmingham-Southern College’s Transition to Division III Athletics. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 4(2), 261–282. https://doi.org/10.1123/jis.4.2.261